Dispatch from Brazil: By School of Business Director Aurora Dawn Reinke

Dispatch from Brazil: By School of Business Director Aurora Dawn Reinke

by Aurora Dawn Reinke, Director, School of Business at Kendall College In the past week, I have had the great privilege of speaking to groups of students at Universidade Potiguar (UnP) in Natal and Mossoró, Brasil.  I was invited by the staff of the UnP International Office (IO) to be part of their international calendar, in support of two of their four strategic pillar... read more

Get to know the new faculty: Chef Brendan McDermott

Meredith, February 26th, 2014 | Category: Faculty | Permalink | Email this
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Making the transition from Gotham to Second City, our wonderful new culinary arts faculty member, Chef Brendan McDermott, is quickly making himself feel right at home here on campus. We caught up with him in the kitchens to get to know him a little better!

Brendan McD

KC: Tell us a little about your professional background?

BM: Although I was in the kitchens during high school, it wasn’t until 2000 and graduating from Peter Kump (now Institute of Culinary Education) that I really embedded myself into professional kitchens around New York City. I spent the following years working at restaurants such as Mesa Grill, Patria, Olives, RM, Alta and Porchetta. During this time, I also freelanced at the French and Canadian Consulates, Food Network, as well as teaching occasionally. Teaching quickly became my focus and developed an Award Winning Knife Skills class, which has been written up in numerous papers (Wall Street Journal, Epoch Times .Time Out New York). I was featured on an episode of Working Class Foodies (a web show that I became a “co-host”) and recently did a knife skills course on Craftsy. In 2009, I started working at The Institute of Culinary Education as the main knife skills instructor and also developed other classes that focused on different cuisines and techniques that I had picked up over the years in New York restaurants.

KC: What brought you to Kendall College?

BM: Kendall is a well-known institution in the culinary world that truly has a strong focus on the growth of their students. I love that Kendall is in the heart of a city with a wonderful eclectic food culture, making it an obvious choice. I was very honored to be chosen to become part of the faculty.

KC: What inspired you to get into the culinary industry?

BM: As a child, I spent much of my time at my grandparent’s house. Both of them were from different parts of Europe and cooked almost every meal. Growing up in New York City, I always had access to many different cuisines, which inspired me to learn many diverse cuisines and styles of cooking.

KC: Tell us why you enjoy being a part of helping develop the next generation of top chefs?

BM: Whether in a restaurant or in a school, being around people who want to be around food is an amazing feeling. Watching cooks develop their styles and add their creative input to a dish is a creative process that we as chef/chef instructors can learn from as well.

Get to know the faculty: School of Education

Meredith, February 20th, 2014 | Category: Faculty | Permalink | Email this
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Maria Montalvo is a professor in the School of Education at Kendall College. She is also the Director of Education Grants. Most recently she was asked by President Knight and Provost Hillesheim to help design the English Language Institute (ELI) to teach English as a second language to international students.

“This exciting new program is launching in January, 2014. We’ll be seeing even more international students come to Kendall to learn English and get to know our beautiful city,” says Montalvo.

Her background positions her well to be a huge asset to the Kendall community. “I’ve been teaching and administering educational programs for forty years. I’ve had a vast assortment of experiences such as being involved in the public and private sectors from Pre-Kindergarten to Graduate School education which have afforded me opportunities to serve as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, bilingual program specialist, district curriculum coordinator, and clinical supervisor,” she shared. “I have also written and managed grants for several school districts and colleges/universities and I have supervised pre-service teachers in the field.”

While Montalvo insists it’s hard to pin down her favorite thing about Kendall College, she says it’s “working with the students.  That’s what it’s all about.”

“[I am surprised by how much I am constantly] learning from our students. Philosophically, I believe that an integral part of teaching is developing rapport and a symbiotic relationship with students. It’s lovely when a student brings in a completely novel idea or perspective into the class.”

When asked what her favorite thing about being an instructor, she immediately shares “Are you familiar with the slogan “I touch the future, I teach?”  Well, I teach future teachers. The joy is exponential.”

