The Culinary Insider - Mar. 31, 2008 (Vol. VI, Issue 7)

ACF Supports Need for Government Investigation of Potential Health Hazards of Diacetyl

The ACF issued a press release on March 20, in which it supported the need for government action by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to investigate the potential health hazards of diacetyl, in particular the cause and effect relationship between diacetyl and bronchiolitis obliterans.

Investigations of diacetyl, a chemical that is used to impart butter flavoring in food products, by the U.S. Department of Labor and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health concluded that diacetyl is toxic and does pose a hazardous health threat to workers where products containing the chemical are regularly prepared. This includes manufacturing plants, commercial kitchens and restaurants. In addition, the ACF strongly supports the subsequent removal of the FDA's "generally recognized as safe" labeling due to the recent reports and until a conclusive determination is made.

John Kinsella, CMC, CCE, AAC, president of ACF, was quoted as saying, "Compelling evidence exists that exposure to and inhalation of diacetyl, especially in oils, butters, margarines and popcorn, does have a direct correlation to harmful health effects. It is imperative that the government investigate the dangers of diacetyl, as well as impose regulations, until conclusive evidence can be obtained as to the hazardous effects, extent of exposure and association with the fatal lung disease, bronchiolitis obliterans."

CC, CPC, CSC, CWPC, CCC, Certification Fees Increase May 1

There is no time like the present to move your career to the next level and take advantage of ACF's current initial and renewal application fees. The application prices for CSC, CWPC and CCC are increasing effective May 1 with CSC and CWPC initial and renewal fees at $110, and CCC initial and renewal fees at $120. If you have questions, contact ACF at (800) 624-9458, ext. 122, or e-mail

Last Chance to $ave $$$ in $alt Lake City

March 31 is the final day for discounted registration rates for the 2008 ACF Western Regional Conference. Prices increase on April 1. Downloadable forms are on ACF's Web site or you can still REGISTER ONLINE. Don't let these savings pass you by!

Western Regional Conference, April 19-21
Hilton Salt Lake City Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
Special room rate of $139 expires on April 4.
American Academy of Chefs Dinner, April 18, The Country Club

National Convention, July 14-17
MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nev.
American Academy of Chefs Dinner, July 13, Red Rock Casino
Downloadable Attendee Registration Form

NewChef Fashions, Inc. is the official Logo Merchandising Partner for the 2008 ACF Events Series. Visit the NEWCHEF Web site and order your conference apparel today.

AAC Western Regional Conference Dinner - April 18

The Western Regional Conference American Academy of Chefs dinner takes place on April 18 at the The Country Club in Salt Lake City. Transportation from the conference hotel will be provided. The cost is $100 per person and is open to all. Tickets can be purchased online or calling the Academy office at (800) 624-9458, ext. 102.

Two New Companies To Support ACF Culinary Team USA

KitchenAid and Blodgett have joined as the two newest partners of ACF Culinary Team USA. The support of these two sponsors will help Team USA prepare for the IKA "culinary Olympics" in Erfurt, Germany, this October.

"It takes a great amount of support to get Team USA to IKA, as well as being fully prepared to take on the 40 international competitors. Thanks to these two new sponsors, we are one step closer to bringing home the gold at this esteemed culinary competition. I ask that you help show your thanks by patronizing our generous sponsors." -- Edward Leonard, CMC, AAC, ACF Culinary Team USA Manager

KitchenAid is joining ACF Culinary Team USA as a platinum sponsor and Blodgett is joining as a silver sponsor.

Pledge your support now!

Mellisa Root Named to ACF Culinary National Team USA

Mellisa K. Root, a pastry chef at Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, has been named to the ACF Culinary National Team USA. Throughout her career, Root has earned numerous medals in many national competitions, as well as gold and silver medals at the American Culinary Classic held at the 2007 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, the most prestigious international culinary competition in the United States.

Root, a member of ACF National Chapter, has continued her career by working alongside and learning from many of the nation's top culinary and pastry-arts experts, including François Payard; Laurent Branlard; Darrin Aoyama, CEPC; Charles Carroll, CEC, AAC; Michael Joy; and Ewald Notter. Formerly, she was the pastry chef at the acclaimed River Oaks Country Club in Houston.

ACF Culinary National Team USA is a top contender on the world culinary stage, placing fifth overall and winning two gold medals at the EXPOGAST 2006 Culinary World Cup international culinary competition in Luxembourg, November 2006. Additionally, the team took home two gold medals at the Salon Culinaire Mondial in Basel, Switzerland, in 2005, which is held every six years.

The team's history at IKA is long and distinguished. When Americans began competing as an official team in 1956, they were clearly the underdogs. However, American cookery soon established itself as world-class cuisine. The 1960 team captured the first world championship honor for the United States, and ACF Culinary Team USA repeated the distinction in 1980, 1984 and 1988 by taking the prestigious hot-food competition all three times and establishing a new world record for the most consecutive gold-medal wins. The team's most recent IKA win came in 2004, when the team took home the gold medal in hot-food cooking, reestablishing ACF Culinary National Team USA as the leader in international cooking.

