Vice President, Culinary Arts, Laureate International Universities
Executive Director, Kendall College School of Culinary Arts
Christopher Koetke, M.B.A., C.E.C., C.C.E., H.A.A.C, is executive director of the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts, in Chicago, and vice president of culinary arts for Laureate International Universities, where he is responsible for strategic leadership of culinary arts programs throughout the Laureate network.
Koetke has served as dean of Kendall College’s School of Culinary Arts since 2005. He joined Kendall College in 1998, serving first as a culinary instructor and later as associate dean. Under his leadership, the School of Culinary Arts was awarded the Academy of the Culinary Arts Cordon d’ Or – Gold Ribbon Cooking School of the Year Culinary Academy Award for 2008. Also that year, the culinary arts program was named “exemplary culinary program” by the American Culinary Federation. In 2005, he launched the schools sustainability program that, today, is woven throughout the curriculum and the school’s operational practices. In 2007, Kendall was the recipient of the Green Award presented by Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI), the first every presented to a culinary-training program. In 2008, with his leadership, Kendall expanded its sustainability commitment to provide education on this critical issue to the broader foodservice industry. In 2009, the school was named the official educational partner of the National Restaurant Association Conserve Environmental Initiative. Kendall is the only culinary school in the U.S. to receive Certified Green Restaurant status from the Green Restaurant Association for both the Dining Room and Cafeteria.
Koetke began cooking professionally in 1982, and has worked in some of the world’s finest kitchens, including French restaurants Pavilion Elysees, Pierre Gagnaire, Taillevent, and Pierre Orsi. He is a certified executive chef and certified culinary educator by the American Culinary Federation. In 2009, he was named the Cooking Teacher of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. He is the host of the Emmy-nominated cooking show “Let’s Dish” on the Live Well HD network and co-author of the award-winning The Culinary Professional (Goodheart-Willcox Publishers, 2010), a comprehensive introductory high-school culinary-arts textbook. In February 2010, the Foodservice Educators Network International (FENI) honored him with its inaugural Award for Excellence in Culinary Education. He is currently a contributing editor to Flavor and the Menu magazine.
Koetke earned a B.A. from Valparaiso University and an M.B.A. from Dominican University. In 2011, he was honored as the Outstanding Alum from the Brennan School of Business of Dominican University. He is a member of the board of the American Culinary Federation Foundation Accrediting Commission, the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the International Food Editorial Council, the Dairy Board Innovation Center and the Conserve Action Council of the National Restaurant Association. He is also a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, National Restaurant Association, International Food Editorial Council, Les Disciples d’Escoffier, and Chaine des Rotisseurs.
In 2005, he launched the schools sustainability program that, today, is woven throughout the curriculum and the school’s operational practices. In 2007, Kendall was the recipient of the Green Award presented by Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI), the first every presented to a culinary-training program. In 2008, with his leadership, Kendall expanded its sustainability commitment to provide education on this critical issue to the broader foodservice industry.
Chef Koetke is a well-known expert on culinary matters and is a sought after speaker at conferences both nationally and internationally. In 2010, he was given the inaugural Chefs Collaborative Pathfinder Award his work in making sustainability mainstream both within foodservice operations and education.