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

Selection Process for the AAC Culinary Hall of Fame Inductees:

Candidates must be sponsored by a chapter President, member of the Hall of Fame, or a national officer, with a letter of sponsorship explaining the applicant’s exemplary achievements and contributions that would qualify the candidate for the ultimate honor the AAC Culinary Hall of Fame has to offer by December 1st of the year preceding induction.

AAC Culinary Hall of Fame committee members cannot endorse a candidate.

Candidates cannot solicit Fellowship into the Culinary Hall of Fame.

An in-depth biography must be submitted and accompany the mandatory requirements along with a high resolution color photo in culinary attire and toque taken within the past year. Upon nomination, the Academy Administrator will forward a copy of the formal application form to the nominee. This form is to be used as a guideline for information required by the committee to enable it to review the nominees.

The Culinary Hall of Fame medal and certificate of honor will be presented to the recipient during the ACF National Convention at the Annual Academy Dinner, which will be complimentary to that year’s recipients or to any others designated by the Academy Chair.

An inductee need not be present for acceptance if he or she is physically unable to do so. Presentations may be made by a regional director at the inductee’s local chapter or at ChefConnect.

The AAC National Office will place a plaque with the American Academy of Chefs Culinary Hall of Fame recipient’s name and year of induction on the Culinary Hall of Fame Wall.

There will be a maximum of no more than three (3) inductees elected into the Culinary Hall of Fame in any one year, except posthumously. A simple majority vote by the Culinary Hall of Fame Committee will be needed to approve new inductees.

Posthumous Candidates must be sponsored by a Chapter President, member of the Hall of Fame, or a National Officer, with a letter of sponsorship with a maximum of 400 words explaining the applicant’s exemplary achievements and contributions that would qualify the candidate for the ultimate honor the AAC Culinary Hall of Fame. Deadline for submission is December 1st of the year preceding induction. Posthumous candidates must have been an AAC Fellow. The candidate’s name will be placed on the ballot and they need to receive a simple majority of votes from the AAC Hall of Fame Committee to be inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame.

All voting will be by secret ballot. No ballot can be challenged. The first ballot shall be by mail, and be secret. The second and subsequent balloting, in case of a tie, will be by email and by the nature of the email process, will be confidential by individual, but the Academy Office will be aware of the voters’ decision, but will keep those votes confidential. In the case of a third or subsequent ballot to break a tie, the Academy Chair will have a casting vote.


Eligibility Criteria:

Candidate must be:

Of exemplary character, contributing no less than thirty (30) years to the betterment of the culinary profession.

A professional chef.

A member of the American Culinary Federation for thirty (30) years.

A Fellow of the American Academy of Chefs for 20 years.

Be an AAC Fellow in good standing, a Professional Culinarian or a Senior Professional Culinarian.

Candidates must be least 62-years-old. Exception: must meet the above criteria and be a person who is under the age of 62-years-old and is disabled or deceased and has contributed many years to the culinary profession.


Voting Process for AAC Culinary Hall of Fame Inductees:

Copies of all applications and biographies will be sent by the Academy Administrator by mail, email, or be placed onto the ACF website in Portal form. Applications will be disseminated to committee members as they are received in the Academy office. The deadline for receipt of applications is December 1st of the year prior to induction.

Notice of the teleconference will be sent to all Culinary Hall of Fame Committee members. It is required that confirmation of participation be made to the Academy Administrator.

Original ballot:

•   Ballots with the names of candidates will be mailed to the Fellows of the Culinary Hall of Fame committee for their votes after the teleconference review of nominee paperwork. Their votes may be cast for 3 – 2 – 1 or none. The 3 nominees with the simple majority of votes will be inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame. Ballots must be mailed into the Academy office and be received by the due date. If it is not possible to mail ballots in, they may be faxed, or scanned and emailed and the original ballot must be returned to the Academy office for the vote to be counted. Confidentiality will be maintained by the Academy administrator.

Second ballot:

•   In the event that there is a tie vote of two (2) or more candidates, the names will appear on a second ballot via email. The Culinary Hall of Fame committee must vote for one (1) candidate only in order to establish a tie-breaker. If a third ballot is necessary, the AAC Chair will give a casting vote.

If a candidate is not successfully selected in the first year, his or her application will be automatically reviewed the following two (2) years, provided an updated letter of nomination is sent to the Academy office by December 1st of that year. If the candidate is not successfully selected a third time, the application is then removed for a two (2) year wait period. After three (3) years, the process may be started again with a new nomination. Should the candidate not be selected after the additional three (3) years, their name will be removed from further consideration for the Culinary Hall of Fame.

All completed ballots will be mailed directly to the national office. The Academy Administrator will send notice of the voting results of the Culinary Hall of Fame Committee and to the candidate sponsors.

The Academy Administrator will send notice of the induction process to the selected candidates.


Selection Process for Honorary AAC Culinary Hall of Fame Inductees:

Only one Honorary Culinary Hall of Fame Fellow may be accepted in any one (1) year.

Honorary Culinary Hall of Fame candidates shall be selected at the discretion of the AAC Chair and Vice-Chair.

Honorary Culinary Hall of Fame recipients will be recognized during the ACF National Convention at the Annual Academy Dinner, which will be complimentary to that year’s inductee or to any others designated by the National Academy Chair.

A chef honored in the Honorary Culinary Hall of Fame will receive a medal. Individuals other than chefs who are honored will receive the same medal.

An in-depth biography of the recipient must be submitted and accompany the mandatory requirements; also, a high-resolution photo taken within the past year. Photo of Chefs must be taken in culinary attire and toque.

An inductee need not be present for acceptance if he or she is physically unable to do so. Presentations may be made by a Regional Director at the inductee’s local chapter or at a ChefConnect.

The AAC National Office will place a plaque with the American Academy of Chefs Culinary Hall of Fame recipient’s name and year of induction on the Culinary Hall of Fame Wall located in the National office.

The selection of an inductee into the Culinary Hall of Fame must be by a majority vote of the Selection Committee.

Honorary Culinary Hall of Fame candidates will be discussed during the annual Culinary Hall of Fame Committee teleconference, and will be included on the ballot papers under the category ‘honorary’ nominee.


Eligibility Criteria:

The Honorary Culinary Hall of Fame Member must:

Have been involved in a culinary-related field or culinary profession for thirty (30) years or more.

A Fellow or Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Chefs.

Be a person of exemplary character.

Candidates must be least 62-years-old. Exception: must meet the above criteria and be a person who is under the age of 62-years-old and is disabled and has contributed many years to the culinary profession.