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The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Indian Spices

The complex and fragrant dishes Indian cuisine is known for can be quite intimidating,Indian Spices - Easy Indian Recipes even for accomplished chefs. If you’re ready to try your hand at some of your favorite Indian dishes first buy a reliable cookbook with a variety of easy Indian food recipes.

Leave the more complicated dishes for after you’ve mastered the elements of Indian cooking. There’s no need to travel to a local Indian market to find the right spices – simply shop for these main ingredients to start:

  • Turmeric – Turmeric provides a host of health benefits: turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and an antibacterial. Not to mention that turmeric increases the antioxidant capacity of your entire body! The strong color that you probably associate with Indian food is due to the turmeric present in nearly all curry powder. Turmeric should be considered as a base spice that blends well with other spices and complements most anything you’d add to an Indian dish.
  • Cumin – The distinct earthy flavor of cumin is prevalent in many classic Indian dishes. Many yogurt-based sides can be brought to life by adding a dash of cumin to bring out a nuttiness and depth that otherwise might be missing. The unmistakable brown seeds and intense smoky fragrances that accompany them are a staple of any kitchen where Indian food is prepared. For the most concentrated flavor make use of cumin in your dishes right after grinding the seeds.
  • Coriander – The gentle golden coriander seeds are arguably the oldest known spice in the world, and ground coriander is used as the base spice for countless Indian spice mixes.  Coriander boasts a refreshing zing of citrus-y lemon flavor to balance out more intense spices. Coriander, like cumin, should be dry-roasted for the richest flavor profile. You can eat coriander seeds by themselves as a digestive or as a mouth refresher.
  • Mustard Seed – Mustard seeds are very aromatic, used in a range of dishes to flavor anything from vegetables and pickles to coconuts. Mustard oil is commonly used in North India in the kitchen as a general substitute for vegetable oil. Don’t be confused when you go to the store – black, yellow, or brown mustard seeds can be used interchangeably. Mustard seeds pack a punch: they’re great sources of magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and omega-2 fatty acids.
  • Clove – Cloves are technically flowers, and if you decide to incorporate clove into one of your first Indian dishes flavor with caution: clove can overpower more subtle spices if you’re too excessive. The high concentration of essential oils within clove gives the spice an almost medicinal flavor. While you may not use whole clove in your recipes you’ll find that clove serves as a central ingredient for many Indian spice mixes. After a quick trip to your neighborhood grocer you can be preparing your first Indian dish.

Interested in learning more? incorporated into exciting Check out all the exciting recreational classes offered at Kendall to master several regional cooking styles.

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Kendall’s Incubator Helps Students Hatch Their Own Businesses

Rob Watson directs Kendall’s Business Incubator. After earning his MBA in Marketing, Rob worked for nine years in marketing and product management for the entertainment, music and medical technology industries. Rob joined the Kendall faculty in 2012 and won the Kendall College Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2014. He contributes significantly to Kendall through teaching, course development, training, and mentoring of both students and colleagues.

In this interview, Rob talks about how Kendall’s Rob WatsonBusiness Incubator helps students develop their innovations and manifest them in the world.

Kendall: What is a business incubator, anyway?
Rob Watson: You can think of an incubator as a type of business that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their own businesses. Kendall’s Business Incubator teaches students a new and scientific way to solve problems, and it provides structure and methodology around entrepreneurship.

K: Who uses Kendall’s Business Incubator, and for what purposes?
RW: Anyone who is a member of the Kendall family—students, faculty, staff and alumni—can use the Incubator. The Incubator provides physical space for working and holding meetings. It connects students with professional expertise and other resources within the Chicago food and beverage community. The Incubator also provides capital financing for doing everything from creating prototypes to incorporating and launching a business.

K: What is the Incubator workspace like?
RW: The workspace is a classroom that has been transformed into a creative space. Think of it as study hall for entrepreneurs. We use it for holding one-on-one coaching sessions, filming promotional videos, hosting business plan competition meetings, and running workshops.
Kendall College Incubator
K: Incubators are popping up at colleges across the country. What makes Kendall’s unique?
RW: The expertise we have in the building! Whereas most incubators are public facing, we want to concentrate on our own talent. So our program is only for the Kendall community. Also, we’ve narrowed our focus to the culinary arts, hospitality, sustainability, small retail operations and similarly aligned businesses, which makes us unique. Most incubators focus on the sciences, like software or bioengineering. Our Incubator makes Kendall a school of choice for entrepreneurs.

K: Why was it important for Kendall to develop the Incubator?
RW: I believe that all colleges have a responsibility to foster entrepreneurship because small businesses stimulate the country’s economy. With so many entrepreneurial students at Kendall, it’s our mission to provide the skills, mentorship, capital and preparation those students need to launch a business. We hope to grow and enhance the entrepreneurial spirit of our students, faculty, staff and alumni by creating a Kendall ecosystem within the Chicago small business community.

K: Since the Incubator’s launch in Fall 2016, how has our community responded?
RW: I asked students and faculty to come to me if they had an idea—and they have been knocking my door down. I had no idea what I was getting myself into!

Students aren’t looking to start just any business. They know what they want to do—but they lack the experience and expertise to begin. Through our industry partners, The Hatchery and FamilyFarmed, we connect our students to the professional community and to resources to figure out how to get started, launch, or keep going.

K: How do they get started?
RW: Well, say a student wants to create and market a barbecue sauce. The first step is market research. What’s out there now? And what are the prices? You have to look before you leap and understand what makes your product unique. Next, it’s all about understanding your business model and choosing to move forward with your product.

Launching the Incubator has shown me, again and again, the depth of experience we have at Kendall. If you’re considering a food business, no matter what your niche is, we have an expert who can help you get started. Expert coaching is built into our model.

K: Once students have incubated their idea, what happens?
RW: After the student has completed a substantial amount of research on their business, our industry partners get involved. Our entrepreneurs are paired with leaders at The Hatchery and FamilyFarmed, and when they are ready to prototype their products, they pitch their ideas to the partner. If their ideas are accepted, the partner helps commercialize the business concept by offering guidance on intellectual property laws, prototyping, product testing and validation, financing, licensing, supply chain issues, marketing, social media, and more.

We also emphasize information sharing. The goal is to create a community of entrepreneurs who support one another, share their contacts and resources, and help fuel one another’s ventures. This is what I mean by “ecosystem.” In the long term, we hope that alumni who have gone through this program will return to contribute to the program as speakers and mentors. We have a unique opportunity in Chicago, and I look forward to seeing all the fruit this program bears.

K: What about students who don’t want to own a business—is the Incubator useful to them?
RW: Even if you aren’t an entrepreneur, you’re an “intrapreneur,” which means you still have to understand all the moving parts of the business and how they integrate. The skillset is no different. You need to understand cash flow, how to manage people and how to create awareness about your business. We’ll give you those really important skills and help you learn to build a business from scratch—and to manage it holistically.

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From the Kitchens at Kendall College: Barramundi Tacos

Barramundi Tacos with Asian Slaw & Sesame Yogurt

A recipe from Chef Christopher Koetke.Koetke

Yield: 8 tacos

These tacos take advantage of a sustainably produced fish that’s growing in popularity. Meanwhile, a traditional fish taco gets a cooling Asian twist within a hot tortilla.

1 lb. barramundi fillets
¼ t. salt
¼ t. Chinese 5-spice seasoning
2 finely minced green onions
2 t. finely minced ginger
2 t. roasted sesame oil
3 T. plain yogurt
3 T. tahini
2 t. soy sauce
Flour for dredging
2 T. vegetable oil
Asian Slaw (recipe follows) or other Asian pickles
8 6” corn or flour tortillas
Cilantro leaves as needed
Pickled ginger for garnish


