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

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

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... read more

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.

Get to know the (new) faculty: School of Hospitality Management

Meredith, January 22nd, 2014 | Category: Faculty | Permalink | Email this
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“We bring new faculty to campus to teach special classes we know will enrich the program and provide students with powerful knowledge to enter the hospitality field,” says Dr. Susan Tinnish, Dean of the School of Hospitality Management. “We are excited to introduce Audra Pavilcius Karalius and Claris Olson here.”

Audrone (Audra) Pavilcius Karalius

Audra Pavilcius Karalius is also a new addition to our sustainability team. She worked for Sara Lee where she served as a business leader, attorney, and Chief Sustainability Officer who worked with various stakeholders (parts of the company or constituents) to build value by reducing risks and improving business opportunities through proactive sustainability strategy, initiatives and programs. Additionally, Audra is currently with law offices of Boodell & Domanskis where she focused on sustainability and regulatory compliance.  Her law degree is from Loyola University and she also has a Master’s of Science in Chemistry.

Audra is at Kendall to teach the Global Resource Management and Environmental Regulation (SUS 365); in this class she combines her knowledge of laws and regulations to help students master ideas and concepts for resource reduction and management.

Claris Olson

Claris Olson teaches The Business & Technology of Sustainability (HOS 235). She is proficient on a broad range of topics including environmental labels, certifications, and standards, as well as being experienced in green event planning. Claris has many experiences in the environmental work including holding positions as the Environmental Health Program Manager for Healthy Schools Campaign, the Environmental Protection Specialist for the Tribal Programs Office of the USEPA R9, and an Environmental Scientist for the US EPA. Claris has also worked as a contractor for the Delta Institute.   Claris has her Master’s of Science from the University of Mississippi.

Claris’ background makes her a wonderful instructor for HOS 235, The Business & Technology of Sustainability.  This course is part of the School of Hospitality Management’s core courses and supports our institutional outcome focused on environmental stewardship.

Those students with a deeper interest can concentrate in Sustainable Management in Hospitality and Tourism.  (Learn more at http://hospitality.kendall.edu/academics/sustainable-management)


From the Kitchens at Kendall College: Maple-Caramelized Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Meredith, January 15th, 2014 | Category: Featured, Inside Kendall | Permalink | Email this
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Maple-Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Whole-Grain Mustard

Yield: 4 servings

Brussels sprouts are not only my favorite vegetable, they are relatively inexpensive, especially late in the fall when they are the sweetest. This recipe combines a number of different flavors to yield a surprisingly delicious and perfect balance of savory, spicy, salty, smoky and sweet. Courtesy of the School of Culinary Arts at Kendall College in Chicago.


1 lb.     Brussels sprouts
5     strips bacon, diced
4 oz.     finely diced onion
1 T.     whole-grain mustard
2 T.    real maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1.    Cut the ends off of the Brussels sprouts and remove any damaged leaves. Cut a small “x” in the bottom core of each sprout.
2.    In a pot, boil the Brussels sprouts in salted water just until tender. Remove the Brussels sprouts from the pot and shock them in a bowl of ice water. When they are cold, remove them from the water and cut each one in half through the core. Set aside.
3.    In a sauté pan over medium heat, sauté the bacon until well browned. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.
4.    Add the onion to the sauté pan and cook until browned and tender.
5.    Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until they are hot.
6.    Add the cooked bacon, mustard and maple syrup. Cook until the maple reduces slightly and coats the Brussels sprouts.
7.    Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Recipe developed by Christopher Koetke, CEC, CCE, HAAC, vice president, Laureate International Universities Center of Excellence in Culinary Arts and the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts.

5 Reasons to Visit The Dining Room at Kendall College

Meredith, January 8th, 2014 | Category: Inside Kendall | Permalink | Email this
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1. Front Row dining room kendall college

Diners are treated to a front-row seat for two amazing sights: First, the Chicago skyline beams into the room through huge windows. Second, a glass wall in the Dining Room and a flat-screen television in the bar area give a behind-the-scenes look at culinary and baking & pastry students preparing the day’s delectable dishes. As one reviewer put it, “come dine with the students… before they are famous.” Hospitality students manage front-of-house operations from mixology behind the bar to fine dining service.

2. Fine Dining

Source: Yelp (Amy W.)

Source: Yelp (Amy W.)

With chef instructors like Chef Peggy Ryan during lunch service and most recently alumna Chef Beverly Kim presiding over dinner service, the culinary creations coming out of the Dining Room kitchen represent fine dining at its best. Visit the website for up-to-date menus for Lunch and Dinner service.

Here’s a sampling from a recent menu:

First Course: Sea Scallop – Celeriac Puree, Glazed Beets, Truffled Honey, Shaved Fennel, Apple

Entrée: Soy Glazed Pork Belly – White Bean & Mushroom Ragout, Napa Cabbage, Cider Reduction

Dessert: Warm sticky date pudding, buttered toffee sauce, vanilla bean cream

3. Gourmet Dining without the Gourmet Prices

Chicago food insiders know that the Dining Room at Kendall College is “one of the best fine dining deals in town.” Fixed Priced Dinner Menu includes choice of a First Course, Main Course and Dessert for $29.00 USD.

4. Michelin Guide Recommended

The prestigious Michelin Guide Chicago has listed the Dining Room as ‘Recommended’ in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

The guide describes both the experience and the ambiance of The Dining Room at Kendall. “Imagine that dining out could be a sneak peek at a future Michelin-starred chef. That’s a real possibility in this dining room and kitchen, which doubles as a test space for culinary arts students. Forgive the jitters as servers-in-training deliver your meal, which you can watch being prepared through floor-to-ceiling windows onto the kitchen. The lunch prix-fixe menu includes three courses for under $20, with dishes such as green gazpacho and a buttermilk panna cotta that rivals what may be served in nearby fine restaurants. Additionally, enjoy many other fine dining indulgences, such as an amuse-bouche, intermezzos, and very good bread. It is not just the chefs who come from the school: many of the herbs and vegetables are grown in campus gardens.”

Source: Yelp (Kayee)

Source: Yelp (Kayee)

5: Monday Night Dining Series

On Mondays, food lovers who are quick to make reservations enjoy themed meals featuring cuisines from around the world. Upcoming themes include:

France 1/27/14

Italy 2/10/14

Spain 2/17/14

Mexico 2/24/14

South America 3/3/14

Reservations are strongly recommended as hours in The Dining Room may vary by school term and student/staff availability. Reserve online at OpenTable or call 312.752.2328.