April 18–20, 2009
Hilton Charlotte Center City
2009 ACF Southeast Regional Conference
The 2009 Southeast Regional Conference was an event befitting the
Queen; the Queen City that is. The ACF Inc. Charlotte Chapter, our host
chapter, delivered a royally successful event. A special thank you to
Chris Donato, CEC, chapter president, and the many tireless volunteers
for their hard work and dedication. View the photos.
I was so pleased with the diversity of the sessions, demos and
networking opportunities that our conference offered. Day one was filled
with professional business sessions focusing on leadership building
skills, as well as food safety and sanitation. The last session of the
evening focused on delivering value to our students at the AAC Student
Forum and reception, sponsored by Chartwells. Our welcome reception,
sponsored by U.S. Foodservice and Mexican Hass Avocado Importers
Association, featured live music by Night Move, who set a fun and
energetic tone for our conference.
Day two began with the Professional Chef’s Kitchen session,
sponsored by CanolaInfo, and an impressive multimedia presentation on
canola oil and how to enhance your culinary repertoire without trans
fats. The gourmet session, Discover the Secret to Baking Success,
sponsored by Plugrá European-Style Butter was received with
The Trade Show was abuzz with product and cooking demonstrations and
the excitement of competition, especially the Baron H. Galand Culinary
Knowledge Bowl™, sponsored by Pearson Education, and the Chef of
the Year, sponsored by Unilever Foodsolutions. The healthy energy of
competition added flavor to the already abundant mouthwatering aromas in
the trade show air. A special thank you to Swanson-Girard &
Associates for providing the competition’s equipment. The day was
brought to a close with a unique cigar appreciation night hosted by the
ACF Charlotte Chapter.
Day three started with a most timely subject, Innovation During a
Recession, sponsored by PFG-Milton’s. Daryl Shula, corporate
executive chef, Performance Food Group, did a marvelous job of
integrating the ideas of ethnic flavor profiles, philosophy of taste and
the new American kitchen with traditional southern cooking techniques.
Fritz Sonnenschmidt’s, CMC, AAC, HOF, informative and humorous
session, Sausage Made Simply, and sold-out book signing was the
highlight of the day. Charcuterie:
Sausages, Pates & Accompaniments by Sonnenschmidt is
available for purchase now online at ACF’s e-Store.
Congratulations to all of our award
winners and honorees.
Good luck to them all as they proceed to the national competition in
Orlando, Fla., to face-off with their regional counterparts.
The strong conference momentum was evident by the over-flow
attendance at the Sous Vide Cooking and Functional Ingredients session,
sponsored by Vita-Mix Corporation, held on the last day of our
conference. The Vice President’s Gala was an impressive
culmination to our event and offered a celebratory menu savored by
Thank you to all of our sponsors and exhibitors as your partnerships
are paramount in creating an event of this magnitude and success.
Please plan on joining us in Birmingham, Ala., April 24–26 for
the 2010 ACF Southeast Regional Conference. Registration has already
begun, register today.
Elizabeth Baase, CEC, AAC
ACF Southeast Region Vice President