Christopher Koetke, M.B.A., C.E.C., C.C.E., H.A.A.C., is vice president of culinary arts for Laureate International Universities, and vice president of the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts, in Chicago, where he is responsible for strategic leadership of culinary arts programs throughout the Laureate network.
Chris served as dean of Kendall College’s School of Culinary Arts from 2005 to 2011. 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 ever 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 2010, he was given the inaugural Chefs Collaborative Pathfinder Award his work in making sustainability mainstream both within foodservice operations and education.
Chris began cooking professionally in 1982, and has worked in some of the world’s finest kitchens and pastry shops, in France, Switzerland, the USA. He is a certified executive chef and certified culinary educator by the American Culinary Federation. He is an honorary member of the American Academy of Chefs. In 2009, he was named the Cooking Teacher of the Year by the Chicago chapter of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. In 2013, he was awarded Illinois FCCLA’s Distinguished Service Award. He is the host of the Midwest Emmy-nominated cooking show “Let’s Dish” on the Live Well 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.
Chris 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. In 2013, he received an alumni achievement award from Valparaiso University. In 2014, he received the national FCCLA distinguished service award. He is the chair of the American Culinary Federation Foundation Accrediting Commission. He has served as a board member of the International Food Editorial Council, Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the Dairy Board Innovation Center and the Conserve Action Council of the National Restaurant Association. He is also a member of the American Culinary Federation, Research Chef Association, National Restaurant Association, International Food Editorial Council, Les Disciples d’Escoffier, and Chaine des Rotisseurs where he is the regional vice culinaire.
Chris is a well-known expert on culinary matters and is a sought after speaker at conferences both nationally and internationally. In addition, he regularly consults for a wide range of foodservice entities and is a regular contributor to Flavor and the Menu magazine and the Chicago Tribune.
Laureate Culinary Center of Excellence