Experience the Power of Connection:
ACF Events Series 2011 ACF Central Regional Conference

ACF Central Regional Conference attendees let the good times roll, or, as they say in New Orleans, laissez les bon temps rouler. More than 500 chefs, students and foodservice professionals from across the Central Region made their way to one of the nation’s most famous culinary cities, New Orleans, for the 2011 American Culinary Federation Central Regional Conference, April 17–20, hosted by ACF New Orleans Chapter. Attendees “Experienced the Power of Connection” through several days of education, competitions, meal events, networking and a trade show, as well as learned from some of the region’s best chefs and indulged in the cuisine that made New Orleans famous.

The conference kicked off in true New Orleans fashion with a crawfish boil at the icebreaker reception. General Session featured the final season of Cooking Today by ACF Central Region Vice President David Russell, CEC, AAC. Joining him was Executive Chef Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace Restaurant, New Orleans. McPhail is a 2011 James Beard award finalist in the Best Chef South category. Other renowned New Orleans chefs at the conference included Susan Spicer, Paul Prudhomme, HAAC, HHOF, and John Folse CEC, AAC, HBOT. Spicer, chef/owner of Bayona, demonstrated the use of local New Orleans ingredients, such as crayfish, yellowfin tuna, rabbit and more in “Flavors of the World with a New Orleans Twist.” Prudhomme, chef/owner of K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen and Magic Seasoning Blends Inc., shared his expertise in differentiating the quality of herbs and spices and layering flavors through bronzing and blackening, as well as the development of the four fundamental traditional roux in “Louisiana Heritage Cuisine.” Folse, CEO/owner of Chef John Folse & Company, took attendees on a journey into the past, when seven nations blended to form the foundation of Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole cuisine in “Louisiana’s Swamp Floor Pantry.” As the locals say, joie de vivre (the joy of living) in New Orleans.

April 20, the one-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board sponsored “The Gulf Coast: A Year Later.” This two-part session began with representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Food & Drug Administration and Louisiana health agencies discussing testing and the protocols involved to ensure the safety of gulf seafood in “Gulf Seafood—How We Know It’s Safe.” Then members of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, appointed by President Barack Obama, addressed the causes of the oil spill, ways to guard against future disasters and details of their commission report presented to the president in “The State of Our Waters.”

The American Academy of Chefs Dinner, held at the New Orleans Marriott, featured famous New Orleans culinary delights by Executive Chef Mark Quitney. ACF New Orleans Chapter members outdid themselves at the Best Chefs of Louisiana fundraiser, which benefited local charities such as The International School of Louisiana, Liberty’s Kitchen, Children’s Hospital of New Orleans, Chef Duke Foundation for Kids and the ACF-NO Scholarship Fund. From the food and live jazz to the meet-and-greet with some of New Orleans’ most notable chefs, it was an evening of Southern hospitality as its best.

A sincere thank you to our sponsors and exhibitors, whose support was instrumental to our success, and to the AAC for donating $1,000 to the ACF Central Region Student Team National Championship winner to assist with national convention travel expenses. Congratulations to the award recipients and honorees for their outstanding contributions and goodwill, and to the competitors for a job well done.

Chef of the Year | Pastry Chef of the Year | Chef Educator of the Year | Student Chef of the Year | Chef Professionalism Award | Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award | ACF Student Team Regional Championship | Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl | Rene Roncari Senior Chef Humanitarian Award | Chapter of the Year | Chapter Achievement Awards | President’s Medallions | Cutting Edge Awards | Paella, Please! | Tapas American-Style Competition

Chef of the Year, Sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions

ACF Central Region Chef of the Year Award Winner

Mark Spelman, CEC, AAC, corporate executive chef, Helen of Troy, El Paso, Texas; ACF Chefs Association of Greater El Paso

Competitors

Dwight Evans II, executive chef, Covenant Village of Northbrook, Northbrook, Ill.; ACF Chicago Chefs of Cuisine Inc.
Ryan Schroeder Jr., CEC, chef/owner, Big Tomatoes, Green Bay, Wis.; ACF Fox Valley Chapter Michael Scott, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Northwood Club, Dallas; Texas Chefs Association

Pastry Chef of the Year, Sponsored by Splenda®

ACF Central Region Pastry Chef of the Year Award Winner

Jeffrey Guy, pastry chef, Houston Country Club, Houston; ACF Professional Chefs Association of Houston

Competitors

Fabrice Bouet, executive pastry chef, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago; ACF Chicago Chefs of Cuisine Inc.
Roger Holden, CEPC, CCE, pastry chef/instructor, Oakland Community College, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association
Jennifer Solloway-Malvitz, CEPC, chef-instructor, Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, Wis.; ACF Fox Valley Chapter

Chef Educator of the Year

ACF Central Region Chef Educator of the Year Award Winner

Dina Altieri, CEC, CCE, chef-instructor, Kendall College, Chicago; ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians Inc.

