By Kimberly Brock Brown, CEPC, CCA, AAC
Hello, fellow ACF members and friends!
I am so excited to kick off the start of a fresh new future following an energizing national convention. It was amazing to attend our first in-person event after nearly two years and to reconnect with my dear friends and peers while making new ones.
First, allow me to introduce myself. As an introverted teenager from Chicago, I had a long row to hoe to be proficient in the culinary arts! I thank El Centro College in Dallas, where I completed an ACF apprenticeship, and the many mentors who helped train and uplift me over the course of my many years in the industry.
Currently, I own my own catering, personal chef and consulting business called Culinary Concepts, LLC, based in Charleston, South Carolina—my home for most of my adult life. During my career, I have worked as an executive pastry chef in hospitality, health care and corporate settings, and I have served as an adjunct professor at Trident Technical College and Johnson & Wales University, both in Charleston.
I am a longtime active member of the ACF and most recently served as Vice President, Southeastern Region for the past two terms. I am proud to say I’m known for my regular conference calls with regional (and other) members, especially during the pandemic, when we all needed a place to connect and converse. Town hall calls will be forthcoming, as I want to keep communicating as much as possible with members.
My main goal as ACF president is to focus on uplifting and inspiring our future leaders. As a young chef, many times I felt lost and intimidated by chefs with different accents and tall white hats. I understand the fear, lack of knowledge and need for more representation. This should not define the student chef experience.
I alone can’t do it all; now is the time for all of us and our student chefs to take an active role in our careers and in our federation. For those who want to grow your chapter, now is the time. If you care about this federation and want to strengthen its legacy for chefs coming up through the ranks, now is the time to build those bridges and erase any gaps.
In the short term, I have some fun ideas planned for how to engage members,
including using video and social media. I am also pushing for a bylaw change to get our student members a full vote. I also plan on helping the ACF team recruit a diverse field of presenters for our events and other educational programs. In addition, our regional vice presidents may need your help in securing a location to host regional competitions. Please feel free to reach out to them with any ideas for hosting a successful event.
Over the long term, some initiatives I have planned are to aid and assist members with life outside of the kitchen by providing information about grants and loans, mental health, nutrition, positivity and more. I am also focused on growing our entry-level and mid-career membership base, in addition to the student base.
This year has already been full of positive changes and pivots, and we have only just begun. The ACF board, other ACF leaders and I have come together and are ready to get to work for the betterment of us all. Join us!
Cheers to new beginnings,
Kimberly Brock Brown, CEPC, CCA, AAC
National President, American Culinary Federation
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org 📧
or follow me on Instagram @chefkimberlybrockbrown
and Facebook @chefkimberlyepicurean
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