By Kimberly Brock Brown, CEPC, CCA, AAC

Kimberly Brock Brown

This is one of my favorite times of the year. Not just because of the warm, sunny days, but because it’s convention time!

It has been such an honor to represent you at the ACF MasterCraft Summits and other events leading up to convention that I have been blessed to attend or speak at—in cities from Los Angeles to Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Abu Dhabi and more. Next up: Vegas! This year’s ACF NatCon is even more special for me because it will be my first as president!

I can’t wait to have one of our headliners, Chef Elizabeth Falkner, kick off the festivities. We recruited her to speak after I met her at a previous event and was impressed by her personality, knowledge and engaging style, not to mention the fact that she is a bad a$$ sweet and savory chef! I also want to thank the longtime and dedicated ACF members who will be presenting at convention, including all the ACF Certified Master Chefs on the lineup this year. You’ll see many of them highlighted throughout the pages of this special convention issue.

I’m also excited for the return of competitions (read more about the benefits of competing on page 30). As in 2021, regionals were merged into one national competition, which will be held at nearby College of Southern Nevada during the convention. This year, we’re thrilled to introduce the first-ever Student Pastry Chef of the Year award; I love seeing all of the students involved and pushing themselves to take their skills to a whole new level. In addition, ACF’s 2024 Culinary Team USA (turn to p. 35 to learn more) will have a station at the welcome reception to provide delicious samples.

As we get into the summer months, I’m reminded of the importance of work-life balance and of the health and wellness of our membership. Are we actually living that balance and truly taking care of our minds, bodies and spirit? I’m going to take this summer to start practicing what I preach on a personal level by stepping up my physical fitness. Luckily, ACF Chef/Nutritionist Lisa Dorfman (read her wellness jumpstart tips on p. 50) will be on hand during convention with some morning workouts and motivation! Turn to the News Bites section for more information and register TODAY at

I can’t WAIT to connect or reconnect with you soon!

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

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