Competitors

Leslie Bartosh, CEC, faculty chair of culinary arts, Alvin Community College, Alvin, Texas; Texas Chefs Association
Phillip Carey, CEC, CCE, chef professor, Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny, Iowa; ACF of Iowa
Faith Jennetta, CEPC, pastry arts instructor/program coordinator, Technology Center of DuPage, Addison, Ill.; ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians Inc.
John Johnson, CEC, CCE, culinary instructor, Madison Area Technical College, Madison, Wis.; ACF Fox Valley Chapter
Carol Keusch, CCE, AAC, associate professor, Vincennes University, Vincennes, Ind.; ACF Tri-State Chefs and Cooks Chapter
Jerold Marcellus, CCC, CCE, culinary instructor, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan.; ACF Greater Kansas City Chefs Association
Brenden Mesch, Ed.D., CEC, CCE, associate dean of academic affairs, The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Dallas, Dallas; Texas Chefs Association
Eleanor Shepherd, CWPC, CCE, department chair/instructor, Dearborn Schools, Michael Berry Career Center, Dearborn Heights, Mich.; ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association Kurt Struwe, CEC, CCE, assistant professor of Culinology®, Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall, Minn.; ACF Minneapolis Chefs Chapter
Christopher Sturzl, CEC, CCE, CSCE, food nutrition educator, Anoka-Hennepin Independent School District No. 11, Champlin, Minn.; ACF Minneapolis Chefs Chapter
Joseph Trama, CEC, chef-instructor, Ivy Tech Community College, Fort Wayne, Ind.; ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana
Robert White, CEC, CCA, AAC, dean of culinary, The Culinary Institute of Michigan, Muskegon, Mich.; ACF West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter

Student Chef of the Year, Sponsored by Custom Culinary, Inc.

ACF Central Region Student Chef of the Year Award Winner

Aaron Guajardo III, student, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Ill.; ACF Louis Joliet Chapter

Competitors

Jonathan Ahrens, student, The Institute for the Culinary Arts at Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, Neb.; ACF Professional Chefs and Culinarians of the Heartland
Daniel Espinoza, student, Kendall College, Chicago; ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians Inc.
Matthew Steinbronn, student, Ivy Tech Community College of Indianapolis, Indianapolis; ACF Greater Indianapolis Chapter

Chef Professionalism Award, Sponsored by Minor’s®

ACF Central Region Chef Professionalism Award Winner

Mark Webster, CEC, CCE, AAC, executive chef, New Theatre Restaurant, Overland Park, Kan.; ACF Greater Kansas City Chefs Association

Competitor

Jacques Brevery, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Old Belgium Gastronomie, Hollywood, Fla.; ACF Chicago Chefs of Cuisine Inc.

Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award

ACF Central Region Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award Winner

John Zehnder, CEC, AAC, executive chef/food & beverage director, Zehnder’s Restaurant, Frankenmuth, Mich.; ACF Flint/Saginaw Valley Chapter

Competitors

Denis Ellis, CEC, AAC, retired, Fort Wayne, Ind.; ACF Chicago Chefs of Cuisine Inc.
Frederick Ferrara, CEC, CCE, chef professor, Joliet Junior College Culinary Department , Joliet, Ill.; ACF Louis Joliet Chapter
Carl Huckaby, Sr., CEC, CEPC, CCE, AAC, chef/owner, Chez Jean Bakery & Deli, Indianapolis; ACF Greater Indianapolis Chapter
Steven Jilleba, CMC, CCE, AAC, corporate executive chef, Unilever Food Solutions, Lisle, Ill.; ACF Chicago Chefs of Cuisine Inc.
John Kartje, CEC, AAC, executive chef/franchise manager, Goodwill Great Lakes, Great Lakes, Ill.; ACF Chicago Chefs of Cuisine Inc.
Nicolas Luna, CEC, executive chef, Villa de Bruno, Lynwood, Ill.; ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana
Hubert Martini, CEC, AAC, chef-instructor, The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, N.Y.; ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians Inc.

