By Kimberly Brock Brown, CEPC, CCA, AAC

Kimberly Brock Brown

Spring is here—what better time to spring forward? Snow may still be on the ground for some, but I’m taking this season to regroup, renew and revitalize. What does that look like for you? Maybe it’s trying something different creatively, learning something new in the ACF Online Learning Center or taking advantage of our changed rates to go after a certification or renew an existing one. Now is the time to invest in yourself. Remember: work, life, balance!

March is Women’s History Month. I’ll be celebrating by presenting at the upcoming MAPP (Mentorship. Advocacy. Pandemic relief. Power of women.) Restaurant Reset Conference in April. Women chefs have made a lot of inroads in our industry—just read about longtime ACF member Chef Ann Cooper (p. 34), with whom I had the pleasure of sharing the main stage at a past ACF National Convention. The statistics for women in the workforce have improved, but we still have a long way to go to stop the pay gap, gender discrimination and the lack of both leadership opportunities and support for work-life balance. Mindfulness, empathy and creative 21st century thinking around the issues we all face will be the key to successful working relationships in the long term.

March is also National Nutrition Month. Two years into a pandemic and many of us are finding ways to improve our health through food. Learn more about how one ACF chef is doing just that in his teachings about culinary nutrition (p. 24).

The ACF is in a unique position to encourage growth for all its members. A lot of that starts with our veterans, featured in the list of the American Academy of Chefs candidates for induction on p. 10, as well as in the article for rising chefs on p. 28. Mentoring up-and-coming chefs is something near and dear to my heart. Read more about how the ACF Student Chef of the Year has grown as a result of her mentors on p. 33.

This month, we are excitedly kicking off our one-day MasterCraft Summit series. The first event on March 10 in Orlando, Florida, will cover advanced culinary techniques, and we are deep in the content development for additional in-person summits planned for the year. Starting in April, we’ll be offering a virtual Culinary Leadership Bootcamp summit every Monday. Don’t wait to register at These summits have limited attendance.

In the meantime, get involved! Connect with your chapter. Get engaged in community service, become a mentor for others or practice your craft in a competition (visit to find local ones). Of course, it’s never too soon to start planning (and registering!) for the 2022 ACF National Convention in Las Vegas. Wait until you see the lineup of presenters! I am just giddy with excitement and hope to see you there!

Happy Spring and Let’s GO!

Kimberly Brock Brown, CEPC, CCA, AAC
National President, American Culinary Federation

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