Kennesaw State chef de cuisine chosen as 2014 Georgia Grown Executive Chef
Georgia Department of Agriculture program promotes relationships between chefs and
(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
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 close to 200 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. 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 kennesaw.edu.