Kennesaw State chef de cuisine chosen as 2014 Georgia Grown Executive Chef

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Georgia Department of Agriculture program promotes relationships between chefs and farmers  …

Georgia (Feb 25, 2014)

KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb. 25, 2014) — Kennesaw State University’s Chef de Cuisine Gary Coltek has been named one of the 2014 Georgia Grown Executive Chefs by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black and Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) Executive Director Karen Bremer announced the 2014 Georgia Grown Executive Chefs on Feb. 19, 2014, at the GRA’s Taste of Georgia Legislative Reception, held at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot.
“As demonstrated through the success of this program, Georgia Grown Executive Chefs creates a greater awareness about the availability of the quality, local products that can be found on our state’s expanding culinary scene,” Black said. “This program is one of the many ways working with the Georgia Restaurant Association helps us promote and foster relationships between chefs and our farmers across the state.”
The Georgia Grown Executive Chef Program seeks to promote the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown campaign statewide. Now entering its third year, the program offers participating chefs a mark of honor and distinction, while increasing awareness for both restaurateurs and consumers about which local Georgia products are available for the cooking season.
“This year, the Georgia Grown Executive Chef program had many exceptional applicants, and making a decision for the 2014 Executive Chefs was extremely difficult,” said Bremer. “We believe the four selected chefs will do an outstanding job representing a program that is not only beneficial for the growth of Georgia’s economy and job growth, but one that allows chefs to incorporate fresh, locally grown products into their menus, and allows them to promote the vast amount of products that Georgia has to offer.”
The other three chefs for 2014 are Chef Roberto Leoci of Leoci's Trattoria in Savannah, Chef Marc Taft of Chicken and the Egg in Marietta, and Virginia Willis of Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc. in Atlanta.
As the program grows, it will create a pathway for consumers to find Georgia Grown products in their communities in order to support local, seasonal foods when dining out. It also aims to highlight and involve public school culinary education and school food nutrition in terms of increased opportunities for Georgia Grown products, training and recipe development. The chefs will participate in a spring and fall school event, an organized farm tour, at least one seasonal cooking clip with the department and at least one Georgia Grown cooking event designated by Black.
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 24,600 from 130 countries.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit