2016 Cook. Craft. Create. Convention & Show

Pictures Phoenix, Arizona, July 15–19, 2016

Phoenix’s bold nature shines through with unique cultural eats, breathtaking sunsets against rugged mountains and a gateway to the Grand Canyon. Educational and engagement opportunities that built off the ChefConnect series provided a revitalizing experience for members, foodservice professionals, students and competitors. Whether you are a seasoned chef or a student new to the kitchen, Cook. Craft. Create. offered something for everyone.

More than 850 chefs, cooks, students and foodservice professionals attended Cook. Craft. Create. Convention & Show, hosted by the ACF Chef’s Association of Arizona, Inc. The event provided attendees with numerous opportunities to advance their professional development and enhance their culinary skills through informative workshops and seminars, cutting-edge demonstrations, a trade show featuring nearly 100 exhibitors, a career fair, national competitions and ACF’s annual national awards. 

Presentations included The Future of Food Panel Discussion, which examined how food production, manufacturing and innovation are adjusting to changing demographics and included panelists James Corwell, CMC, founder Tomato Sushi, San Francisco; Bruce Friedrich, executive director, The Good Food Institute, Washington, D.C.; Bill Franklin, CMC, AAC, corporate executive chef, Nestlé Professional, Denver; and Helmut Holzer, CMC, vice president/corporate executive chef R&D, Gourmet Foods International, Atlanta; as well as How Diversity in the Workplace Can Lead to Success, presented by Costa  Magoulas, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC, dean, Mori Hosseini College of Hospitality and Culinary Management, Daytona State College, Daytona Beach, Florida, who discussed how to develop programs to help people from different backgrounds work together and communicate more efficiently. 

Chefs Outreach to the Community Day kicked off the national convention July 15. Volunteer chefs from around the nation worked with over 100 low-income individuals in the Phoenix community to prepare and serve 350 lunches, followed by a cooking demonstration.   

Keynote speakers Graham Elliot, chef/restaurateur, Graham Elliot Bistro, Chicago, and Walter Staib, president/owner-proprietor, City Tavern Restaurant Concepts, Philadelphia, spoke on the current state of the foodservice industry and the power and responsibility of chefs at the first General Session July 16.    

During the five-day event, chefs and culinary students faced off in ACF’s national competitions, demonstrating their culinary skills and leadership. 

Special thanks to ACF’s sponsors and exhibitors who helped make Cook. Craft. Create. a success!

At Cook. Craft. Create., chefs faced off in several ACF national competitions, demonstrating their culinary skills and leadership. ACF also presented awards to chefs and establishments for advancing the culinary industry and profession.

Below are the 2016 ACF award winners and honorees:

U.S.A.’s Chef of the Year, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions

Patrick Mitchell, CEC, AAC

ACF Pastry Chef of the Year, sponsored by Plugrá European Style Butter

Cher Harris, CEPC

ACF Chef Educator of the Year Award

Christopher Misiak, CEC, CCE

ACF Student Chef of the Year, sponsored by Custom Culinary, Inc.

Michelle Stephenson

Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award, sponsored by Minor’s®

Dominick Laudia, CEC, AAC

ACF Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award

James Taylor, CEC, AAC, MBA

ACF Student Team National Championship, sponsored by Vitamix

Oregon Coast Culinary Institute

ACF Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, sponsored by American Technical Publishers and Vitamix

Culinary Arts Institute at Utah Valley University

ACF Industry Partnership Award

Industry Partner - Friedr. Dick Corporation

ACF National Chapter of the Year

ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association

ACF Region of the Year

Central Region

ACF World of Thanks Award

ACF Chef’s Association of Arizona, Inc.

Humanitarian Award

South Jersey Chapter

Presidential Knife

Joe Fioretto

ACF President’s Medallion Recipients

  • Earl Arrowood Jr. CCC®, CCE®, AAC®
  • Mark H. Brown, CEC®, CCA®, AAC®
  • Bert P. Cutino, CEC®, AAC®, HBOT, HOF
  • Mark Eggerding, HAAC
  • Frederick Ferrara, CEC®, CCE®
  • Nicholas Follacchio, CEC®, AAC® 
  • Todd Gold, CEC®, CCA®, AAC®
  • Dorothy Johnston, CEC®, CCE®, AAC®
  • John Kaufmann, CEC®, AAC®, HOF 
  • Patrick Michael O’Brien
  • Garrett Sanborn, CEC®, CCE®, AAC®, ED.D
  • Fritz H. Sonnenschmidt, CMC®, AAC®, HOF
  • Peter Sproul, CEC®
  • Michael Villon, CEC®, CCE®, AAC®

Cutting Edge Award Recipients

  • Bruce Davis
  • Sarah Deckert, CEC®
  • Hilmar Jonsson, AAC®
  • Robert Phillips, CEC®, CCA®, AAC®
  • Jeffrey I. Schlissel
  • Melissa Trimmer, CEPC®
  • Scott Turley, CEC®
  • Fred Wright, CEC®, AAC®
  • Jason Ziobrowski, CEC®

