ACF Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award

This award, formerly the Hermann G. Rusch Humanitarian Award, honors chefs who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to both ACF and the culinary profession. Such chefs, through their involvement with and contributions to ACF and our craft, have advanced the culinary profession and ensured the enrichment of students, our members and those in the profession. Candidates are worthy of carrying on the proud tradition of the chef for whom this award was named, Hermann G. Rusch, AAC (1907–1997).

2019 Regional Semi-Finalists


John Folse

John Folse, CEC, AAC, HOF

Ronna Keck

Ronna Keck

Thomas Recinella

Thomas Recinella, CEC, AAC


James Connolly

James Connolly CEC, CCA, AAC

Michael DiStefano

Michael DiStefano, CEC, CCE

George O'Palenick

George O'Palenick, CEC, CCE, AAC


Roger Newell

Roger Newell, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC

Jeffrey Rotz

Jeffrey Rotz, CEC, CCE, AAC

James Zeisler Sr

James Zeisler, Sr, CEC, CCA


Peter Gebauer

Peter Gebauer, AAC

Vernon Hickman

Vernon Hickman, CCC, CCE

Lenard Rubin

Lenard Rubin, CEC, CCA

2018 ACF Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award

Wolfgang Geckeler, CEC, AAC, HOF



Central - Alex Darvishi, CEC, AAC
Northeast - * Wolfgang Geckeler, CEC, AAC, HOF
Southeast - Bernd Mueller, CEC, AAC
Western -Bill W C Sy, CEC, AAC, HOF

Previous Winners