Jean Yves Vendeville, department chair and instructor at Savannah Technical College, received the American Culinary Federation 2014 Chef Educator of the Year Award and $5,000 during the ACF National Convention held in Kansas City, Mo.
“This is the highest honor I have received in my 50-year-plus culinary career,” said Vendeville. “As an educator, I want my students to be convinced that there is opportunity in the culinary industry to accomplish their goals and to succeed when they leave. My students know this and are inspired by it.”
The ACF Chef Educator of the Year Award, established in 1998, pays tribute to an active culinary educator whose knowledge, skills and expertise have enhanced the image of the professional chef, and who, by example, has given leadership, guidance and direction to students seeking a career in the culinary profession. This person demonstrates the ability to help students define and develop their careers by using their skills and abilities to provide a strong foundation for their future success.
“For my students to be successful in the culinary arts is only part of my goal. I want them to learn from me and perhaps someday surpass me as leaders and innovators, entrepreneurs and instructors,” said Vendeville. “I can best accomplish these goals as an educator at Savannah Technical College and with the ACF, where I have the support and structure for success.”
First, colleagues nominated chef educators for the regional award. Then, the four ACF regional winners competed for the national award during the ACF National Convention. Each of the chef educators had 50 minutes to present a lecture and a demonstration for a panel of ACF-approved judges and attendees on either a plated entree or dessert, which included preparation of two portions of the item.
In his presentation, Vendeville demonstrated how to plate both a hot and cold dessert, choosing a white chocolate and rhubarb soufflé with Grand Marnier sabayon and strawberry/rhubarb sorbet as his examples.
He taught by first outlining the objectives of the lesson and then exploring the four cornerstones of plating: flavor, texture, temperature and contrast. His step-by-step demonstration included verbal and visual instruction, as well as audience participation.
Vendeville, an ACF-certified executive pastry chef, has served as department chair and instructor at Savannah Technical College since 2008.
Born in France, Vendeville received his culinary education in his home country and in Canada.
His experience includes executive pastry chef, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, Toronto; executive pastry chef, Ritz-Carlton Montréal, Montreal; coordinator of baking and pastry program, George Brown College, Toronto; and executive chef/senior core faculty, New England Culinary Institute, Montpelier, Vermont. Vendeville coaches Savannah Technical College student teams that compete in ACF-sanctioned culinary competitions.
His accolades and awards include a 2012 ACF President’s Medallion and 2012 Technical College System of Georgia Instructor of the Year. In 2012, Vendeville was also named Chapter Chef Educator of the Year by ACF Chefs of the Low Country.