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Great Lakes Culinary Institute

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Welcome to NMC Culinary Institute Director


Leslie Eckert

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Mi Leslie Eckert  is the new director of GLCI, taking the reins of the American Culinary Federation (ACF)-chigan College this spring welcomed a new leader for the Great Lakes Culinary Institute accredited program June 5. Eckert studied, taught and managed programs at three campuses of the International Culinary Schools, in Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and most recently, Raleigh, N.C. In North Carolina she was the academic director for Culinary Management, Culinary Arts & Baking Programs. Her top priority at GLCI is increasing enrollment and student retention.

Like GLCI students, Eckert, 51, initially earned an associate’s degree. She then went on to earn a bachelor’s in culinary management and an MBA with a concentration in hospitality management. She hopes to cultivate a desire for career advancement among GLCI students, too.

“When you start building on those degrees, it really opens doors for you,” she said.

Eckert is also a fellow in the American Academy of Chefs and is certified by the ACF as both an executive pastry chef and as a culinary educator. She succeeds Fred Laughlin, who retired in December 2018.

Eckert arrives on the cusp of GLCI opening Cafe Lobdell’s for its second summer of service. The capstone course in GLCI’s one-year Baking Certificate program, coffee and pastries will be served in Lobdell’s Teaching Restaurant from 7-11 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays June 25-Aug. 1. Find out more about culinary programs at

Modernist Cuisine is an interdisciplinary team in Bellevue, Washington, founded and led by Nathan Myhrvold. The group includes scientists, research and development chefs.

James Beard Foundation's book awards


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Cookbook Hall of Fame: Deborah Madison
Cookbook of the Year: Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking by Michael Solomonov & Steven Cook (Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
American Cooking: The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook by Chris Fischer with Catherine Young (Little, Brown)
Baking and Dessert: Sourdough: Recipes for Rustic Fermented Breads, Sweets, Savories and More by Sarah Owens (Roost Books)
Beverage: The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson & Julia Harding (Oxford University Press)
Cooking from a Professional Point of View: NOPI: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi & Ramael Scully (Ten Speed Press)
Focus on Health: Lighten Up, Y'all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome by Virginia Willis (Ten Speed Press)
General Cooking: The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji López-Alt (Norton)
International: Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking by Michael Solomonov & Steven Cook (Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Photography: Heidi Swanson for Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel (Ten Speed Press)
Reference and Scholarship: The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks by Toni Tipton-Martin (University of Texas Press)
Single Subject: A Bird in the Hand: Chicken Recipes for Every Day and Every Mood by Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley)
Writing and Literature: Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning) by Marion Nestle (Oxford University Press)
Vegetable Focused & Vegetarian: V Is for Vegetables: Inspired Recipes & Techniques for Home Cooks by Michael Anthony (Little, Brown)

Culinary Journals

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  • Cook's Illustrated

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