April 4–6, 2009
2009 Western Regional Conference
The 2009 ACF Western Regional Conference was a spectacular
representation of the Pacific Northwest’s finest culinary and
local offerings. My wholehearted appreciation goes out to the ACF
Washington State Chefs Association, our host chapter. Gary Fuller,
chapter president, and Fiona Ronyai, chapter executive director, along
with their entourage of volunteers, did an admirable job of organizing
and executing an extraordinary event. Photos.
The pre-conference session, Successful Management for Our Times,
sponsored by Canada Cutlery Inc., reaffirmed that career-advancing
opportunities are crucial in today’s economic climate. The
conference began with a multimedia presentation sponsored by Canola
Council of Canada/CanolaInfo that entertained and enlightened us on
flavor enhancing without trans fat. The day progressed with the opening
of the trade show, where metro-natural flavors were all the rage.
Tasting stations were abundant, and I was thrilled to see cutting-edge
exhibitors such as D.V. Cuisine and Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards.
Local companies Pike Brewing Company and Starbucks Foodservice
highlighted the need for harmony in food-and-drink pairing. Charles
Finkel, owner, Pike Brewing Company, presented For the Love of Beer: a
brief history of beer, the craft of brewing, and how food and beer go
hand-in-hand. D. Major Cohen, senior coffee education specialist with
Starbucks Coffee Company, gave a phenomenal presentation exploring
unique characteristics of coffee and its inherent relationship with
The Career Development Series: Nutrition, presented by the ACF Chef
& Child Foundation, focused on vegetarian options and
experienced full-house attendance. And on the other end of the food
lifestyle spectrum, the Western State Beef Council’s panel of
experts orchestrated an exceptionally professional and informative
overview of the beef industry in the Western United States.
I’d like to recognize Boyd’s Coffee Company for its
ever-present and ever-hospitable coffee service. From the pre-conference
sessions through the last cup at the Vice President’s Gala, they
offered every coffee variety imaginable.
Our junior members displayed an amazing depth of knowledge at the
Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl™, sponsored by Pearson
Education. Furthermore, the energy and innovation displayed on the
competition floor by all of our competitors
was inspiring. I wish our competition winners good luck as they advance
to the national convention in Orlando, Fla., July 11–14, to
compete for the ultimate ACF 2009 titles.
The Vice President’s Gala closed the conference with a
delectable menu, gracious company and the announcement of this
year’s regional award
recipients. Congratulations to all.
Thank you to all of our sponsors and exhibitors. Your ongoing support
is greatly appreciated.
I look forward to seeing you all next year in Albuquerque, N.M.,
February 6–8, at the 2010 ACF Western Regional Conference. Early
registration has already begun, so register today.
Harry Brockwell, CEC, AAC
ACF Western Region Vice President