Chef Jean-Yves Vendeville to be honored at 14th annual Opportunity Award Gala Dec. 1

Chef Jean Gala Announcement

Chef Jean-Yves Vendeville, department head of the Culinary Institute at Savannah Technical College, will be honored at the 14th annual Opportunity Award Gala, December 1, 2017. The event, hosted by the Savannah Technical College Foundation, honors deserving civic leaders in our community for a lifetime of service in creating and enhancing opportunities for others to succeed.

This year, the STC Foundation honors Vendeville for his leadership and commitment to improving the quality of life in Savannah. From more than doubling enrollment for culinary students to developing a baking and pastry program for the state of Georgia to earning the top educator in the U.S. by the American Culinary Federation (ACF), he has created opportunities for others in the Savannah area and beyond.

In June 2017, Vendeville received the French academic palms, the oldest non-military honor given by his home country, France. This high honor is similar to being knighted. His ceremony to receive the palms will take place at the Gala on December 1. French Academic Palms recognize those who have rendered eminent service to French education and have contributed actively to the prestige of French culture.  For those who are named to and promoted in the Order of the French Academic Palms (l’Ordre des Palmes académiques), this esteemed distinction acknowledges their merits, talents, and exemplary activities.  He will henceforth be known as Chevalier De L’ Ordre Des Palmes Academiques.

In 2014, Vendeville earned the high honor of winning ACF Chef Educator of the Year at its national convention after being named top Chef Educator of the Southeast Region. In July 2016, he was inducted into the ACF honor society, the American Academy of Chefs.

He was named 2012 Instructor of the Year by the Technical College System of Georgia and 2012 Chef Educator of the Year by the Low Country Chapter of the ACF. He has led student teams to win four ACF Southeast Regional Championships – in 2010 in the Hot Food Team competition and back-to-back wins in the Knowledge Bowl competition in 2011 and 2012 and recently in 2015.

At the 2012 ACF Southeastern Regional Conference, Chef Vendeville received the top ACF award – the President’s Medallion. This award is the ultimate honor for a lifetime of commitment and service to the standards and excellence ACF exemplifies. He has achieved his ACF Lifetime Certification as an Executive Pastry Chef and holds a Lifetime Certification as an Executive Chef from the Chef Association of America.

The Culinary Institute of Savannah ACF-accredited culinary arts program has been described as the “best in the U.S.A” by its ACF accreditation review board. According to his committee chair, the Culinary Institute of Savannah, offering ACF-accredited diploma and degree programs in culinary arts, has gone “well over and above the standards and expectations for a technical college teaching facility.” The committee recommended that the program receive the maximum accreditation time of seven years, when the average is three years.

The event gathers 300 community and civic leaders for a celebratory evening honoring a special individual. The evening also showcases the talents of students enrolled in Savannah Technical College’s award-winning Culinary Arts programs. Proceeds go to support the Savannah Technical College Foundation. Past recipients include: Former Governor Zell Miller, Arnold Tenenbaum, Judge Griffin Bell, Tom Coleman, Dick Eckburg, Arthur M. Gignilliat, Jr., Bob and Alice Jepson, Howard Morrison and Stratton Leopold.

The Opportunity Award Gala is a fundraiser for the Savannah Technical College Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization that raises funds to support Savannah Technical College. For ticket and sponsorship information, contact Gail Eubanks or 912.443.3022.


#1806 |  September 15, 2017
Foundation Contact: Gail Eubanks
912.443.3022 or

Culinary Arts/Public Services Academic Advisor: Amber Robinson
912.443.5719 or

Media Contact: Amy Shaffer, APR
912.443.5512 or

Savannah Technical College serves Coastal Georgia with quality, market-driven technical education with campus locations in Chatham, Effingham and Liberty Counties. Serving more than 10,000 credit and non-credit students annually, Savannah Tech offers nearly 150 different instructional programs in Aviation Technology, Business and Professional Services, Industrial Technology, and Health Sciences in addition to Adult Education classes, industry-specific training and continuing education. The College serves as an economic and community development partner for the region, offering corporate and customized training and assessment programs for business and industry.

Savannah Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates of credit. Questions about the accreditation of Savannah Technical College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (