ACF Culinary Team USA ACF Culinary Team USA 2016


Joseph Leonardi

Joseph Leonardi, CEC

ACF Culinary Team USA Manager
Leonardi’s extensive experience with ACF Culinary Team USA will greatly benefit the 2016 team as they prepare for international competitions. Most recently, he was captain of the 2012 national team, and a member on the 2008 regional team. Leonardi is executive chef at Somerset Club, Boston, and joined the club’s staff after eight years on the faculty of Johnson & Wales University, Providence, R.I. He is a member of ACF Rhode Island Chapter, and was the 2009 U.S.A.’s Chef of the Year.

J. Kevin Walker

J. Kevin Walker, CMC, AAC

ACF Culinary Youth Team USA Manager
Walker is Director of Food, Service & Clubhouse Operations at Grandfather Golf and Country Club, Linville, N.C., and is one of only 67 ACF-certified master chefs in the nation. Prior to joining The Vintage Club, he worked at several prestigious clubs and hotels, including Cherokee Town and Country Club, Atlanta, and Four Seasons in Los Colinas, Texas. He is a member of ACF Greater Atlanta Chapter Inc. Walker has received numerous awards and recognitions, including AAC’s Chef Good Taste Award in 2011 and U.S.A.’s Chef of the Year in 2007.

James Taylor

James Taylor, CEC®, AAC®, MBA, National Secretary

ACF Culinary Team USA Business Manager


Steven Jilleba, CMC, CCE, AAC

Corporate executive chef, Unilever Food Solutions, Lisle, Ill.
Team manager, ACF Culinary Team USA 2012
Youth team manager, ACF Culinary Team USA 2008

Daniel Hugelier, CMC

Culinary arts professor, Schoolcraft College, Livonia, Mich.
Team coach, ACF Culinary Team USA, 1990–2000
Team member, ACF Culinary Team USA, 1980–1988

Pastry Advisors

Darrin Aoyama, CEPC

Executive pastry chef, River Oaks Country Club, Houston
Pastry coach, ACF Culinary Team USA 2012
Pastry chef, ACF Culinary Team USA 2000, 2004

Patricia Nash, CEPC

Executive pastry chef, MotorCity Casino Hotel, Detroit
Pastry coach, ACF Culinary Team USA 2012
Pastry chef, ACF Culinary Team USA, 2004, 2008


Timothy Bucci, CEC, CCE, CHE

Associate professor, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Ill.
Team member, ACF Culinary Team USA 2012

Joachim Buchner, CMC

Executive chef, Chevy Chase Club
Chevy Chase, Md.

Timothy Prefontaine

Timothy Prefontaine, CEC

Executive chef, The Fort Worth Club, Fort Worth, Texas
Team member, ACF Culinary Regional Team USA 2008

Mellisa Root

Mellisa Root

Executive Pastry Chef, Rosewood Sandhill, Menlo Park, California
Pastry Chef, ACF Culinary Team Member 2008
Chocolatier, Team USA Gelato World Cup 2014
Co-Captain, Team USA Gelato World Cup 2016

For more information email, or call (904) 484-0202.