Managing Director of School of Culinary Arts, Inducted into Les Dames d’Escoffier International
Commitment to excellence, personal achievement and depth of character contributed to membership in society of women leaders in food, beverage and hospitality.
CHICAGO, July 12, 2010 – Renee Zonka, RD, CEC, CHE, managing director and associate dean of the School of Culinary Arts at Kendall College, has been inducted into the Chicago chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI), an organization of woman leaders in the food, beverage and hospitality industry.
Induction into LDEI is by invitation only. Named for legendary French chef, restaurateur and culinary writer Georges Auguste Escoffier, Les Dames d’Escoffier inspires women to develop their leadership skills in culinary professions.
LDEI, established in 1986 and based in Louisville, Ky., has more than 1,500 members in 27 chapters across the United States and Canada. Through chapter fund-raising efforts, nearly $4 million has been awarded in grants and scholarships and other philanthropic endeavors that support women in their career goals and provide funding for community-based services.
“Kendall College is extremely proud that Renee has achieved the distinction of membership in such a venerable and prestigious society as Les Dames d’Escoffier,” said Christopher Koetke, MBA, CEC, CCE, dean of the School of Culinary Arts and vice president, culinary arts, of Laureate International Universities network. “Being selected for induction speaks to the excellence she exhibits daily in her roles as a culinarian, educator and dietitian, as well as her generous commitment to assisting others realize their dreams.”
Zonka holds a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition from Loyola University in Chicago and an M.B.A. from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. Prior to joining Kendall College in 2007 as associate dean, she was a lecturing instructor at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and a chef instructor at the Illinois Institute of Art—Chicago. She was promoted to managing director of Kendall’s School of Culinary Arts in April 2010, retaining her role as associate dean.
Zonka was named Registered Young Dietitian of the Year by the American Dietetic Association and Educator of the Year by the ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians. She is a Certified Hospitality Educator through the American Hotel and Lodging Association and a Certified Executive Chef through the American Culinary Federation. In 2009, she launched a nutrition concentration in the School of Culinary Arts’ bachelor’s program at Kendall College. Zonka is a regular consultant and speaker and in demand as an author on topics that promote the critical relationship between culinary and nutrition.
About Kendall College’s School of Culinary Arts
Founded in 1985, the School of Culinary Arts at Kendall College is among the premier culinary-training programs in the United States, offering associate and bachelor’s degrees and certificates in culinary arts as well as associate degrees and certificates in baking and pastry. The school occupies a stunning “Riverworks” campus near downtown Chicago. The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission has accredited the Culinary Arts Associate program since 1988 and the Baking & Pastry Associate program since 2008. Kendall, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2009, also operates Schools of Hospitality Management, Business and Education. Kendall College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, www.ncahlc.org, 1-312-263-0456. Kendall College is a member of the Laureate International Universities network.