Environmentally friendly dining at Kendall College

Kendall College was recently named the first culinary school in the United States to operate a certified green restaurant. And from the kitchen to the restaurant tables, it's easy to see why.

You can see it in a small garden, planted, nurtured and picked by students.

"If there's any class that I'm in that I have an opportunity to come out to the garden and utilize products that we've grown here ourselves, it's so rewarding and fulfilling," said Melissa Kawaguchi, senior, Kendall College. "It's completely incredible."

You can also see it in the gourmet dishes -- which incorporate much of the students' home-grown produce.

With touches in the infrastructure like energy-efficient lighting in the dining room and low-flow faucets and composting bins in the kitchen, the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts is unmistakably green. Nonetheless, Dean Christopher Koetke says teaching sustainability to the next generation of chefs is what really makes them green.

"When students start at Kendall, within the first week they're learning about this whole sustainability piece and it starts actually with composting, with garbage what do you do in the kitchen, and then it grows and what's neat is it's woven throughout the curriculum," said Koetke.

They're going to learn about things like food miles. How far did that food travel and is that an issue? They're going to learn about sustainable fishing practices and which fish you buy and shouldn't you buy and why.

Chef Peggy Ryan supervises the kitchen and teaches one of the core sustainability courses.

"We buy a lot of food and we want to make sure that what we're buying is something that morally we can live with and we want to make sure that students understand they can make those moral decisions," said Ryan.

The lessons are definitely having an impact.

"I've learned so much that I'm actually going to gear my career around being sustainable," said Kawaguchi

Kendall College's green certification was granted by the Green Restaurant Association.

For more information on other local eateries that have been deemed green, please visit www.dinegreen.com.

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