Chef Jean-Yves Vendeville: TCSG Instructor of the Year 2012

Savannah Technical College’s (STC) Culinary Arts Department Head and instructor Chef Jean-Yves Vendeville is the Technical College System of Georgia’s (TCSG) Instructor of the Year for 2012.

TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson made the announcements during a banquet for the system’s top instructors and best students at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel in Atlanta on April 26, 2012. He presented Vendeville with the Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction and a $1,000 check.

“Jean-Yves is so very deserving of the award as the Technical College System of Georgia’s 2012 Instructor of the Year,” said Jackson. “His dedication to instruction and his passion for the field of culinary arts has positively impacted the lives of so very many students at Savannah Technical College. I join with his colleagues from throughout the Technical College System of Georgia in congratulating him on this outstanding honor, and we thank him for his strong commitment to technical education.”

Judging for the Rick Perkins Award starts at each college and is followed by a regional competition. At the statewide level, six finalists are interviewed by a panel of judges representing business, industry and higher education in Georgia. The selection criteria include teaching experience and innovative learning techniques, leadership and community involvement, and a strong commitment to the technical education mission of the TCSG.

“Chef Vendeville has brought his international experiences, including his specialties of pastries and desserts making, into the classroom and continues to convey the art of professional culinary techniques to his students. His leadership abilities are not only confined to his classroom and industry relationships. He has established an outstanding rapport with the culinary communities in our service area,” said Dr. Kathy Love.

The Perkins Award honors technical education’s most outstanding instructors. The award has been an ongoing statewide program since 1991 and the recipients are technical college instructors who make significant contributions to technical education through innovation and leadership in their fields.

Under Vendeville’s leadership, the enrollment for the culinary arts program has increased 130 percent since 2008. Now, there are more than 200 enrolled with new classes offered. This spring he opened another teaching kitchen in Effingham, Ga. Vendeville has assembled a top-notch team of faculty, who has each earned national American Culinary Federation (ACF) certification under his leadership. He has embedded many aspects of sustainability into the program including an on-campus organic vegetable garden, an herb garden, and a composting site.

“That the students be successful in the culinary arts field is part of my goal,” said Vendeville. “That the students learn from me and perhaps someday even surpass me as leaders and innovators, entrepreneurs and instructors in the culinary profession is the rest of my mission. I can best accomplish that here, at Savannah Technical College, where I have support and the structure for success.”

According to his committee chair, the Culinary Institute of Savannah, offering ACF-accredited diploma and degree programs in culinary arts, is the “best in the U.S.A.,” and it 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.

Vendeville was recently named Chef Educator of the Year by the Low Country Chapter of the ACF. He has led student teams to two consecutive ACF Southeast Regional Championships – in 2010 in the Hot Food Team competition and in 2011 in the Knowledge Bowl competition. Vendeville recently achieved his ACF Lifetime Certification as an Executive Pastry Chef. He also holds a Lifetime Certification as an Executive Chef from the Chef Association of America.

He is developing his first book, entitled Croquembouche: The Art and Technique. His book will focus on pastry and desserts, prepared in traditional French technique. It will include 250 color photographs and recipes of his creations. His book is slated for publishing this year by Taylor and Francis of London and will be distributed internationally.

Additional STC Rick Perkins Award nominees include: Roberta Richards (Adult Education), Susan Pinkston (Business and Technology), Lester Wiggins (Industrial Technology) and Asha Anumolu (Health Services).

The state Perkins Award winner serves as an ambassador for technical education in Georgia and must have made significant contributions to technical education through innovation and leadership in his or her field of instruction. The winner must also exemplify excellence and a commitment to the mission of the TCSG. The winner of this award will carry the title of the TCSG Instructor of the Year and is announced during the annual GOAL program.