  1. Place the barramundi fillets on a plate with a deep well or in a wide, shallow bowl. Sprinkle the salt, 5-spice, green onion and ginger over the fillets. Drizzle the sesame oil over the fillets and rub in the seasonings. Cover the fillets and let them marinate in the refrigerator for up to three hours.
  2. To make the sesame-soy yogurt sauce, in a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, tahini and soy sauce. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator until needed.
  3. Dredge the barramundi fillets in flour.
  4. In a sauté pan, heat the vegetable oil until hot. (Add an additional tablespoon of oil if needed.) Sauté the fillets, turning over once, until both sides are crisp and the fish is cooked through. Remove the fillets from the pan and place on paper towels. Once cool enough to handle, break the fillets into small pieces.
  5. If using a gas stove, heat the tortillas over a burner over low flame until hot and charred, flipping once to char both sides. (You may also use an outdoor grill.) If using an electric stove, heat the tortillas in a dry (not nonstick) frying pan or griddle, flipping once.
  6. In the center of each tortilla, place a dollop of yogurt sauce and spread it out evenly toward the tortilla’s edge. Divide the barramundi evenly among the four tortillas, placing the fish in a line down the center of each. For each taco, top the barramundi with Asian Slaw and crown with fresh cilantro. Fold the tortillas and plate tacos with slices of pickled ginger on the side.

Asian Slaw
¾ c. water
½ c. sugar
½ c. white vinegar
½ t. salt
¼ t. red chili flakes
1 c. julienned daikon radish
1 c. julienned carrot

Hint: Julienne is a culinary knife cut in which the food item is cut into long thin strips.

In a pot, bring the water, sugar, vinegar, salt and chili flakes to a boil. Remove from heat. Add the daikon and carrot. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours and up to 48 hours. When ready to serve, drain the water from the vegetables. Enjoy!

Recipe developed by Christopher Koetke, CEC, CCE, HAAC, vice president of strategy and industry relations at Kendall College.

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5 Classic Desserts Every Baker Should Perfect

If you have a sweet tooth and a passion for baking you’re already aware of the sheer varietyheidi-hedeker of pastries and other delicious desserts that can become a part of a baker’s repertoire. When dreaming of opening your own bakery it’s important to balance your unique vision with a read on what your customers will want to buy.

Becoming a hit is easy when you serve reliable dessert staples. Kendall Baking and Pastry Chef Instructor, Heidi Hedeker, provides her expert tips on how to master classic desserts every baker worth his or her dough should perfect:

Chocolate Chip Cookies: When tentative customers get nervous or indecisive the most popular fallback for American shoppers is the quintessential chocolate chip cookie. If you offer your version of the classic recipe, you’ll have a menu item for every shopper. Combining vanilla-flavored dough with mini chocolate morsels is a surefire crowd-pleaser. You’ll find innumerable variations of this recipe online, but the catch is making it your own.

Heidi’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Pro Tips:

  • Tip 1 — By making the dough a day before, the glutens relax and the cookies are noticeably more tender and chewy.  A recent taste test of the best chocolate chip cookies in New York City discovered that the highest-ranking cookies on their list all had been mixed the day before.  By the way, the taste panel voted Jacques Torres’ cookies as the best in that city.
  • Tip 2 — Using a mixture of brown sugar and white enhances the chewiness (this comes from the molasses present in the brown sugar) as well as the crispness (from the caramelization of white sugar in the oven as the cookies bake).  If you want chewier cookies, use all brown sugar.  For crisper cookies, use white sugar.

Pie: Pie is as important as a social tradition as it is a dessert. Pies are must-buys for families reuniting for Thanksgiving and, really, for any large gatherings. Popular variants include apple, cherry, pecan, pumpkin, key lime, and blueberry pie, but when choosing your recipes pick something that complements your overall bakery taste profile.

Heidi’s Pie Baking Pro Tips:

  • Tip 1 — If you are making a cooked fruit filling for your pies, be sure to cool or chill the filling before placing it into the unbaked pie shell.   The heat from a warm filling will melt and compress fats in the pie dough, ruining any flakiness.
  • Tip 2 — Even for fruit pies, it is a great idea to prebake the shells slightly before filling the pies.   Former White House pastry chef Bill Yosses was known for this trick, and President Obama called him the ‘crust master’ for his great pies.

