The American Academy of Chefs American Academy of Chefs Culinary Hall of Fame™

The founding of the American Academy of Chefs Culinary Hall of Fame™ was inspired in 1988 by then Academy Chair Jon Greenwalt at the ACF National Convention in Las Vegas.

“The Culinary Hall of Fame was unanimously accepted by the Academy members. Its concept is to honor those men and women who, because of their outstanding attributes, have won the respect and love of their professional guild. Therefore, they are so honored by their peers as a positive reflection to all those in this profession who seek achievement!” —Hermann G. Rusch

2018 American Academy of Chefs Culinary Hall of Fame™ Inductees

Joe Eidem

Joe Eidem, CEC, AAC

ACF High Sierra Chefs Association
Joe Eidem, CEC, AAC was inducted into the AAC in 1991. He currently serves as foodservice director for Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, California. During his career, Eidem has owned an Italian restaurant, hosted a local television cooking show and traveled as a motivational speaker. He has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the ACF Chef Professionalism Award in 2006 and an AAC Service Pin in 2011. Eidem was instrumental in promoting the healthcare professions to ACF and getting health care chefs certified. He has served as the AAC Western Region director and is a member of ACF High Sierra Chefs Association.

Nicholas Follacchio

Nicholas Follacchio, CEC, AAC

Connecticut Chefs Association
Nicholas Follacchio, CEC, AAC was inducted into the AAC in 1985. His career includes owning an Italian restaurant, working in country clubs and sharing his knowledge as a culinary instructor. Follacchio has won numerous awards, including AAC Service Pins in 2012 and 2013 and an ACF President’s Medallion in 2016. He was a member of the ACF New England Culinary Team that competed in the 1988 “culinary Olympics.” He has dedicated his time to volunteering with his local ACF chapter as well as other nonprofit organizations. Follacchio is a member of Connecticut Chefs Association.

George O’Palenick

George O’Palenick, CEC, CCE, AAC

ACF Rhode Island Chapter
George O’Palenick, CEC, CCE, AAC was inducted into the AAC in 1987. After his service in the U.S. Navy, O’Palenick worked in several resorts, hotels, restaurants and country clubs. His passion reached a new level when he joined the faculty of Johnson & Wales University, Providence, Rhode Island. His dedication to teaching led him to be recognized with many service awards. O’Palenick retired from Johnson & Wales University in 2014 after 34 years and was awarded Professor Emeritus. He was inducted into the National Ice Carving Association Hall of Fame in 2010. O’Palenick served two terms as ACF Northeast Region vice president. He is a member of ACF Rhode Island Chapter.

Posthumous

Walter Bronowitz

Walter Bronowitz, CCC, CCE, AAC

ACF Washington State Chefs Association
Walter Bronowitz, CCC, CCE, AAC was inducted into the AAC in 1996. His career spanned more than 40 years working with operations of all sizes, large and small restaurants, hotels and hospitals. He spent more than 20 years teaching professional culinary education. In 1995, Bronowitz received his first ACF President’s Medallion and later, three more. He was elected to the ACF board of directors in 2001 and served two terms as Western Region vice president followed by two terms as national secretary. He also served on the ACF Bylaws & Resolutions Committee and was ACF national certification chair for four years. Bronowitz was a member of ACF Washington State Chefs Association.

John Kacala

John Kacala, CEC, AAC

ACF Greater Charleston South Carolina Chapter.
John Kacala, CEC, AAC was inducted into the AAC in 1999. His career in the culinary industry spanned more than 46 years, beginning as a dishwasher and working his way up to executive chef. In addition to working in the industry, he was a chef instructor at Johnson & Wales University for 12 years. Kacala retired from Sysco Food Services of Columbia as senior executive chef/ culinary consultant. He was the recipient of numerous achievements and awards throughout his career, including an ACF President’s Medallion in 2009 and an AAC Service Award in 2015. Kacala served as AAC Southeast Region director. He was a member of ACF Greater Charleston South Carolina Chapter.