You might be surprised that as a child, Montalvo dreamed of being a translator at the United Nations.

“Later that dream morphed into being an archeologist or perhaps an anthropologist. I love history so, it would be something about explaining the why and how of things.”

When she is not at Kendall College, she might be found tending to her roof-top garden.  “I love to Garden. We live in the city and have a huge roof-top garden. We love going to art shows, the theater, and concerts. I also really enjoy cooking.”

But her favorite thing about Chicago isn’t the food, it’s the music. “The music scene [in Chicago] is amazing! New artists, blues, Jazz, reggae, rock, opera. Where else can you listen/see Riccardo Muti conducting – for free? There are [many] fantastic music and theater venues in the city.”

Meet the rest of the School of Education at Kendall College by visiting http://education.kendall.edu/

From the Kitchens at Kendall College: Stove Top Vegetarian Baked Beans

Meredith, February 12th, 2014 | Category: Featured, Inside Kendall | Permalink | Email this
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Stove top Vegetarian Baked Beans

Yield: 8 servings, 2/3 cup each

Beans are an excellent source of meatless protein and fiber. This bacon- and pork-less version of a cherished side dish makes use of canned beans—no overnight soaking necessary. Spiked with apple-cider vinegar, Worcestershire and a little ketchup, this is one of the easiest—not to mention one of the tastiest—baked beans ever.

baked beans

2 T.    vegetable oil
1 c.     chopped celery
1 c.    chopped onion
½ c.    chopped red bell pepper
½ c.    chopped green bell pepper
½ c.    apple-cider vinegar
½ c.    sugar
½ c.    ketchup
¼ c.    Worcestershire sauce
1½ t.    smoked paprika
½ t.    salt
¼ t.    pepper
1     can (15¾ oz.) black beans, drained, rinsed
1    can (15¾ oz.) navy beans or black-eye peas, drained, rinsed
1    can (15¾ oz. pinto beans, drained, rinsed
1    can (8 oz.) whole-kernel corn, drained, rinsed

1.    In a large saucepan, add the oil. Sauté the celery, onion and bell pepper until soft, about 4 minutes.
2.    Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. (Add up to ¼ c. water if the beans become dry.) Serve baked beans warm or cold.

Nutrition Information per Serving
289 calories; 11 g. protein; 4 g. fat (1 g. saturated fat); 54 g. carbohydrates;  9 g. fiber; 0 mg. cholesterol; 829 mg. sodium

Recipe developed by Renee Zonka, RD, CEC, CHE, dean, Kendall College School of Culinary Arts, Chicago.


Food Trends: Butter

Meredith, February 5th, 2014 | Category: Faculty, Featured, Inside Kendall | Permalink | Email this
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“There simply is no substitute for butter in cooking,” says Chef Christopher Koetke, vice president, Laureate International Universities Center of Excellence in Culinary Arts and the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts. “Not only does the pure, sweet-cream taste of butter complement and enhance the flavor of dishes, but butter provides a smooth and creamy texture that is especially important in sauces.”


 1. Storing Butter

Butter can be kept at room temperature for short periods, but should be refrigerated to maintain peak flavor. Store in its original container in the walk-in tightly wrapped or in a covered dish for up to one week beyond the date printed on the package. Keep butter away from highly aromatic foods so it does not absorb undesirable flavors. When storing in the freezer, wrap the original package with aluminum foil, and butter will keep for six months.

2. Salted or Unsalted?

Salted butter enhances flavor and has a longer storage life. It’s excellent as table butter and is becoming popular in white-tablecloth restaurants again. Unsalted butter, which is sometimes called sweet butter (and shouldn’t be confused with sweet-cream butter, which might or might not be salted), contains no preservatives and, thus, has a shorter shelf life than salted butter. Use it on bread or for baked goods such as crusts and sweets to properly control salt levels, as the amount of salt in salted butter varies among brands.

