Chef Certification Is Valuable.

July 26, 2010

Dear All,

I would say the best place for me to do some thinking (other than the kitchen) is when I get to spend a week at home. I’ve been able to catch up on mail and really think about what our company is doing from a culinary perspective. We have a tough job as chefs, but I think Delaware North does a great job at the end of the day.

One of best things our company does is require all chefs to be professionally certified. Anyone can wear an apron that says, “Kiss Me I’m a Chef.” It’s another thing to earn it through a professional organization like the American Culinary Federation. There are many different levels of certification: Certified Sous Chef, Certified Pastry Chef and my favorite – Certified Master Chef, just to name a few. Read about how they are different here.

It’s not easy to earn certification. Chefs must pass tough tests and prepare for months in advance. One of my biggest jobs as Corporate Chef is helping our “up and comers” get ready for these tests.

In the end, it’s worth it. It helps these chefs professionally and it goes a long way to ensure our culinary teams are preparing the best food possible. To my knowledge, we’re the only company that requires all our chefs to earn these certifications.

It’s back to the road next week. I will blog again soon.

In Good Cooking Always,

Chef Roland Henin, CMC

Massachusetts Avenue Project in Buffalo.

July 23, 2010

I am at home for a few days cleaning off my desk, checking off my to do list and planning my schedule for more trips around the country. It’s going to be a busy end to summer as I plan to work with many chefs on their CCC testing, begin preparing for the Culinary Olympics in 2012 and continue to oversee our day-to-day operations.

There is one event in early August I am very excited about. Delaware North Companies has begun a partnership with the Massachusetts Avenue Project and its Growing Green Program in Buffalo, NY. This program helps local school kids learn about healthy food and how they can help the Buffalo community through farming, healthy nutrition, and taking care of their environment. This is a very important issue and I’m proud of our company for teaming up with it. Kids need to learn the importance of eating healthy. It’s an important part of our lives.

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Going to Culinary Olympics 2012!

July 20, 2010
Hello All,

I am proud to tell everyone that Delaware North Companies has decided to send a team to the 2012 Culinary 2008 Culinary OlympicsOlympics. Those of you who are familiar with the company may remember our first trip to the international culinary competition last year. I helped coach a team of chefs including Kevin Doherty, Scott Green, Tab Daulton, Ambarish Lulay and Rick Ortiz to a strong showing. We collected two silver medals, a bronze medal and two diplomas – we proved we had the “chops” to belong. You can read all the details and stories about our last trip here.

I am very excited that I’ll be able to help another team of our chefs in 2012. We’re currently searching for the best and the brightest to be on our Culinary Olympics team. While the actual competition requires about a week in Erfurt, Germany – the training a chef must work through requires weeks and months. It is a long haul and only the strong chefs should take the challenge. I have coached chefs in several culinary competitions and I can tell you that the Culinary Olympics is one of the most grueling. Whoever is on our final team will work through the hardest culinary challenge of their lives. But, this is what makes us better chefs. That is why we do it.

I’m definitely excited to be going back to the Culinary Olympics. I live for the opportunity to work with new chefs and help them grow. I am very proud Delaware North has such a strong commitment to the culinary arts. Sending a team requires a big commitment of time, money and resources. It will impact many, many people on the culinary side of our business. But, in the end, we will be better chefs and a better company for doing it. Food is the backbone of our business. And I’m proud that we spend so much time and energy investing in the people who make it great – our chefs.

Alright, back to work, back to work.

In Good Cooking Always,

Chef Roland Henin, CMC

Delaware North and the NBA Finals.

July 7, 2010

Hello All,

I recently spoke with Delaware North’s Sportservice Regional Executive Chef Kevin Doherty aboTD Garden Exteriorut everything that happened at TD Garden during the NBA Finals. I know most people were worried about what was happening on the courts, but our team had much business in the kitchen.

Chef Kevin told me before each of the games, our Sportservice chefs prepared hors d’oeuvres for an NBA VIP party in Banners, one of the restaurants in the arena. Our chefs handled client requests for everything from tofu dogs in a blanket to Boston-themed desserts. According to Chef Kevin, one of the league’s highest ranking officials said “it was the best VIP party food ever.” However, he said he could tell the food was a big hit because of how much the attendees enjoyed it.

Chef Kevin Doherty @ TD GardenI didn’t get much more information other than our food and beverage operations were a big hit. I know Chef Kevin and his team made some delicious desserts including Boston cream pie, toll-house cookies and molasses hermitas.
I will admit I don’t know much about basketball, but I do wish I could have made it to TD Garden during the NBA Finals.

Anyway, back to work for me. I have some proposals and a trip to Milwaukee to work on over the next week.

In Good Cooking Always,

Chef Roland Henin, CMC