Brownies: Yes, you read that right! While not every bakery keeps brownies on their regular menu, you should consider it: brownies have a strong history in America and have an enduring popularity in every region. Of course, combining ingredients and putting your own spin on a classic recipe is what gets your bakery’s name out in the public eye.

Heidi’s Brownie Baking Pro Tips:

  • Tip 1 — Always chill brownies before cutting.   The chocolate in the dough will firm up, so that you can get precise cuts.   Also, this means that if you under bake them slightly, the chocolate will remain chewy — and delicious — when cold.   Make sure to flip them out of the pan first, though — if you try to cut brownies in the pan, the butter usually has firmed up and sealed the brownies to the pan, making it almost impossible to remove them.
  • Tip 2 — Any scraps from cutting and trimming brownies can be used as a mix-in or topping to make a very lovely ice cream dessert or –even better — can be baked into a cheesecake.

Doughnuts: Fresh and fluffy doughnuts are what many workers look forward to in the morning – attract the early-riser crowd with some strong coffee and delectable doughnuts. Many shoppers are fine with a basic glazed doughnut, but if you run your own establishment chances are you’ll want to offer something more dynamic.

Heidi’s Doughnut Baking Pro Tips:

  • Tip 1 — Place shaped, unfried donuts on parchment into the freezer until semi-hard before dropping them into the hot oil or fat.  They’ll keep their shape perfectly, and the parchment will separate away from the frying donuts, floating off as the donuts get crisp.
  • Tip 2 — Test the heat of your frying oil by dropping a few sprinkles of water onto the hot fat.  It should ‘spark’ and create small ‘explosions’ of fat, which indicates it is hot enough to fry in.  Remember that the fat is a heat conductor just like air currents in a convection oven — this means that the temperatures you will be frying in are directly related to oven temperatures.  For example, most cookies bake at 375F.  Your fat temperature should be similar.

Cake: This goes without saying – every professional baker should know how to make a truly mouthwatering cake. Many bakeries build their brand around their specific offering of cakes. Really, choosing what kind of cake to make isn’t the issue. The true challenge is baking a cake that’s reliably moist, even after sitting out in a display for hours or even days.

Heidi’s Cake Baking Pro Tips:

  • Tip 1 — Make sure your cake has been baked and is cold before frosting and decorating!  This is crucially important.  Don’t wait until the day of Mom’s birthday to bake her cake.
  • Tip 2 — Cake flour is a very significant improvement for making cakes, rather than all-purpose flour.  Cake flour has a protein content of 6-8%, whereas all-purpose is usually about 10%, which results in a cake that has no height and is very dense and chewy.  Of course, knowing the best mixing methods for cakes is even more important!

An education in the Baking and Pastry Program at Kendall College will introduce newbies and veteran bakers to the techniques and mindsets necessary to succeed in the competitive field of baking. You won’t only master these recipes at Kendall – you’ll gain the intuition needed to craft complex and winning recipes throughout your career. Interested in pursuing a career in baking and pastry? Be sure to learn more about Kendall College’s Baking and Pastry Program

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Classroom Layout Ideas for Preschool Teachers

Teaching early childhood education is a truly rewarding calling – you not only need to be able to connect to children and help them build their educational base, you also need to stimulate their curiosity while providing a safe environment for play and exploration. Preschool Classroom LayoutThat’s a tall order.

Much has been written about the ideal classroom layout for children of every age, but even if you have your learning centers and classroom design down to a science there’s always room for experimentation. Here are some of our favorite fresh ideas for preschool classroom layouts and designs:

