Press Release

Gunther Heiland, CMPC, AAC, Receives Prestigious Joseph Amendola Award by the American Academy of Chefs

St. Augustine, Fla., July 16, 2009—The American Academy of Chefs (AAC), the honor society of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), honored Gunther Heiland, certified master pastry chef (CMPC), American Academy of Chefs (AAC), of Pottstown, Pa., with the Joseph Amendola Award during a formal ceremony and dinner at the 2009 ACF National Convention held at the Orlando World Center Marriott, Orlando, Fla., July 10.

The Joseph Amendola Award is presented to a pastry chef or master baker. This recipient has devoted their career to their profession and to the mentoring of young individuals who will be future pastry chefs.

Heiland established Desserts International, Inc., a gourmet dessert wholesale business, in Exton, Pa., in 1986. In 2008, he retired and entrusted the future of his company to a local rising-star pastry chef. Heiland holds the American Culinary Federation title of certified master pastry chef, one of only 13 in the U.S. A native of Austria, he received his baking and pastry culinary education in Europe in the old-world guild fashion. Subsequently, he worked as an executive pastry chef in establishments in Iran, Portugal and Germany. In 1975, Heiland immigrated to the U.S. and continued his career as corporate executive pastry chef at the Omni International Hotels, Atlanta. From 1979 through 1986, he worked as executive pastry chef for several other high-end hotels in the Northeast until opening his own business.

Heiland competed in the 1976, 1980 and 1984 “culinary Olympics” in Frankfurt, Germany, and won gold medals in all of his entries. He has received numerous culinary awards, including 1978 Chef of the Year from the Chefs Association of Greater Atlanta and 1998 Pastry Chef of the Year by Chef Magazine. He has even been awarded a star on the Walk of Fame at California Culinary Academy, San Francisco. Heiland is a Fellow of the American Academy of Chefs, a member of the Retail Bakers of America and has been a member of the American Culinary Federation since 1988. He is a current member of ACF Philadelphia Chapter.

The AAC, which recognizes those individuals who have made significant contributions to both the culinary profession and ACF, was established in 1955 at the ACF National Convention in Pittsburgh. Those credited with its founding include the legendary Pierre Berard, Peter Berrini and Paul Laesecke, HOF, AAC.

Sponsors of AAC events at the 2009 ACF National Convention are: Allen Brothers; American Lamb Board; Barber Foods; BelGioioso Cheese Inc.; Buckhead Beef; Butterball Farms; The Chef’s Garden; CleanFish; Contessa Premium Foods; The Crystal Cave; Desserts International; Ecolab; Harbor Seafood; Hudson Valley Foie Gras; Ice Caterers; Icon Estates; Jennifer Garant; Labriola; Lactalis; Les Chateaux de France; Marky’s; Nestle Waters North America; New Chef Fashion; PinSource; Revol; The Schwan’s Food Company; Shucks Maine Lobster; Tito’s Hand Made Vodka; Valrhona; and Villeroy & Boch.

The American Culinary Federation, Inc., established in 1929, is the premier professional organization for culinarians in North America. With more than 22,000 members spanning 230 chapters nationwide, ACF is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and accreditation. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef & Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and to combat childhood obesity. For more information, visit

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To arrange an interview or for a high-res photo, contact Leah Craig at (800) 624-9458, ext. 113, or Patricia Carroll at ext. 147. Email or

Contact: Leah Craig
(800) 624-9458, ext. 113

Patricia Carroll
(800) 624-9458, ext. 147