The American Academy of Chefs American Academy of Chefs Culinary Hall of Fame™

The founding of the American Academy of Chefs Culinary Hall of Fame™ was inspired in 1988 by then Academy Chair Jon Greenwalt, CEC®, AAC®, HOF at the ACF National Convention in Las Vegas.

“The Culinary Hall of Fame was unanimously accepted by the Academy members. Its concept is to honor those men and women who, because of their outstanding attributes, have won the respect and love of their professional guild. Therefore, they are so honored by their peers as a positive reflection to all those in this profession who seek achievement!” —Hermann G. Rusch

2019 American Academy of Chefs Culinary Hall of Fame™ Inductees

Joe G. Aiello

Joe G. Aiello, CEC®, AAC®

Joe G. Aiello, CEC®, AAC® is a member of the American Culinary Federation since 1977 and an Academy Fellow since 1987. He has held numerous board and committee positions, including ACF national treasurer and ACF bylaws committee chair. Aiello currently serves as AAC Central region director. He received the ACF Presidential Medallion in 2017, and the AAC Service Pin award in 2011. For the past twenty years, Aiello has owned and operated Apropo Catering, a highly successful multi-faceted food service management and special events company.

Luigi G. Baretto

Luigi G. Baretto, CEC®, AAC®

Luigi G. Baretto, CEC®, AAC®, is an active member of ACF Professional Chefs of South Jersey since 1982 and an Academy Fellow since 2001. He earned the AAC Service Award in 2016 and received numerous local chapter awards, including the PCASJ Award for Professionalism in 2016 and 2017. Prior to retirement, Baretto was executive chef for over twenty-five years at Rams Head Inn in Galloway Township, New Jersey. He continues to dedicate his time volunteering with Chefs on a Mission at the Atlantic City Rescue Mission.

Michael L. Minor

Michael L. Minor, CEC®, AAC®

Michael L. Minor, CEC®, AAC®, is an active member of ACF Cleveland Chapter since 1976 and an Academy Fellow since 1983. He was inducted into the Honorable Order of the Golden Toque in 1987. Minor was instrumental in the development and implementation of the ACF Chef Professionalism Award. He received the AAC Chair’s medal in 2012. He was an active team member in the World Chefs Tour for Hunger in Johannesburg, South Africa. Minor currently serves as culinary ambassador for Custom Culinary, Inc.

Frank J. Setera

Frank J. Setera, CEC®, AAC® (honorary)

Frank J. Setera, CEC®, AAC®, has been a member of ACF since 1972 and founded three chapters over the years, including ACF Caxambas Chapter of Southwest Florida. He has worked extensively in private country clubs in New York, California and Florida and later shifted to education to share his experience and knowledge with young aspiring chefs, including Argentina and Ecuador. Setera earned the ACF Caxambas Chapter of Southwest Florida Chef of the Year award in 1989, 1998 and 2003. He remains active in the local chapter and volunteers his time in the community hosting cooking classes.


Michel D. Bouit, CEC, AAC

Michel D. Bouit, CEC®, AAC®

Michel D. Bouit, CEC®, AAC®, a native of Burgundy, France and a longtime friend of the ACF family. Chef Bouit began his career as an apprentice in France before coming to the United States, worked in Chicago for 20 years as an Executive Chef for an international bank before establishing the World of MBI, with his wife and partner, Liz. While creating indelible culinary travel for his clients with MBI, Chef Bouit also served as a national officer with the ACF, was a CEC® and ACF® Life Member as well as a fellow of the American Academy of Chefs. In 1989, Chef Bouit was the ACF’s National Chef of the Year. For over 10 years, Chef was an essential member of the ACF conference team, managing events and creating memorable menus for attendees.

Christopher Neary, CEC, CCA, AAC

Christopher Neary, CEC®, CCA®, AAC®

Christopher Neary, CEC®, CCA®, AAC®, was a member of ACF since 1993, ACF Long Island Chapter since 1995, and an Academy Fellow since 2008. He held several national board and committee positions, most recently as ACF Northeast Regional Vice President, and was active in his local chapter, serving three terms as chapter president. Neary was the culinary force behind some of Long Island’s finest restaurants, receiving top reviews from the New York Times and Newsday. In 2004, he earned the ACF Long Island Chef of the Year award, and in 2008 and 2011, he was honored with ACF presidential medallions. Neary had been continuously involved in local charity events and dedicated his time to mentoring young culinarians whom he held in high regard as the future of his profession.