‘Tis The Season

Stafford DeCambra

By Stafford DeCambra, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC

In last month’s letter, I shared my passion for competitions, which are an important part of ACF’s purpose and mission. They showcase to both the nation and the world the highest level of culinary talent out there, thanks to the dedication, superior skill level and passion of our members.

As I write this, I'm on my way to the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA) Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart, Germany to watch all of our teams compete: ACF Culinary Team USA; ACF Culinary Regional Team USA; ACF Culinary Youth Team USA (aka, 'Team Tiny'), and the U.S. Army Culinary Arts Team. For nearly four years, the men and women on these teams have shown what it’s like to be true Olympians, not unlike the athletic Olympians we all know and love to watch compete. They have worked hard, and I am confident they will represent us well on the world stage. If you haven’t already, you can catch all the live-streamed action on Facebook @ ACFCHEFS and Instagram @acf_chefs.

After IKA, we quickly go into ChefConnect: Seattle, which kicks off our event season March 1. Then, ChefConnect: Nashville is right around the corner on March 22. Both conferences feature an impressive lineup of speakers and topics, from using TV to advance careers to cooking with cannabis and scraps, the art of fermentation, and the evolution of restaurant technology.

Our events offer one of the best ways for us to demonstrate that all chefs have a seat at the table. This includes young chefs—the hallmark of our evolving association. Last year, I challenged us to open our doors for young chefs who may not have Michelin-star restaurant experience, but who certainly have the potential to be the “next big thing.” I said it then and will say it again: we cannot sustain ACF without these young chefs. Not only do they breathe new life into our organization, they also offer our veteran members an opportunity to give back through mentorship, guidance and support. Through your leadership, this year’s events will serve as the platform through which we can come together and continue to learn from each other.

Finally, a huge thank you to our 2020 sponsors, listed on page 40-41. Our association and this publication relies on your generosity in order to keep doing what we’re doing: educating and engaging our growing member base. Mahalo!

Stafford T. DeCambra, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC 
National President 
American Culinary Federation


Contact me at sdecambra@acfchefs.net or 
follow me on Facebook @stafforddecambra 
and Instagram @sdecambra


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