ACF Student Chef of the Year Award

The ACF Student Chef of the Year recognizes a student who possesses a high degree of professionalism, culinary skills and passion for the culinary arts.

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.

History of the Student Chef of the Year Award

The award was established in 1987 by the late Baron Galand, CEC, to help student members establish their position within ACF. From 1987 to 1998, the Student Chef of the Year Award was bestowed upon one national winner during ACF’s national convention. In 1999, however, it was decided that a winner from each ACF region would be chosen. Regional winners advance to the national convention where they vie for the national title. In 2003 a culinary cook-off was introduced at the national convention, and, for the first time, regional finalists competed for the national title.

2023 Regional Winners & National Competitors

  • Central Winner - Jennie Huynh (competing at Nationals)
  • Central - Caitlin R. Drzyzga (competing at Nationals)
  • Northeast Winner - Maxwell R. Smith (competing at Nationals)
  • Southeast Winner - Roman A. Nourse (competing at Nationals)
  • Western Winner - Andrea E. Sanchez (competing at Nationals)
  • Military Representative - Cpl Carol E. Duenez-Vallejo (competing at Nationals)

Previous Winners