Taste
Success: 2010 ACF Events Series August 2–5, 2010
Anaheim Marriott
Anaheim, Calif.
Trade Show August 3–4

2010 ACF National Convention Day-by-Day

Friday, Aug. 6

The final day of the 2010 ACF National Convention started bright and early Thursday, morning, Aug. 5 with breakfast and General Session at 7 a.m. Michael Ty, CEC, AAC, ACF national president shared a snapshot of the state of ACF, presented awards and surprised attendees with special prizes.

Then, Ty cooked alongside renowned Hawaiian chef Sam Choy. Chefs also heard from Canadian Culinary Federation president Judson Simpson and World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) president Gissur Gudmundsson. In addition, Dr. Janey Thornton, USDA Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, shared the government’s latest nutrition initiatives and ways chefs can make a difference.

Guests attended the Chef Professionalism Lunch, sponsored by Minor’s®, where four regional award winners were recognized. John Reed, CEC, CCA, owner of Customized Culinary Solutions in Skokie, Ill., representing the Central Region, received the national award.

In the afternoon, guests enjoyed final seminars and demonstrations, including “World of Flavors: Greece and Japan” and Joseph Poon’s dynamic “Ten Dishes from One Chicken.”

On Thursday evening, guests gathered for ACF’s awards ceremony, the President’s Grand Ball. All national competition award winners were announced. See who took home top honors. After the ball, guests kicked back at the Texas Two-Step Post-Party as they celebrated another national convention and looked forward to 2011 in Dallas.

Thursday, Aug. 5

Renowned chef and sustainability spokesperson Rick Moonen kicked off the events on Wednesday, Aug. 4, with his discussion about sustainable seafood. National competitions wrapped up during the final day of the trade show.

Chefs competed for the title of Pastry Chef of the Year, sponsored by Splenda®, Student Chef of the Year, sponsored by Custom Culinary, Inc., and U.S.A.’s Chef of the Year™, sponsored by Unilever Foodsolutions. All national award winners will be announced tonight at the President’s Grand Ball.

Following cold-food tryouts—and an all-nighter—ACF Bay Area Chefs Association of Oregon, students at Oregon Coast Culinary Institute at Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay, Ore., was named ACF Culinary Youth Team USA. They will compete in the 2012 IKA “culinary Olympics” in Erfurt, Germany.

At the Johnson & Wales University Student Forum, students and apprentices were inspired to dream big and create a career plan. Graham Kerr, the legendary Galloping Gourmet, urged students to be a healing agent in a hurting world by cooking nutritiously and by serving customers. Then, Charles Carroll, CEC, AAC, executive chef at River Oaks Country Club in Houston, inspired students to dream big and offered tips for success in the industry and in life.

In the evening, many chefs and their families headed to Disneyland for a night of fun.

Wednesday, Aug. 4

Competitors took center stage Tuesday, Aug. 3, during the first day of ACF’s annual trade show. In the morning, chefs attended seminars, where they learned about pastry offerings around the world, extra virgin olive oils and American regional cuisine, among other topics.

At the trade show, attendees viewed the latest culinary products and visited more than 100 exhibitors. Four student teams competed for the ACF Student Team National Championship title, sponsored by R.L. Schreiber, Inc., and guests judged for themselves as they tasted the teams’ menus in a dining area set up on the trade show floor. New at the trade show this year was Equipment Alley, Sustainability Showplace and the ACF Wellness Pavilion, complete with one-on-one health coaching session, cholesterol screenings and even tarot card readings.

Students from Kendall College, Chicago, took home the Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, sponsored by American Technical Publishers. Louis Chatham, CEC, AAC, executive chef at PCI Gaming in Atmore, Ala., took home the $1,000 prize in the One-Pot Win a Lot cooking competition, sponsored by Riviana Foods, Inc., and Curtis Smith, culinary instructor at Spokane Community College, Spokane, Wash., won $2,000 in the Make it Mini—a Dessert Trio competition, sponsored by MARS Foodservice. Two-person teams from each branch of the military competed in the ACF National Championship featuring the Freedom Chef Challenge, sponsored by Christopher Ranch and Five Star Gourmet Foods, Inc.

In the evening, more than 400 guests attended the 39th Annual American Academy of Chefs Dinner, held at the Anaheim Marriott. Twenty-two chefs were inducted into the Academy, along with six honorary members, and awards were presented. Five chefs were inducted into the Academy’s Hall of Fame, and Charlie Palmer was named the Hall of Fame’s 2010 Celebrated Chef.

Tuesday, Aug. 3

The ACF National Convention is officially under way, and Monday, Aug. 2, was packed with seminars, demos, competitions, and fun activities for attendees’ families and friends. First, four finalists for the Chef Educator of the Year Award, sponsored by Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America, presented lectures and demonstrations as they vied for the national title. They will have to wait until the President’s Grand Ball on Thursday, Aug. 5, to see who will receive this prestigious award.

Chefs discussed a variety of topics on Monday, from contemporary buffet-style desserts and sustainability to global cuisine and cooking with less salt. Other highlights included Sam Choy’s entertaining Pacific Island Melting Pot demonstration, where he created some of his favorite Hawaiian dishes; Robert Wemischner’s plated desserts with a modern flair demonstration; the Certified Master Chefs demonstration; and Graham Kerr’s, HAAC, inspiring seminar about changing negative habits into ones that heal.

In the afternoon, three student teams from California, Nebraska and Oregon competed in the hot-food portion of the ACF Culinary Youth Team USA tryouts. Today, they will present their cold-food buffet platters.

By the end of the night, it was time to unwind at the Get Your Groove on Reception, Introducing ACF Culinary Team USA. Guests enjoyed great food, drinks and music from Grooveline as they had the chance to meet members of the national team.

Monday, Aug. 2

Today is the kickoff of the 2010 American Culinary Federation National Convention, but many chefs have already made their way to the Golden State. Here’s a look at what happened over the weekend in Anaheim.

More than 40 chefs volunteered with the Chef & Child Foundation (CCF) for its first national Chef Outreach to the Community day Saturday, July 30. Chefs hosted nutritional cooking demonstrations for more than 100 children and families at Hermosa Village Apartments. Guests left with a greater food education and a gift bag filled with healthy foods and coupons. Chefs left inspired to give back to their communities.

“The service day was absolutely fabulous,” said Patti Curfman, CEC, CEPC, AAC. “People of all ages walked away having a different attitude about their health. They learned how fun it is to be creative with food and how even the simple foods can be healthy.”

Education was the theme Sunday, July 31, with ACF’s Educator Development Series and four hands-on workshops. Chefs honed their skills and worked in small groups with experts as they learned how to temper chocolate, carve fruit, roll fondant and pull sugar.

Attendees gathered Sunday evening to network and celebrate the start of the convention at the California Dreamin’ Icebreaker Reception, which was followed by the Chapter Dine Around event.