Classroom Layout Ideas for Preschool Teachers

  • If you have an outdoor space in your preschool classroom consider erecting a fun music wall. Instruments and tools can hang from string so eager minds always have something to use when they’re feeling the rhythm. Items you can hang for your preschoolers to make noise with: wind chimes, xylophone keys, a wire rack, a frying pan, and rotating bottles filled with pebbles. Get creative! Anything can be an instrument.
  • Make your preschool classroom layout as clean as possible by giving kids access to the sink after activities that can occasionally get messy. For example, keep your art table and your water/sand table (if you have them) right by the sink. This will allow students to explore without getting debris or splotches of color all over your pristine classroom.
  • If you have the materials and the time consider installing a reading loft in your classroom. Giving the students a bit of elevation from the ground and their own private area to read in removes them slightly from the action so they can focus on their reading development. Plus, if the loft is tall enough you can keep the library center underneath it.
  • Remove the stress from lining up by taping brightly colored, numbered dots along the floor of your classroom in a line. If each child in your classroom is assigned a number they won’t have to push and shove or run when asked to line up. What a blessing! Children’s numbers can be rotated throughout the year so those at the back of the line don’t feel left out. For a visual visit this page.
  • Get a read on the emotions of your shyer students by creating a feelings board. Create different sections on the board for emotions like “happy,” “angry,” “sad,” “excited,” and so on. Be sure to include a visual! Each child can put their nametag on the appropriate section as they come in, and as their moods change throughout the day. If a child suddenly is in the “angry” column you can investigate and see what’s troubling them. Here’s a reference if you’d like to make one of your own.

Of course, these are just starting points; use your creativity and your expertise to design a classroom with a great layout. These ideas will come easy to you after you’ve graduated from the Early Childhood Education program at Kendall College – click here to see how an ECE degree from Kendall can benefit your career.

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5 Common FAFSA Mistakes Students Make

Pursuing higher education is an integral component of securing your dream job, whether you aspire to own a booming bakery or concoct new gourmet dishes at a Michelin Three-Star restaurant. However, once you receive your admissions letter to Kendall College you still have plenty of work to do. Filling out your FAFSA is a crucial step to securing the most financial aid you can each year, and avoiding simple mistakes is important.

Make the most of your education by graduating with as little debt as possible. Follow our guide to learn how to fill out a FAFSA without making costly errors:

  • Waiting to File: Many students assume that if they file by the June deadline that they’ll receive whatever financial aid they qualify for, but this is not the case. There is a limited pool of federal aid and your amount can shrink the longer you wait. Submit your completed FAFSA as early as you can at the beginning of the year to receive more aid, suggests NBC News.
  • Not Creating a FSA ID First: In order to log in to many Department of Education websites (including you will need an FSA ID. Two facts to keep in mind: you and your parent will need to create separate IDs if you’re a dependent student. In addition, you should create your ID a few days before you intend to fill out your FAFSA according to the Department of Education. Once you register for an FSA ID you may not receive it for up to three days.
  • Paying Money: Filling out your FAFSA and submitting it online is completely free. If you’re asked for a method of payment before or after the process of filling out your FAFSA you are on the incorrect website, and potentially could have fallen victim to phishing fraud. The Department of Education recommends you always check that you’re on before proceeding.
  • Not Reporting Stepparents: Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is determined by the financial strength of the parents and guardians that will be expected to contribute to your education. If your custodial parent has remarried this includes your stepparent. NBC News advises all prospective students read the parent guidelines so you know exactly who to report in your case, as many students live in unique situations.
  • Leaving a Field Blank: Making one simple mistake on the FAFSA is all it takes for your eligibility to be in jeopardy. Don’t plan on filling out a portion of the FAFSA unless you have the time to fill out each field without being rushed. As Fastweb recommends, leave enough time to double-check each page of your FAFSA before you submit it. If a question does not apply to you insert a “0” instead of leaving the answer field blank.

The FAFSA website contains an in-depth Q&A so that students and parents know what to report. Do your research and follow these guidelines to submit a FAFSA that will help you obtain the strongest financial aid package. Don’t forget to check out our Tuition Assistance page to explore all the awards, scholarships, and tuition reductions available at Kendall College.

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Surprising Food Substitutions You Can Swap out in Your Kitchen

When you’re at home or in the classroom working on a new recipe, you may find yourself an hour into the process before realizing you’re missing a vital ingredient. But don’t fret – these common food substitutions will save your recipe without muddling the results. HereFood Substitutions are some of Kendall’s favorite kitchen substitutions that you can try today.

