ChefConnect: Long Island Host Chapter & Conference Chef
Meet the Host Chapter
ACF Long Island Chapter hosted ChefConnect: NYC. Learn more about this chapter and how you can get involved.
Andrew Whitcomb, CEC
Executive Chef, Whitsons Culinary Group
Andrew Whitcomb is the American Culinary Federations' (ACF) Long Island Chapter President, with a long-standing membership of 21 years, 9 of which have been as a board member. As part of this organization, Andrew has worked on a number of Team Long Island projects, ranging from organizing non-profit events throughout the community, to speaking to local high school students on pursuing a career in culinary arts.
Andrew is an accomplished Executive Chef with over 30 years of experience. He is also an executive shareholder for Whitsons Culinary Group, a food service provider headquartered in Islandia, New York. He currently serves as an Executive Chef and regional chef trainer for both school nutrition and business accounts. As Executive Chef, Andrew is responsible for developing and testing new recipes, as well as creating sample dishes for client tastings and presentations. He most recently worked with our USDA-facility's research and development team in the creation of our line of Tastefully Plated® meals sold at popular retail chains throughout the country. Andrew also travels as a Guest Chef in several schools within the Long Island and Westchester region, incorporating local produce in school lunches for students, and in turn, supporting local farms. In this role, he prepares and presents such student favorites as fresh waffle bars, noodle bars, sushi to order and vegetarian specialties.
Andrew's personal specialty is in preparing gourmet dishes that satisfy the most sophisticated diner, while using the most healthful methods of cooking and reducing unnecessary fats. He has created a signature palette of spices and herbs that bring out the full flavors of the meal instead of relying on heavy creams and sauces. He demonstrates a tremendous knowledge of culinary artistry in both his selection and arrangement of inventive combinations of foods and cooking styles. His culinary expertise has been instrumental in the success of numerous catered affairs for a wide range of clients. In fact, he has had the privilege of serving such distinguished guests as former President and First Lady Bill and Hillary Clinton, Harrison Ford, Martin Scorcese, Bette Midler and other celebrities at well-known venues such as Lincoln Center in Manhattan, Kaufman Astoria movie studios, and the Vanderbilt estate on Long Island.
Andrew has also worked as the Executive Chef at a number of other Whitsons accounts, including Kaufman Astoria Studios, the largest movie production studio on the East coast; the NY Jets Football team at their 200,000 square-foot training camp in Florham Park, New Jersey; and for the Daily News in Garden City, New York, among others.
Andrew's culinary education began at the Culinary Arts Department at Lewis A. Wilson Technical School. He then he went on to earn his A.S. in Culinary Arts from Schenectady County College. He has also completed courses at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. He successfully completed the Servsafe HACCP course and received a food manager's certificate from the Department of Health Services in New York. He is skilled in all areas of purchasing, inventory control, and catering. He has also ensured compliance with OSHA regulations and sanitary controls for Whitsons accounts.
Andy has received a number of awards in recognition of his extraordinary culinary talents, including the ACF's 2009 Long Island Culinary Chef of the Year award. He was also certified as a Certified Executive Chef (CEC) in 2012.
Meet the Conference Executive Chef
Executive Chef, New York Hilton Midtown
Executive Chef Richard Brown oversees all of Hilton New York’s culinary operations including its dining outlets and banqueting venues. He supervises a 100-person staff and is responsible for menu development. Rich has 23 years of experience in both the restaurant and hotel industries. He has honed his culinary skills under the tutelage of some of the country’s most renowned chefs, including Mario Batali and Tom Collicchio. Prior to his arrival at New York Hilton Midtown, Rich served as executive chef at the St. Regis Hotel New York. Rich, a native New Yorker and an expert in Italian fare, served as sous-chef at Esca, a top-rated southern Italian Trattoria co-owned by Chef Mario Batali. Prior to Esca, he spent more than three years as chef de cuisine at the historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel, and was also a key member of the opening team at the famous Gramercy Tavern in New York City.