Members of ACF Culinary National Team USA are:

  • Edward Leonard, CMC, AAC, manager, executive chef, Westchester Country Club, Rye, N.Y.
  • Joachim Buchner, CMC, executive chef, Chevy Chase Club, Chevy Chase, Md.
  • Jamie Keating, CCC, chef/owner, Gourmet Events and River Mill Event Center, Columbus, Ga.
  • Mellisa K. Root, pastry chef, Payard Pétisserie & Bistro, Las Vegas
  • Richard Rosendale, CEC, captain, chef/owner, Rosendales, Columbus, Ohio
  • Daniel Scannell, CMC, executive chef, Carnegie Abbey Club, Portsmouth, R.I.

Sponsors of ACF Culinary Team USA are Kraft Foodservice, Tyson Food Service, Uncle Ben's, Unilever, Club Managers Association of America, KitchenAid, Chef Revival, Fortessa, Friedr. Dick, Westchester Country Club, and Blodgett.

ACF Practical Exams...The Final Step to Certification

Practical exams are a required part of ACF certification for every level and are usually the last step a candidate takes before sending in his or her certification application to ACF. The key to taking a practical exam is to be prepared. Below are several steps to help you succeed:

  1. Visit ACF's Web site for the certification level for which you are testing. The list of ingredients and what is expected is found in each level's description page. For example, contains the information for a certified executive chef.
  2. Set a goal. Determine when you want to take the test, making sure you allow a few months to prepare.
  3. Practice! Practice! Practice! Many people say the hardest part of taking the practical exam is cooking in a strange kitchen.
  4. Use the reference material suggested, as it is important to have a firm grasp of culinary knowledge.
  5. Contact the facility coordinator to determine the time, cost, directions and information regarding equipment, utensils, dishes and food.
  6. At the exam, be conscious of your sanitary habits. This is an extremely important part of the practical exam.
  7. After you have successfully completed the exam, the evaluator will provide you with a Practical Exam Passing Form that you will submit to the ACF national office with your certification application.

If you have questions about ACF's practical exams, please contact the ACF Certification Department at (800) 624-9458, or e-mail

2008 ACF Central Regional Conference Photos

The 2008 ACF Central Regional Conference that took place February 8-10 at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City, Mo., was a tremendous success, and a good time was had by all. View the pictures and see for yourself. More than 400 chefs, culinarians, partners and foodservice representatives were in attendance.

2008 ACF Southeast Regional Conference Photos

The 2008 ACF Southeast Regional Conference "achieved culinary excellence" with more than 400 chefs, culinarians, partners and foodservice representatives in attendance, March 1-3, at the Williamsburg Lodge, Williamsburg, Va. The colonial-themed conference offered attendees a glimpse into the culinary past while sharpening their skills for the future, as noted in the conference photos.

Invest in Your Company's Future by Becoming an ACF Seal of Approval Participant

There is no better way to earn the respect of the culinary industry than by having your products endorsed by the ACF Seal of Approval program. Only after a product has been rigorously tested by a customized and distinguished panel of chefs does it receive the ACF Seal of Approval.

The ACF Seal of Approval provides tremendous marketability for products endorsed through this program, and creates a partnership with more than 20,000 culinary professionals through the American Culinary Federation.

Currently, more than 180 products bear the Seal, including, Sara Lee® Cheesecakes, Pennant® French Puff Pastry, Splenda® Brand Sweetener, Crisco® Oils and Diamond Crystal® Kosher Salt. For a complete list of products endorsed by the ACF Seal of Approval, and for details on submitting your products for testing, visit

"The ACF Seal of Approval gives Pennant® Puff Pastry customers that extra credibility, security and assurance they are buying the best quality product. Customers immediately recognize that it has already been quality tested by their own industry peers."
- Rita L. White, Product Manager - Bakery, Pennant Foods

CAFÉ Announces 2008 Educator Workshops and Leadership Conference

The Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education offers professional development for foodservice instructors and chefs at all levels.

Go to "Events" at


  • June 20-22 - "The Art of Presentation," L'Academie de Cuisine, Gaithersburg, Md., featuring Roland Mesnier, former White House pastry chef.
  • July 17-20- "Teaching Front-of-House Operations," Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, Pittsburgh
  • July 24-26 - "Desserts & Fine Chocolates," Florida Culinary Institute, West Palm Beach
  • Aug. 1-3 - "Celebrating Global Cuisines," Professional Culinary Institute, San Jose, Calif. Emphasizing Japanese, Pacific Fusion and Italian.

Register by May 1 for all CAFÉ events for best registration discount!

Specifically for college-program directors and lead instructors:

"Ultimate Leadership: Redefining Excellence in Foodservice Education"
June 27-29, 2008
Kendall College, Chicago

Keynotes: "Eating Trends in the United States," Harry Balzer, The NPD Group, and "How to Flip the Switch: Working with Students and Young People of Today's Generation," Charles Carroll, CEC, AAC, author, Leadership Lessons from a Chef.

Field trips (one free with registration) include Goose Island Brewery, Chef Susan Goss/West Town Tavern, French Pastry School and Urban Agriculture.
Breakout sessions include the "greening" of Kendall College, healthier menu items, taste-sensitivity teaching methods, adapting new eating patterns to foodservice, effective classroom demonstrations, alternate career paths for students and global partnerships.
Taste of Chicago reception!

ACF CE hours and Purdue University CEUs awarded at all CAFÉ events

Visit or call (410) 268-5542 for agenda, registration and hotel information.

Academy of Ice Carving & Design (AICD)

New England Culinary Institute: A Key Ingredient To Your Career