Kendall College, IL Goes Green
The Greening of Kendall College School of Culinary Arts
The Kendall College School of Culinary Arts, under the direction of Dean Christopher Koetke, took its first steps toward sustainability in January 2005 when the college opened the doors of its new Riverworks Campus on Chicago’s Goose Island. From the beginning, Kendall understood that becoming sustainable wouldn’t be a project with a beginning and an end, but rather a journey that will continue into the foreseeable future. Each step taken and each goal reached merely reflects a milestone in that journey.
Perhaps even more important than what Kendall does to make its own operation more sustainable is the impact it makes by passing those values on to its students, tomorrow’s foodservice professionals. Now, Kendall is taking its commitment to the next level – leveraging its educational expertise to provide foodservice professionals with the tools needed to systematically evaluate the eco-friendly options and embark on their own sustainability journey.
- A comprehensive composting and recycling program is instituted throughout all of Kendall’s kitchens.
- The principles of composting and recycling separation are integrated into the student’s classes and practiced daily in the kitchens.
- Unit on sustainable fishing and seafood issues is added to advanced fish and sauce class.
- Ten one-hour sessions are added to the fine-dining curriculum in which students explore the issues surrounding sustainability. The curriculum is supplemented with lectures by visiting experts and foodservice professionals committed to sustainability.
- The use of plastic tasting spoons in the kitchens is discontinued.
- Herb garden is implemented and tended by faculty and students.
- Connections, a student club designed to explore sustainability issues is founded.
- The dining room classes tap into local farmers to provide ingredients for the fine-dining classroom.
- Partnered with The Shedd Aquarium and their Rite Bite Program.
- A 60’ x 80’ garden is established to grow produce for the fine-dining class and teach students about locally grown produce and basic agriculture.
- Dean Koetke, along with several other institutions, worked with Chef’s Collaborative to write a comprehensive seafood sustainability curriculum.
- Disposable take-out containers are removed from the student dining hall (called the “Café”). Where disposables are necessary at other venues on campus, only eco-friendly products are used.
- New battery-free paper towel dispensers are being installed.
- Paper towels are made from chlorine-free 100% recycled fiber. Forty to 60 percent of the materials are post-consumer, which means with 40-60% of that derived from post-consumer fiber.
- Wherever possible, eco-friendly cleaning products are being used in all kitchens.
- All aluminum foil used in the café and restaurant kitchens is manufactured from recycled materials.
- Low-flow aerators and sprayers in the restaurant and café kitchen. The rest of the facility is quickly following suit.
- Menus for The Dining Room and The Café are printed on recycled paper.
- Incandescent bulbs and older-style flood lights have been replaced with FCL flood lights in both The Dining Room and The Café.