Press Release

Focus on Culinary Skills

ACF’s National Convention Meets in Las Vegas

St. Augustine, Fla., May 14, 2002—Kitchens—and imaginations—are firing up in anticipation of Skills for Culinarians Day. This all-day celebration of creative cooking opens the 2002 American Culinary Federation (ACF) National Convention Sunday, July 21, at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

These invigorating sessions feature some of the industry’s most talented chefs and launch the convention into a week full of activities that focus on culinary skills. Seminars that range from Dutch cooking to signature breads and from Guatemalan cuisine to the use of soy in upscale dining will be on the menu at Skills for Culinarians Day, which is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the MGM Grand Hotel's South Concourse.

What ingredients and cooking styles are essentially Dutch? Certified master chef Victor Gielisse, who was born and served his apprenticeship in the Netherlands, will answer that question during his seminar as he demonstrates dishes from his homeland. Chef Gielisse is associate vice president and dean of culinary, baking, and pastry studies at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, N.Y., but he’s no stranger to the restaurant kitchen. His Dallas restaurant, Actuelle, won numerous awards, and he was named one of the 50 New Taste Makers in the U.S. hospitality industry by Nation’s Restaurant News in 1999.

Dishes full of south-of-the-border flavor will be demonstrated by Luis Del Cid, a professor of enology and international cuisines at a Guatemalan university, and Margarita Vin, a restaurant owner and manager from Mexico. Chef Del Cid, a strong promoter of Guatemalan cuisine both at home and internationally, and Chef Vin, a certified culinary educator who organizes national and international congresses to benefit the culinary arts, will share cooking styles unique to their countries during Skills for Culinarians Day.

Noble Masi, a certified executive pastry chef who studied at the American Institute of Baking, comes from a family of bakers. His seminar will help bakers and chefs produce superb signature breads. Chef Masi is an ambassador to the CIA, where he taught culinary arts and baking and pastry arts for 35 years.

Also sharing their expertise are Peter Greweling and Thomas Gumpel, members of the CIA’s baking and pastry arts faculty, and Stephen James, executive pastry chef at The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch, N.H. Amy Barnitz-Wild, chef manager at McConnell Heart Health Center in Columbus, Ohio will conduct a seminar on healthy cooking with an emphasis on using soy in upscale dining.

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Founded in 1929, the American Culinary Federation (ACF) is the largest and most prestigious chefs organization in America. ACF’s goal is to make a positive difference for culinarians internationally through education, apprenticeship, and certification, while creating a fraternal bond of respect and integrity among culinarians everywhere.