The Culinary Insider - June 2, 2014 (Vol. XII, Issue 11)

Kansas City Gears Up for ACF National Convention

Register Now

Kansas City is getting ready for the 2014 ACF National Convention! Are you ready? Register online now before the early registration rates and hotel and travel discounts expire.

This year’s national convention is a must attend with incredible food, extraordinary educational programming, fantastic networking opportunities and fun. General Session includes a keynote address by chef/humorist Vinny Verelli, who offers a lesson on reducing negativity and turning fear into fun, and a demo by Homaro Cantu, chef at Moto, Chicago, who is known for pushing the limits of taste, texture and technique in a futuristic fashion. Then, David Russell, CEC, AAC, corporate executive chef with Unilever Food Solutions, will host “Cooking Today,” a talk show with a panel of alumni of the late Charlie Trotter, chef/owner of Charlie Trotter’s, Chicago.

The reinvented ACF trade-show floor, housed in Kansas City’s Bartle Hall Convention Center, features the best of the culinary world with sponsors and exhibitors sharing the latest innovations in food, equipment and services. ACF national award competitions and ACF Culinary Youth Team USA tryouts will also take place on the show floor. New for 2014 are exciting programs and additional professional kitchens and culinary demonstrations.

Some of the other exciting events taking place include a barbecue competition July 24 at Barney Allis Plaza in Kansas City, hosted by ACF Greater Kansas City Chefs Association. Sign up to compete or take in some of the best barbecue in the country at this Kansas City Barbeque Society®-sanctioned Missouri State Championship event. It features wing, pork, rib and brisket recipes from the nation’s top pitmasters and chefs. On July 25 there is a tour of the Vita Craft Cookware Manufacturing Plant. Attendees will learn firsthand about the skilled craftspeople proudly producing American cookware. Check out the schedule for more.

ACF Seeks Chefs for Chefpertise

Are you an expert on food safety? Are you a chef who grows his/her own produce and herbs? Perhaps your focus is food allergies or savory desserts. Whatever your culinary specialty is, ACF wants to hear from you. All ACF chefs in good standing who have five years or more experience in an area or areas of expertise and hold a position of sous chef or higher are invited to apply for the Chefpertise Guide. Visit the Chefpertise Guide online and PDF download the application to apply. Email if you have any questions.

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ACF Certification—40 Years & Counting

Celebrating 40 Years of Culinary Certification This year, ACF celebrates the 40th anniversary of its professional culinary certification program. Pioneers of the certification innovation saw it as a validation of skills, education and competency. “Certification is not for glorification, but to promote the profession and to encourage education and advancement of the membership,” said Jan Verdonkschot, CEC, AAC, HOF, who was the ACF Education Institute’s (now known as the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation) second national certification chairperson.

The ACF certification process was first submitted as a proposal in 1972 by Wolfgang Von Dressler, AAC, for “the advancement of the profession.” Once approved, the certification program foundation was laid. It began with a point system developed by L. Edwin Brown, HAAC, HHOF, the late Jack Braun, CEC, AAC, HOF, and Ferdinand Metz, CMC, WGMC, AAC, HOF. Through the advocacy of ACF leadership and supporters, in 1977, the U.S. Department of Labor recognized chefs as skilled tradesmen, elevating the “executive chef” designation from domestic service to supervisory/management in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.

Read all about certification in the article that ran in the June issue of The National Culinary Review.

Ingredient of the Month: Chocolate

Dark chocolate, when eaten in moderation, is beneficial to health and contains nutrients that release energy and improve brain function. It is made from the seeds of the cacao tree and goes through a long process to become chocolate. In store-bought chocolates, chocolate liquor should be the first ingredient to be most favorable to health. Learn more, including a recipe for delicious, gluten-free chocolate-kissed cupcakes. More

American Academy of Chefs Awards

The American Academy of Chefs Congratulations to the following 2014 American Academy of Chefs® (AAC) awardees, who will be honored at the 43rd Annual American Academy of Chefs Induction Reception and Dinner July 27 during the 2014 ACF National Convention. The AAC annually recognizes those individuals who have made significant contributions to the culinary profession and ACF.

Chair’s Medal: Mark Wright, CEC, AAC; ACF of Greater Buffalo New York

Joseph Amendola Award: Gale O’Malley, CEPC, AAC; ACF Honolulu Chapter

Chef Good Taste Award: Scott Gilbert, CEC, AAC; ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians Inc.

Sharing Culinary Traditions Award: Thomas Recinella, CEC, AAC; ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association

Lt. General John D. McLaughlin Award: Russell Campbell, CEC; Old Dominion ACF Chapter

Lawrence A. Conti, CEC, AAC, HOF, Chair’s Achievement Award: Salvatore Campagna, CEC, HAAC; ACF San Francisco Chapter

My ACF Story

Keith Esbin

For 85 years, chefs, students and foodservice professionals have benefitted from membership and involvement in ACF. Keith Esbin, corporate executive chef at Bar Harbor Seafood Corporation, Orlando, Fla., and a member of ACF Central Florida Chapter, shared his story. Below is an excerpt.

“I always wanted to be a chef,” said Esbin. “I’m confident that my good fortune is a direct result of my ties with ACF. I strive to educate people who have never heard of ACF about what it means to be a member and how it can put one's culinary career on the fast track—my culinary journey is proof of that!”

Esbin was recently awarded a President’s Medallion at the 2014 ACF Southeast Regional Conference in recognition of his culinary excellence and leadership.

Do you have a story about how your involvement in ACF has greatly impacted your career and your life? Tell us.