By Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC
This is my favorite time of year. The holiday season
to me is a time to celebrate with family and friends,
but also a time to indulge in delicious food. This
year might look a little different — we might have to
celebrate with some of our loved ones in spirit only,
instead of in person — but as chefs, we can still cook
and enjoy the comfort foods of our various cultures.
To get you into the holiday spirit and excited about
the flavors of fall and winter, this issue of NCR
features stories about panettone and some lighter options for Turkey Day stuffing.
The holiday season also signals a time to recognize others. First, I want to
thank everyone who submitted nominations for our annual awards. Deadlines
have been extended to December 1, so please remember to nominate your
favorite chapter for the Regional Chapter of the Year award.
I would also like to recognize all of our members who have gone out of their
way to feed and help others during these trying times. Many participated in
distributing food to those in need, including children, families and out-of-work
hospitality workers. Some set up donation funds to help members manage their
expenses. Plenty of chapters have coordinated Zoom meetings, inviting members
from around the country and beyond to participate and connect virtually.
Even at a time when we can’t travel or meet in person, many of you continue
to engage with and support your peers through our new online community,
Chef ’s Table. If you haven’t logged in, I encourage you to do so, and join in the
lively discussions taking place. You all inspire our industry to move into next year
with a renewed purpose and passion for what we do.
We need to stick together during these times, and ACF is here for you.
Right now, ACF is offering those considering joining our group a 90-day trial
for professional membership. This trial will give you a taste of what we offer and
allow you to be a part of a leading culinary organization driving the trends and
best practices that will shape the future of our industry. In addition, we’re offering
flexible payment options for members, as we recognize this is a tough financial
time for many of us.
As we approach 2021, we’re continuing to plan an amazing year of events,
whether they end up being in person, virtual or a hybrid. We are monitoring
scientific reports and working with local authorities to design the safest-possible
events for our regional conferences in the spring. In addition, we are adding virtual
training and competitions next year. And, of course, we continue to diligently plan
our annual convention, taking place next summer in Orlando, Florida.
We know how important networking and maintaining connections are to all
of our members. That’s why we are prioritizing ways for everyone to be involved
and help you teach each other how to promote yourselves, excel at your jobs, and
grow your brand and career.
Wishing you a very happy holidays,
Thomas “Tom” Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC
American Culinary Federation
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