Achievement of Excellence Awards

  • Apropo Catering; Chicago
  • Arugula Ristorante; Plymouth Meeting, PA
  • Chubby's of Dallas; Dallas, TX
  • David's Restaurant; Portland, Maine
  • Delmonico's; Philadelphia, PA
  • Island Sushi & Grill; Las Vegas, NV
  • Lai Lai Garden; Blue Bell, PA 
  • Lawry's The Prime Rib; Chicago, IL
  • Lawry's The Prime Rib; Las Vegas, NV
  • MilkWay Café; Philippines
  • Monestaro's Ristorante & Banquets; Chicago, IL
  • Monterey’s Fish House; Monterey, CA
  • Rock Sugar Pan Asian Kitchen; Los Angeles, CA
  • Wacky Zaki's; Philadelphia, PA

American Academy of Chefs® Awards

In addition, the 45th annual American Academy of Chefs (AAC) dinner was held during Cook. Craft. Create. at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix Arizona. Fourteen chefs were inducted into this honor society for chefs and several foodservice professionals received awards.

AAC Chair’s Medal

David L. Banks, CEC®, AAC®
Executive Chef/Partner, Harry’s Hospitality Group, Wilmington, Dela.; Regional Director (Northeast), American Academy of Chefs; ACF First State Chefs Association

Lawrence A. Conti, CEC, AAC, HOF, Chair’s Achievement Award

John W. Zehnder, CEC®, AAC®
Executive Chef, Zehnder’s Restaurant, Frankenmuth, Mich.; Chapter Certification Chair, ACF Flint/Saginaw Valley Chapter

Joseph Amendola Award

Jan Bandula, CMPC®, CEC®, AAC®
Faculty Emeritus, Stratford University, Baltimore, Md.; Chapter Membership Chair, ACF Greater Baltimore Chapter, Inc.

Chef Good Taste Award

Peter Hodgson, CEC®, AAC®
Campus Executive Chef, University of Utah Dining Services - Chartwells Dining Services, Salt Lake City, Utah; Chapter Membership Chair, ACF Beehive Chefs Chapter Inc.

Lt. General John D. McLaughlin Award 

Robert M. Sparks, Chief Warrant Officer 4, U.S. Army (Retired), A.K. Food Consultants, LLC, Petersburg, Va.; ACF Old Dominion Chapter

Sharing Culinary Traditions Award

Christopher A. Desens, CEC®, CCA®, AAC®
Program Director, Culinary Institute of St. Louis at Hickey College, St. Louis, Mo.; Chapter Education and Program Chair, ACF Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis, Inc.

AAC Celebrated Chef

Walter Staib

AAC Culinary Hall of Fame™

  • Robert M. Forquer, CEC®, AAC®, HOF (posthumous); ACF Conemaugh Valley Chefs Association
  • Wolfgang D. Geckeler, CEC®, AAC®, HOF; ACF Professional Chefs Association of South Jersey
  • Walter W. Leible, CMC®, AAC®, HOF; ACF Chef’s Association of Arizona, Inc.
  • Louis Venezia, CEC®, AAC®, HOF; ACF of Greater Buffalo New York

AAC Fellows

  • Jacqueline Bamrick, CEC®, AAC®; ACF of Greater Buffalo New York
  • John DiSessa, CEC®, AAC®; ACF Epicurean Club of Boston
  • Brian A. Floyd, CEC®, CCE®, AAC®; ACF West Virginia Chapter
  • Otto F. Kurcsics, CEC®, CCE®, AAC® (from 2015); ACF of Greater Buffalo New York
  • Juan Martinez, CEC®, CCE®, AAC®; ACF Chef’s Association of Arizona, Inc.
  • Jay R. Mahoney, CEC®, AAC®; ACF West Virginia Chapter
  • Greg Mueller, CEC®, CCA®, AAC®; Sodexo
  • Renny Parziale, CEC®, CCA®, AAC®; ACF Virginia Chefs Association
  • René Rawraway, CEC®, CCE®, AAC®; ACF Akron-Canton Area Cooks and Chefs Association
  • Joshua T. Spiess, CEC®, AAC®; Gulf Coast Culinary Association
  • Kenneth B. Trout, CEC®, AAC®; ACF Professional Chefs Association of South Jersey
  • Scott D. Turley, CEC®, AAC®; ACF of Southeast Iowa
  • Jean Yves Vendeville, CEPC®, AAC®; ACF Chefs of the Low Country
  • Joshua Wickham, CEC®, CEPC®, AAC®; ACF Columbus Chapter

AAC Honorary Fellows

  • Richard W. Alford, CEC®, CCE®, HAAC; Associate Professor Emeritus (Retired), University of Akron, Akron, Ohio
  • John A. Beaudrie, HAAC; Regional Account Executive - Southern Division, S&D Coffee & Tea, Inc., Concord, North Carolina
  • Graham Elliot, HAAC; Chef and Restaurateur, Graham Elliot Bistro, Chicago, Illinois
  • Nicholas Schiarizzi, HAAC; Executive Chef/Culinary Arts Instructor, Boston University School of Hospitality Administration, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Jeff L. Simms, HAAC; Executive Chef, The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida
  • Harold S. Small, HAAC, JD, HBOT; Bailli Délégué/U.S. National President, Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs of the United States, Rancho Santa Fe, California