By René J. Marquis, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC

René Marquis

As we approach the holiday season, I want to take a moment to reflect on the importance of family, friends and the spirit of giving that defines this time of year. It is a season of warmth, togetherness and sharing, and as chefs, we have a unique role to play in making it truly special for others.

I’m pleased to report that our organization is running smoothly, thanks to the dedication and hard work of our national office. The ACF is continually evolving to serve all its members better, and I am excited about the future possibilities. Our various committees and task forces are in full swing, working tirelessly to address the needs and concerns of our members. I am confident that they will contribute significantly to the growth and development of our organization.

I would like to extend a special thanks and shoutout to all of our members who participated in Childhood Nutrition Day on Oct. 16 and International Chefs Day on Oct. 20. I would also like to thank the members of our new ACF International Chefs Day Task Force, chaired by my wife, ACF Chef Vanessa Marquis, CEC, AAC, for helping us make a positive impact on the next generation. Beyond just these two days, we have many opportunities to introduce our children, students and young chefs to healthy cooking and the joys of our profession. You can cook with them, share your culinary knowledge and even start a garden together to foster a deeper appreciation for food and nutrition.

On an international note, the ACF Culinary Team USA is gearing up for the prestigious IKA/Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart, Germany, taking place Feb. 2–7, 2024. This event is a true showcase of culinary talent from around the world, and our team represents our nation with pride and skill. I encourage you all to send them your well wishes and support them in their journey. You can also contribute to their cause by donating at

Let us remember the importance of our profession. We are not just chefs; we are caretakers of traditions and creators of memorable experiences. Your tireless dedication and efforts are truly appreciated and acknowledged. Still, I urge you to carve out some time for yourself this holiday season. Your wellbeing matters, and I encourage you to prioritize it.

Lastly, let us help others by extending our compassion to cook for those in need. It’s a simple but profound way to make a difference in our communities and spread the joy of good food. Also, consider providing a buddy check to those who may be alone and send your thoughts and prayers to those serving in the armed forces.

Thank you for your dedication and commitment to ACF. I am proud of this incredible community of culinary professionals, and I look forward to all we will achieve together in the coming months.

Sending warm wishes from Florida for the holidays and as always, Chefs, I got your six!

René J. Marquis, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC
National President, American Culinary Federation

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