By Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC

Thomas  Macrina

It’s a bittersweet moment for me.

This is my last letter as president, but my work with and commitment to the ACF and our membership will not end. I remain committed to helping progress the organization as I transition to immediate past president of the board.

Speaking of which—I would like to thank the current board, all of our members, our sponsors, industry and association partners and ACF staff for all of your support during this very challenging past year. In a time of crisis, we chefs did what we do best: come together to help each other and our communities. But the effort has not and will never stop.

As we usher in a new era and a return to normalcy that grows day by day, I would like to extend a warm congratulations to President-Elect Kimberly Brock Brown, CEPC, CCA, AAC, and the newly elected board members who will lead us into the future. You can read more about these remarkable chefs on page 8.

I would also like to congratulate the newly chosen members of ACF Culinary Team USA 2024. It is a special honor to be selected as part of this stellar team, which will represent our organization and country on the international stage. I look forward to working with everyone as chair of the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF). To read more about the team, turn to page 10.

Another big congratulations to the winners of the ACF Regional Awards—all very well-deserved. For the full list of award winners, turn to page 11, and you can also watch a video recapping the virtual ceremony on ACF’s YouTube channel. National winners will be announced during the 2021 ACF National Convention next month.

That’s a perfect segue: You all know I have been counting down the days until the convention, and now it’s almost here! It’s been way too long since we have seen each other in person, and this convention will truly be a homecoming for us in that regard. I’m also excited about the lineup of amazing speakers and presenters that ACF has put together. It will be fun to be a presenter myself: I will be joined by Chef Greg Matchett, CEC, and Chef Jim Taylor, CEC, AAC, for a presentation on ways to create on-trend menu items that highlight plant proteins and sustainability.

Competitions have always been a central part of the convention, and this year is no different. We have amassed an outstanding group of more than 60 professional and student chef competitors. We will also have 10 competition kitchens going on this year, which is the most we have had in ACF history. Competitors will compete for the Chef of the Year, Student Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year and Student Team of the Year awards, which will be announced during the convention. A huge thank you to Southbend for providing all of the equipment.

It’s been a wild ride, my fellow ACF chefs. I tip my toque to all of you for all you have done over the years, and particularly this past year. I’ll see you all very soon.


Thomas “Tom” Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC
National President
American Culinary Federation

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