  • Baking powder substitutes – Running out of baking powder can seem insurmountable if you’re whipping up a batch of pastries – baking substitutes are notoriously difficult. However, just mix 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda with 3/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar for each teaspoon of baking powder you require.
  • Egg substitutes– Eggs are a vital component of many recipes, but there are multiple options for reliable substitutes. If you’re making cake batter, just go with 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise per egg. For a rising agent, substitute 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of water, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder.
  • Fresh herbs substitutes– If you find yourself out of a fresh herb that’s essential to a recipe you should substitute about half of the amount in dried herbs. For example, if your recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs, just use 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of the dried equivalent, since the flavor is more concentrated.
  • Veal substitutes– Unlike chicken or pork, veal is not a central component in many recipes. Unless you make a specific trip to stock up, you won’t find it in your kitchen. However, for recipes that require veal we recommend substituting pork loin or pork tenderloin, as the cooking times will be nearly identical.
  • Chili sauce substitutes – Completely out of versatile chili sauce? Just try this recipe instead: 1 cup of tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and just a dash of ground cloves and allspice.
  • Buttermilk substitutes– If your recipe calls for 1 cup of buttermilk but you don’t have time for a trip to the grocery store, try this easy food swap instead. Mix together 1 cup of milk (regular milk or almond milk, whatever your preference) with 1 tablespoon of distilled or apple cider vinegar.
  • Saffron substitutes– Saffron is on the expensive side, and as far as herbs go it’s less common in modern dishes. If a recipe calls for saffron, just substitute an equal amount of turmeric. For example, instead of 1/2 teaspoon of saffron use 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric.
  • Pasta substitutes – As a much healthier alternative to white pasta, try using zucchini or squash noodles in your next recipe. Zucchini or squash are 90 percent lower in calories than traditional white pasta, and provide a more nuanced flavor to your dish.

These are just a few of our favorite food substitutions. If you’d like to brush up on your skills in the kitchen and want to explore continuing education right here in Chicago look no further than our TASTE of Kendall events and classes. Click here to learn more about the exciting opportunities like workshops and teen camps happening throughout the year at Kendall College.

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Alternative Languages to Know to Run a Successful Business

We live in an exciting era propelled by globalization. Eager entrepreneurs can forge partnerships around the world, marketing to potential clients and customers in every country. In this hyper-connected age, it’s more important than ever to expand your reach – but how can you grow your business if you can’t communicate with the majority of the population?

Your business opportunities will only multiply if you take the time to master more languages. Here are some of the best languages to learn for business in the 21st century:

  • Mandarin Chinese: Mandarin is the most spoken language on the globe, with approximately 15% of all people speaking it as their primary language. China is poised to overcome the United States as the country with the largest GDP: if you learn Mandarin Chinese you can appeal directly to the Chinese businessmen and women making investments and moves right here in the United States. It’s one of the most difficult languages for native English speakers to learn, but having “fluent in Mandarin” on your resume will certainly set you apart.
  • Spanish: Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the world, only falling behind Mandarin. There are about 405 million native speakers of Spanish. Getting a grasp on the language will give you a huge boost when conducting business in Spain, Latin America, and even right here in the United States. Plus, Spanish is one of the simplest languages to learn for English speakers. According to the US Foreign Service Institute you can become proficient with just six months of classes.
  • Arabic: Learning Arabic is your entry point into the ever-expanding economies in the Middle East and Africa. Oil and construction industries have made millionaires out of many Arabic-speaking entrepreneurs, and there’s no reason why you can’t be one of them. This market is growing rapidly as consumers are eager to flex their purchasing power. Begin taking lessons soon, though – it will take you about 88 weeks to become proficient.
  • German: Germany is the most powerful economic force in Europe and has one of the biggest export markets, period. Many employers are looking to hire candidates with a background in German. With Brexit on the horizon German-language jobs are set to increase – secure your future by learning this language in your spare time. It’s not as challenging as Mandarin or Arabic, and will take about six months to master.
  • Portuguese: Mainly spoken in Portugal and Brazil, this language is becoming increasingly important for entrepreneurs with the rise of Brazil to the forefront of the global economy. The largest economy in Latin America is the perfect place to expand and diversify if you can speak the language. Portuguese is closely related to Spanish; if you want to overachieve consider picking up both languages.

