A Groundbreaking Introduction to Culinary Arts, Steeped in Experience: The Culinary Professional

CHICAGO, – Chefs and authors John Draz and Christopher Koetke are pleased to announce the release of The Culinary Professional (ISBN: 978-1-60525-118-9), a comprehensive learning tool for students new to culinary arts and the foodservice industry, published by Goodheart-Willcox Publisher. 

According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), even in today’s tough economy, restaurants remain a direct and indirect generator of jobs and careers, creating occupations that will grow considerably in the next decade. The restaurant industry is the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer, representing more than 9% of the nation’s total jobs. The long-term outlook is for continued growth—the industry is expected to add an additional 1.8 million positions over the next 10 years, boosting the industry’s workforce by 14% to 14.8 million people in 2019. 

The Culinary Professional is a landmark introductory textbook developed for students enrolled in grades 9 through 12 as well as the first two years of postsecondary training. Designed in a colorful, easy-to-read format, the 831-page book offers complete explanations of culinary techniques, identification of the vast array of equipment and foods used in a professional kitchen, and an introduction to the knowledge and skills needed to work in and manage a foodservice operation. Besides providing students with an excellent foundation in the study of classic and contemporary cuisines, The Culinary Professional also explores the vast range of opportunities encompassing traditional and emerging food careers. 

“Amid the wealth of culinary textbooks available in the marketplace, we saw great opportunity to tie solid culinary training to the realities of today’s evolving foodservice industry,” says Draz. “Cooking remains a noble art in America, but more than ever is also an exciting option for young people who wish to have fulfilling careers with life-management flexibility throughout their lives. Our book gives prospective professional cooks the knowledge they need to be successful.” 

Additional highlights of The Culinary Professional include:

  • More than 1,000 illustrations facilitating product and equipment identification and step-by-step techniques for essential culinary skills
  • More than 160 professional recipes
  • Thorough glossary of key terms and index to locate terms and subjects covered
  • Regularly appearing features on history, workplace issues, safety and sanitation, science and technology, culture and cuisine, culinary tips, menu trends and nutrition principles
  • Chapter activities on workplace math, problem-solving and critical-thinking challenges, as well as minilabs


“As dean of one of the world’s foremost culinary schools, I’m reminded daily of the critical need for students to receive proper information and training as early as possible to perform at their greatest potential at every stage in their educations,” says Koetke. “Chef Draz and I wrote The Culinary Professional from the standpoint of arming tomorrow’s chefs with a foundation in contemporary cooking, giving students a solid platform from which to launch their careers with confidence earned from fully understanding the basics and their applications to modern foodservice.” 

Additional student materials in digital format—including identification and vocabulary activities, math activities, primal-cuts activities, recipes and related Web links, as well as printable common foodservice forms and worksheets—are included on a companion CD conveniently sleeved into the back cover of each book. The CD also provides students with a username and password to access an online recipe database, allowing them to convert recipe yields, search by title and browse by recipe category. 

About the Authors

Chef John Draz received his associate degree from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., in 1981. During his nearly 30-year career, he has worked at numerous restaurants and hotels in greater Chicago, including The Ritz-Carlton, The Winnetka Grill, the Signature Room at the 95th atop the John Hancock Center, and Café Provençal. He is also former executive chef and owner of a 300-seat fine-dining restaurant. In 1983, Draz was featured in the PBS television series “Great Chefs of Chicago.” He was a founding faculty member of Kendall College’s School of Culinary Arts, serving as chair of the culinary department from 1988 to 1991. Having earned certifications from the American Culinary Federation (ACF) for executive chef (CEC) and culinary educator (CCE), Draz has extensive consulting experience lending his talents to numerous independent restaurants as well as major corporations and organizations. He currently is executive research chef for Ed Miniat, Inc., a manufacturer of cooked meat products based in South Holland, Ill. In this position, he develops products for the frozen-food industry and menu items for national restaurant chains. 

Chef Christopher Koetke is the dean of the School of Culinary Arts at Kendall College in Chicago. In 2009, he was named Cooking Teacher of the Year by the International Association of Cooking Professionals (IACP). He has cooked professionally since 1982 in some of the best restaurants and pastry shops in France, Switzerland and the United States. Before joining Kendall College in 1998 as a chef-instructor, he was the executive chef of Chicago’s critically acclaimed Les Nomades. Koetke has received numerous industry awards including Chef of the Year by the Chicago chapter of the International Food & Wine Society, ACF culinary-competition medals, and third place in the U.S. finals of the Bocuse d’Or. For several years, Koetke was a contributing editor to several food-trade magazines. He sits on numerous national boards; is an elected commissioner of the American Culinary Federation Foundation Accrediting Committee; serves as a consultant to numerous foodservice enterprises; judges national culinary competitions; and frequently presents at professional conferences and international culinary forums. Koetke is often a guest on TV and radio broadcasts in Chicago and has produced numerous educational DVDs. He currently appears in his own healthy-cooking television show, “Let’s Dish!,” on the new Live Well HD network. Koetke, like Draz certified as an executive chef and culinary educator by ACF, has an MBA from Dominican University, a bachelor’s in French literature from Valparaiso University, and a Certificat de la Langue Française from the Sorbonne in Paris. 

From basic knife skills to workstations in a professional kitchen; from salads and dressings to fish and shellfish preparation and cookery; and from custards, foams and buttercreams to developing and fine-tuning the taste sense, The Culinary Professional contains the essential tools for would-be cooks to embark on fulfilling, rewarding careers. List price for the hardcover textbook is $66.64 ($49.98 for schools). To order or for more information, visit