An OCC instructor, two alumni and one student were awarded top honors at the 39th Annual American Culinary Federation (ACF) Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association’s Chef of the Year Awards Gala on September 29 at Oakland Hills Country Club.
OCC Chef Susan Baier, FMP (Food Management Professional), was voted Michigan Chefs De Cuisine Association’s 2014 Educator of the Year. An OCC Culinary Studies Institute educator for 30 years, Baier has taught Culinary Skills, Garde Manger, Menu Development and Event and Catering Management. She also facilitates culinary internships. She has held the position of department chairperson and is the current program coordinator. She was part of the program’s curriculum revision, offering new courses and schedules providing greater access to working students and professionals wanting to hone their skills in cookery, international cuisine, certification, competition or pastry. Baier has a degree is in Restaurant Management. Her industry work experience includes the Somerset Hotel, St. Regis Hotel and Melting Pot Café in Detroit.
The following OCC alumni also received prestigious awards:
Andrew Sayes, CEC (Certified Executive Chef), Executive Chef of the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, received the Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association 2014 Chef of the Year Award. Executive chef at The Townsend since November 2012, Sayes creates and executes the fine dining menu at The Townsend’s award-winning Rugby Grille. He also oversees menus associated with the hotel’s other dining operations, including room service, afternoon tea and catering. Prior to joining The Townsend Hotel, Sayes was executive chef at the prestigious Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga. He worked for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company at various property locations throughout the U.S., including Dearborn, Mich., Marina del Rey, Calif., New Orleans, La. and Buckhead, Ga. A metro Detroit native, Sayes received his formal training at OCC’s Culinary Studies Institute and honed his skills through cooking competitions and working with the area’s top chefs. While at OCC, Sayes was a member and coach of the OCC Culinary Team, receiving two gold and silver medals in state and regional competitions. He is currently a coach for the culinary team. In August 2012, Sayes became a Certified Executive Chef through the American Culinary Federation. Sayes takes pride in serving guests the finest quality products. He is an advocate of local farms and sustainable practices. He focuses on regional cuisine rooted in French technique with approachable, unpretentious flavors. Sayes enjoys giving back to the community through teaching and mentoring.
Amy Knoles, pastry chef at the Country Club of Detroit in Grosse Pointe Farms since 2010, received the 2014 Pastry Chef of the Year Award. Prior to the Country Club of Detroit, she was assistant pastry chef at Pine Lake Country Club for two years. After deciding to pursue her love of cuisine, she left her job as a test technician in the automotive industry and earned a certificate in baking and pastry arts from OCC in 2009. She launched Amy’s Chocolate Fountains and Desserts in 2005. Amy is an avid competitor in culinary events. As a member of OCC’s Ice Carving team, she competed in Zehnder’s Snowfest Ice Carving Competition, receiving National Ice Carving Association (NICA) gold and silver medals. She also earned gold medal at state level and silver at nationals in the Skills USA Commercial Baking Competition 2011. She won gold at the 2012 ACF Collegiate State Competition with OCC’s Hot Food Team. Amy is passionate about her love of pastry arts and enjoys competing. She lives in Flat Rock and is a member of ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association.
Knoles and Sayes are now eligible to compete in the American Culinary Federation’s Central Regional Competition.
In addition, OCC student Rebecca Dubicki is the Oakland Community College 2014 Outstanding Student Culinarian presented by the American Culinary Federations Michigan Chefs De Cuisine. Dubicki was a leader and pastry member of the OCC American Culinary Federations Student Culinary team in 2012 and 2013 , winning three silver medals in two state of Michigan competitions and one regional competition in St. Louis, Missouri.
Last year, OCC’s Doug Ganhs won the 2013 Educator of the Year Award.
About the Culinary Studies Institute:
The award-winning OCC Culinary Studies Institute offers give programs in hospitality including degrees in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, culinary arts, restaurant management and hotel management. If also offers a variety of culinary events and dining experiences throughout the year. Visit our website to learn about our student success stories and newsmakers.
With five campuses throughout Oakland County, OCC is celebrating its 50th year. OCC is the largest community college in Michigan and the 25th largest in the nation. It offers degrees and certificates in more than 160 career fields and university transfer degrees in business, science and the liberal arts. More than a million students have enrolled in the college since it opened in 1965. To learn more about OCC, visit www.oaklandcc.edu.