Kendall’s business school has fully embraced the future of business, offering an International Business concentration for students looking to operate a successful business in a competitive worldwide market. Learn more about our International Business program and how you can study abroad in Brazil, France, Turkey, Germany, or Spain while earning your degree.

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Spotlight on Kendall Alumni: Greg Baxtrom

With a degree from Kendall College our alumni can gain the expertise and the resume necessary to set them apart in a competitive industry. Kendall alumni like Greg Baxtrom (Culinary Arts, Class of 2005) harness their unbridled passion for culinary innovation to make their mark in fiercely competitive restaurant hot spots like Brooklyn.

Greg Baxtrom worked in many reputable kitchens after graduating from Kendall College, including Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Per Se, Alinea, and Lysverket in Norway. While at Atera he met his current collaborator, horticulturist and farm owner Ian Rothman. Chef Baxtrom shared a vision with Rothman to create a more sustainable food system in the form of a restaurant.

Together, Baxtrom and Rothman opened Olmsted in Brooklyn last year. Olmsted marks Baxtrom’s first experience as a restaurant owner, but that hasn’t stopped his passion project from being showered with critical and public acclaim. Under Baxtrom’s direction, Olmsted sticks to an ever-rotating vegetable-heavy menu that finds inspiration in the local produce of Brooklyn.

While many restaurants focus on the phrase “farm-to-table,” that journey is truly a short one for the cuisine of Olmsted. Many of the fresh produce and ingredients in Olmsted’s dishes come straight from a garden in the backyard of the restaurant featuring peas, lavender, radishes, and even a flock of quail and live crayfish.

The ambition of Baxtrom’s restaurant, nestled in Prospect Heights, has quickly gained plenty of press. New York Eater raved that Olmsted is “the neighborhood restaurant we’ve all been dreaming of,” while the New York Times marveled at how Baxtrom works to keep his menu as affordable as possible while displaying the level of inventiveness common in the most elite fine-dining establishments. Olmsted was also featured on Eater’s “Hottest Restaurants in Brooklyn Right Now” list when it opened.

Clearly, this sustainable and approachable restaurant is just the beginning for Kendall alumnus Greg Baxtrom. We can’t wait to see what he and his partners are cooking up next. Equip yourself with the skills and experience like Greg Baxtrom, class of ‘05, acquired at Kendall College: find out more about our educational opportunities today.

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From the Kitchens at Kendall College: Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Orange & Ginger

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Orange & Ginger

Yield: 12 servings

Unlike traditional sweet-potato mash smothered in marshmallow, this is a different take on a common and loved holiday veggie. Candied ginger lends a tantalizing taste dimension that takes this dish to flavorful heights. These sweet potatoes can be prepared up to two days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. To serve, simply reheat in the microwave. Recipe courtesy of Kendall College, School of Culinary Arts.

8     medium sweet potatoes (about 4 lbs.)
4 T.    unsalted butter
1 c.    hot milk
1 c.    orange juice
1 t.     orange zest
½ t.     salt
1 t.     freshly ground black pepper
1 t.     ground ginger
1 T.    brown sugar
3 T.     minced candied ginger (plus as needed for garnish)

1.    Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2.    Pierce the potatoes with a fork. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 to 2 hours or until the potatoes are very tender.
3.    Scoop the sweet-potato flesh into a bowl, discarding the skins. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. (If you want a completely smooth mashed potato, purée in a food processor.)  Add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
4.    Garnish the sweet potatoes with a sprinkling of candied ginger on top, and serve.

Recipe developed by Christopher Koetke, CEC, CCE, HAAC, vice president of strategy and industry relations at Kendall College.

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