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.

Steven Jilleba

Steven Jilleba, CMC, CCE, AAC

ACF Culinary Team USA Business Manager
Jilleba is director of culinary capability and strategy/senior corporate executive chef, Unilever Food Solutions, Lisle, Illinois, and graduated from The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York. He is one of only 68 ACF-certified Master Chefs in the nation and has received numerous medals in national and international competitions. Jilleba previously served as team manager for ACF Culinary Team USA and ACF Culinary Youth Team USA. He is a member of ACF Chicago Chefs of Cuisine Inc.

Mark Spelman

Mark Spelman, CEC, AAC

ACF Culinary Youth Team USA Coach
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.

Stafford DeCambra

Stafford DeCambra, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC

ACF Culinary Youth Team USA Manager
DeCambra is chair of the American Academy of Chefs, ACF’s honor society for chefs, and lives in Atmore, Alabama. He is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York, and worked in several foodservice venues in his home state of Hawaii, and later oversaw culinary operations for three properties in Alabama. DeCambra has received more than 60 national and international competition medals during his career.


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

Timothy Bucci, CEC, CCE, CHE

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

Joachim Buchner

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.