Jun 24, 2021
Dr. Jennifer Denlinger, CCC, CHEP, culinary management program department chair at Valencia College’s Poinciana campus, has been awarded the CAFÉ Green Award, sponsored by USB, for an educational emphasis on sustainability.
USB and ASA, through their ongoing joint education project, reach key audiences for soy in often nontraditional ways. The project can position soy anywhere from radio airwaves, as in a recent NPR campaign, to the culinary classroom, which is exactly where the latest soy messaging has landed.
Dr. Jennifer Denlinger, CCC, CHEP, culinary management program department chair at Valencia College’s Poinciana campus, has been awarded the CAFÉ Green Award, sponsored by USB, for an educational emphasis on sustainability. The Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) links the foodservice industry with the foodservice classroom. CAFÉ not only interacts with other foodservice and food media, but also trains the trainers in the food industry: From high school home economics teachers to university culinary programs and esteemed culinary schools, to restaurant training programs and chefs, CAFÉ has a unique role in the culinary education space. It has a website full of resources as well as a magazine, “The Gold Medal Classroom,” in which information is regularly shared with members.
This year’s recipient, Dr. Denlinger, incorporates sustainability concepts throughout Valencia College’s culinary management program courses. The lessons include reducing food waste by composting and repurposing scraps, canning, maintaining culinary gardens, and utilizing wooden tasting utensils. During the pandemic, the program continued to be environmentally conscious while their classroom kitchens were closed. The program became virtually paper-free by removing printed handouts and worksheets and migrating to a computer system where work is digitally turned in and graded. One class removed more than 50 previously printed workbook pages.
Through the education project, USB last year sponsored the inaugural Green Award, which rewards sustainability efforts, including waste reduction, recycling, re-purposing, etc., and is an outstanding platform for USB to share the soybean industry’s own sustainability and conservation initiatives, along with innovative technology and improved farm practices supporting those efforts. CAFÉ, during non-pandemic years, hosts the annual CAFÉ Leadership Conference during which the awards are typically announced. Award sponsors are able to interact with CAFÉ members and exhibit at the culinary fair to share their product or organization’s messaging, in addition to that featured on the CAFÉ website and in its other publications throughout the year.