Des Moines Central Campus retired Culinary Arts Instructor Elaine Wolf has been named Iowa’s 2014 ProStart® Educator of Excellence by the Iowa Restaurant Association Education Foundation. ProStart is a comprehensive high school curriculum that teaches both culinary and hospitality management skills, and is currently taught in 23 Iowa high schools.
Wolf’s resume reads like a menu of achievements from institutional food to fine dining to teaching. She introduced the ProStart Program into Des Moines Central Campus in 2004, making the school the second Iowa high school to integrate ProStart into the curriculum.
Raising Funds Beside Local Chefs
Wolf’s determination to see her students succeed drove her to apply for grants to remodel the school’s 1950’s kitchen. $100,000 later, Des Moines Central Campus began construction on new culinary classrooms. Wolf retired at the end of 2013 and leaves a strong classroom and competitive program.
Case in point, to help fun their competitions, Wolf and her students partnered with local chef and now Wolf’s successor Chef John Andres to host biannual dinners for the public at Bŏs Restaurant in the Renaissance Savery Hotel.
May Schaben, executive director of the Iowa Restaurant Association Education Foundation, said of Wolf, “She has been a manager, coach, cheerleader, advisor and mentor to her students throughout the years. Her passion for the culinary arts and dedication to her students made Wolf an obvious choice for this award.”
The Iowa Restaurant Association Education Foundation
The Iowa Restaurant Association Education Foundation exists to create and promote awareness of hospitality as a professional career path and to strengthen and improve the educational offerings, opportunities and services for the advancement of the restaurant and retail beverage industries in the state of Iowa.
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