 3. Get off the Stick and Pass the Butter

A contemporary and elegant way to serve butter is to pack softened butter into small ceramic pots (butter pots) or ramekins. Over-fill, and use a flat-edged spatula or knife to level off the top and get a flush edge. Compound butter can be rolled into a log shape on a piece of waxed paper. Place in a freezer bag, and when ready to use, cut rounds from the frozen log and place them on hot foods.

4. Let’s Clarify

Compared to regular butter, clarified butter (also called “drawn” butter) is clear, melted butter separated from its milk solids and water. It’s ideal for sautéing because clarified butter has a higher smoke point than whole butter—meaning it is does not start to smoke until the cooking temperature is much higher. Clarified butter is also a key ingredient in sauces like hollandaise and béarnaise. To clarify, melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low to medium heat. Skim the white froth that forms on top. When the milk solids separate and settle at the bottom of the pan, carefully pour off the clear, yellow butter and discard the milk solids.

5. Sautéing with Butter

Melt butter over medium heat and only add foods when the butter is frothing. Otherwise the butter will be absorbed, and food will become soggy rather than crispy. When sautéing with butter over high heat, add an equal proportion of oil to the pan to ensure the butterfat does not burn immediately. Or, use clarified butter in which milk solids have been removed. Another technique for high-temperature sautéing is to sauté in oil or clarified butter and add a pat of whole butter at the end for fresh butter flavor.

6. Better Baked Goods

For melt-in-your-mouth cookies, use slightly softened, unsalted butter. With its low melting point, butter helps make cookies soft and chewy on the inside, but crisp and golden on the outside. For flakier pie crusts, keep butter as hard and cold as possible prior to use. The flaky texture is produced when cold pieces of butter, trapped between thin layers of dough, melt during baking, creating small air pockets.

7. When Whipped Is Good (and Bad)

Whipped butter is regular butter into which air or nitrogen gas has been whipped to increase its volume, and spreads easier and melts quicker than regular butter. Because its density and weight are not the same as an equal measure of regular butter, whipped butter should not be used as a substitute in most recipes.

8. Butter to Better Your Sauces

Adding a pat of butter to any of a wide variety of sauces just before gives the sauce a fresh, butter flavor, satiny texture and glossy appearance.



Where are they now? Catching up with Hospitality Alum Katie Graham

Meredith, January 29th, 2014 | Category: Alumni, Featured | Permalink | Email this
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Katherine (Katie) Graham graduated in Winter 2011 from the School of Hospitality Management with a concentration in Food and Beverage Management. She is currently a Production Coordinator at AgencyEA, an experiential marketing and event marketing agency in Chicago.

Kendall College Alumni Association: What is your favorite thing about working in the hospitality industry?

Katie Graham: What I enjoy most about working in this industry is that I bring to life these unforgettable experiences for our clients and our guests or attendees.  I enjoy the people that I work with and the challenges that every new day brings, because no day is the same in this industry.

 This past year has been quite the whirlwind for me. I have worked many large-scale events this year from: all of the 17 opening events for Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, decorating the White House for Christmas 2012, the groundbreaking for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and traveling all of the country executing sales conferences and advertising events for large Media and Financial Institutions. My role is to coordinate and support all aspects of the logistics behind these events.

Where do you hope to be in your career in 10-15 years?

With my education and what I have learned the opportunities are endless. I do not know exactly where I would like to be, I am just excited for where the future takes me.

What’s your advice for current students hoping to enter the hospitality industry?

Challenge yourself everyday to go above and beyond what is expected of you, and offer your time and help to anyone who needs it. In this industry we are always learning new things, and they best way to learn that is with a positive attitude willing to jump in and help out.

What made you choose to attend Kendall College?

I chose Kendall Choose because of the small class sizes and the level of expertise the teachers have. I wanted to attend a school where I would be able to interact and truly learn from experts in their field, and not only from teacher’s assistants.

How did your experience at Kendall prepare you for your current position?

Before attending Kendall I had numerous years of restaurant experience, while I was attending Kendall I really enjoyed my event marketing classes and it peaked my interests into this niche of our industry. The coursework as well as the real world experiences that I gained during my time at Kendall prepared me for the fast paced, thinking on your feet, and sometimes-grueling industry we all love.