U.S.A.’s Chef of the Year™ Award

In 1963, ACF created the Chef of the Year Award to acknowledge Walter Roth, AAC, for his tireless efforts to promote and elevate the profession. The award has grown in prestige, and today is the highest honor annually bestowed by ACF.

The U.S.A.’s Chef of the Year™ award recognizes an outstanding culinarian who works and cooks in a full-service dining facility. This person has demonstrated the highest standard of culinary skills, advanced the cuisine of America and given back to the profession through the development of students and apprentices.

Regional winners compete in a culinary competition at the national convention, where a panel of distinguished judges will select the national winner.

2019 Regional Semi-Finalists


Kurt Kwiatkowski

Kurt Kwiatkowski, CEC, CCA

Craig Meyer

Craig Meyer, CEC, CCA, AAC

Alex Pierce

Alex Pierce, CEC

Scott Scheible

Scott Scheible, CEC


Joseph Boljonis

Joseph Boljonis, CEC, CCA

Frank Costantino

Frank Costantino, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC

Elijah Dalager

Elijah Dalager, CEC, CCA

Cyril Ortigosa

Cyril Ortigosa, CEC


Lance Cook

Lance Cook, CEC, CCA

Charles Figueroa

Charles Figueroa, CEC

Corey Siegel

Corey Siegel, CEC

Joseph Watters

Joseph Watters, CEC


Deepak Bhusal

Deepak Bhusal

Ben Diaz

Ben Diaz

Reilly Meehan

Reilly Meehan, CEC

Michael John Moral

Michael John Moral

2018 U.S.A.’s Chef of the Year

Todd Leonard, CEC

Todd Leonard

2018 Winners

Central - Robert Coran
Northeast - Ben Simpkins, CEC, CCA
Southeast - Christopher Bugher, CEC
Western - * Todd Leonard, CEC

Previous Winners