More: 2009 ACF Event Series

April 18–20, 2009
Hilton Charlotte Center City
Charlotte, N.C.

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 enthusiasm.

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 all.

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

Best regards,
Elizabeth Baase, CEC, AAC
ACF Southeast Region Vice President