Culinary Arts Educators Earn Industry’s Top Educator of the Year Awards Sponsored by Sysco Corporation and CAFÉ

ANNAPOLIS, Md. The Sysco Corporation along with Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) announced the Educator of the Year awards presented to two culinary instructors.

Houston-based Sysco Corp. is in its sixth year of supporting this annual national award that acknowledges educators who are leaders in their field, have a commitment to both the educational community and foodservice industry, and employ innovative teaching practices inside the classroom. The recipients were awarded a $1,500 cash prize, commemorative plaque and a complimentary registration for CAFÉ’s 2021 Leadership Conference held in Portland, Maine, next June.

This year’s honorees are:

2020 CAFÉ/Sysco Corporation Postsecondary Educator of the Year

Amanda Miller, Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry Arts Instructor, Culinary Institute of Michigan at Baker College, Muskegon, Mich.

United States army veteran and culinary arts instructor Amanda Miller employs a lead-by-example teaching style that instills kitchen confidence and competence into her students. Miller, an American Culinary Federation certified culinarian and certified pastry culinarian, is president of the ACF West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter and student chapter advisor. In 2019 Miller coached the Culinary Institute of Michigan’s (CIM) Culinary Knowledge Bowl Team. The group earned top honors at both the regional and national American Culinary Federation Education Foundation conferences, winning the title of National Champions and receiving Gold Medal awards at both events. While maintaining high expectations for herself and students, she is sensitive to the unique needs of CIM’s learners and sets a tone of respect and positive engagement, especially in the community. Miller leads the school’s participation in Cheers and Chocolate and Kids Food Basket’s Chef Prize event. Miller is also a CIM graduate.

2020 CAFÉ/Sysco Corporation Secondary Educator of the Year    

Tim Michitsch, Culinary Educator for Lorain County Joint Vocational School’s Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management Program, Oberlin, Ohio

For more than 30 years, Tim Michitsch has taught at the Lorain County Joint Vocational School (LCJVS). He prepares students for the rigors of a culinary career by encouraging them to enter competitions sponsored by the ACF; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; and SkillsUSA, with many students actively participating in all three organizations. One 2017 LCJVS graduate earned a Gold Medal at the SkillsUSA National Conference and later went on to represent the United States at the World Skills competition in Kazan, Russia. Michitsch’s commitment to immerse his students in the culinary industry can be seen as he provides opportunities for them to participate in community events with world-renown professional chefs, such as a local Bocuse d’Or Team USA fundraising event with chefs Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller. From coordinating fundraising culinary scholarship dinners that earned more than $100,000 to spending countless, unpaid hours preparing and mentoring students, Michitsch embodies a commitment to quality education and the advancement of the culinary, baking and pastry, and hospitality professions.

About Sysco Corp.
Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other customers who prepare meals away from home. Its family of products also includes equipment and supplies for the foodservice and hospitality industries. With more than 65,000 associates, the company operates approximately 300 distribution facilities worldwide and serves more than 500,000 customer locations. Connect with Sysco on Facebook at and Twitter at For more info, visit

About the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ)

Founded in 2002, CAFÉ links the foodservice classroom to the foodservice industry to provide needed resources to educators so that they may more successfully train students for vibrant, fulfilling careers in the ever-evolving hospitality industry. Through its web portal, online magazine The Gold Medal Classroom, annual Leadership Conference, Deans and Directors Retreat and regional skills workshops nationwide, CAFÉ is dedicated to addressing the unique needs of highly specialized professionals who wear two hats as culinarians and educators. For more info, visit