U.S.A.’s Chef of the Year™ Award

In 1963, ACF created the Chef of the Year Award to acknowledge Walter Roth, AAC, for his tireless efforts to promote and elevate the profession. The award has grown in prestige, and today is the highest honor annually bestowed by ACF.

The U.S.A.’s Chef of the Year™ award recognizes an outstanding culinarian who works and cooks in a full-service dining facility. This person has demonstrated the highest standard of culinary skills, advanced the cuisine of America and given back to the profession through the development of students and apprentices.

2023 National Qualifiers were held March 11–13, 2023, at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas. The four top scoring chefs will move forward to compete for the National Title in New Orleans, Louisiana, during the ACF National Convention, July 16–19, 2023. The competition will be held at the New Orleans Culinary Hospitality Institute (NOCHI), New Orleans, LA 70130. During the 2023 National Qualifiers, Regional Winners were named. These chefs had the highest scores within their regions. The National Winner will be named during the President’s Gala on Wednesday, July 19, 2023.

2023 Regional Winners & National Competitors

  • Central Winner - Russel Cunningham, CEC, CCA (competing at Nationals)
  • Central - Chad M. Burnett, CEC (competing at Nationals)
  • Northeast Winner - Tony Le, CEC (competing at Nationals
  • Southeast Winner - Paul C. Jensen, CEC, CCA, AAC (competing at Nationals)
  • Western Winner - Tom Tobin, CEC
  • Military Representative - R SCPO Michael R. Edwards (competing at Nationals)

Previous Winners