ACF Student Team Regional Championship, Sponsored by R.L. Schreiber, Inc.

ACF Central Region Student Team Regional Championship Winner

ACF Louis Joliet Chapter; Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Ill.; Kyle Richardson CCE, CEC, CHE, ACE, AAC, coach

Competitors

ACF Fox Valley Chapter; Madison Area Technical College, Madison, Wis.; John Johnson, CEC, CCE, coach
ACF Greater Indianapolis Chapter; The Chefs Academy, Indianapolis; Jason Anderson CEC, CCE, CCA, coach
ACF Greater Kansas City Chefs; Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan.; Felix Sturmer, coach
ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association; Oakland Community College, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; Kevin Enright, CEC, CCE, AAC, coach
ACF Minneapolis Chefs Chapter; The Art Institutes International Minnesota, Minneapolis; Amy Carter, CEPC, coach
ACF New Orleans Chapter; Delgado Community College, New Orleans; Mary Bartholomew, CCE, coach, and Eric Mark, CC, coach
ACF Professional Chefs Association of Houston; Culinary Institute LeNôtre, Houston; Kristofer Jakob, CEC, coach
ACF Professional Chefs and Culinarians of the Heartland; Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, Neb.; Brian O’Malley, coach
Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc.; Paul Kampff, CEC, coach
Culinary Institute of Platt College, Oklahoma City; ACF Culinary Arts of Oklahoma; Travis Williams, CCC, coach

Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, Sponsored by American Technical Publishers

ACF Central Region Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl Winner

Kendall College, Chicago; ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians Inc.; Gabriele Ausraite, Robert Baki, Jacob Clara, Paige Rogers and Jacqueline Wallner; Dina Altieri, CEC, CCE, coach

Competitors

ACF Louis Joliet Chapter; Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Ill.; Frederick Ferrara, CEC, CCE, CHE, coach
ACF New Orleans Chapter; John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, La.; Dean Terrebonne, coach
ACF Professional Chefs and Culinarians of the Heartland; Metropolitan Community College, Omaha Neb.; Janet Mar, coach
Blackhawk Technical College, Janesville, Wis., ACF Blackhawk Chapter of Professional Chefs; Katie Thomas, CEPC, coach
Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc.; Richard Muelle, coach
The Culinary Institute of Michigan, Muskegon, Mich.; ACF West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter; Beth Folkert, coach
Delgado Community College, Gretna, La.; Nancy Burback, CEC, CCE, coach
Delgado Community College#&8217;s Apprenticeship Team; Vance Roux, CCC, CCE, coach
El Centro College, Dallas; Beth Sonnier, coach
Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan.; ACF Greater Kansas City Chefs Association; Dan Hoerz, coach, and Renee Shortlidge, CSC, coach
Waukesha County Technical College, Pewaukee, Wis., ACF Chefs of Milwaukee Inc.; James Holden, CEC, CCE, coach

Rene Roncari Senior Chef Humanitarian Award

Jesse Mercado, CEC, AAC, retired, Harwood Heights, Ill.; ACF Chicago Chefs of Cuisine, Inc.

ACF Central Region Chapter of the Year

ACF Louis Joliet Chapter

ACF Central Region Chapter Achievement Awards

ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana
ACF Chicago Chefs of Cuisine, Inc.
ACF Louis Joliet Chapter
ACF Minneapolis Chefs Chapter
ACF South Bend Chefs and Cooks Association
ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians Inc.

ACF Central Region President’s Medallions

Damian Thomas, of La Place, La., director of foodservice operations, Christopher Homes Inc., New Orleans; ACF New Orleans Chapter
Leon West, of New Orleans, chef/owner, Spices with Chef Leon West, New Orleans; ACF New Orleans Chapter

Cutting Edge Awards

Ben Grupe, sous chef, Old Warson Country Club, St. Louis; Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc.
Kevin Storm, CEC, CCA, AAC, executive chef, Bellerive Country Club, St. Louis; Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc.
Felix Sturmer, culinary instructor, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan.; ACF Greater Kansas City Chefs Association

Paella, Please! Sponsored by Riviana

Kyle Richardson, CCE, CEC, CHE, ACE, AAC, professor of culinary arts, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Ill.; ACF Louis Joliet Chapter

Tapas American-Style Competition, Sponsored by the Central Region State Beef Councils

David Russell, CEC, AAC, division corporate chef, Unilever Foodsolutions, Lisle, Ill.; ACF Chicago Chefs of Cuisine, Inc.