Farmington native wins prestigious culinary award

Dylan Donovan has been awarded the $6,900 Chicago JBF Eats Week Scholarship
Farmington native Dylan Donovan has been awarded the $6,900 Chicago JBF Eats Week Scholarship. (contributed photo)

Farmington native and Baker College Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM) graduate Dylan Donovan has been awarded the $6,900 Chicago JBF Eats Week Scholarship by the prestigious James Beard Foundation.

The award will help Donovan continue his culinary studies. He earned an associate degree in culinary arts at the CIM Muskegon in 2014. He is pursuing a bachelor’s in culinology at Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois.

It was during his time at the CIM that Donovan realized his culinary strengths.

“Throughout my CIM courses and involvement with the CIM hot food competition team, I learned that my strong suit was the analytical and empirical approach to food production,” Donovan said.

Succeeding as a member of the competition team called for critical attention to food preparation and presentation. The team earned a bronze medal in the 2014 American Culinary Federation Michigan state competition.

“Dylan is an accomplished CIM graduate who exemplifies what our program is about,” said Bruce Konowalow, CIM Muskegon dean of culinary arts. “He is driven by his passion for culinary exploration and excellence.”

Donovan chose the CIM after graduating high school with a technical certificate in culinary arts and hospitality from Oakland Schools Technical Campus Southwest (OSTC).

“I heard about the Culinary Institute of Michigan through OSTC chef John McCormack,” said Donovan. “He knew about the strengths of the CIM, and he recommended it above other prestigious culinary schools. I also did my own research and decided it was a great fit for me.”

After landing an internship at America’s Test Kitchen, in Brookline, Massachusetts, Donovan then pursued the culinology degree, which integrates culinary arts and food science and prepares students for employment in food product development and restaurant menu creation. Culinology is the registered trademark of the Research Chefs Association.

Donovan works part time as a culinary assistant at Ed Miniat LLC, a producer of meats cooked under vacuum, or sous vide, for nationally recognized retail food brands and restaurant chains.