Meet the Chefs
Gerald Ford, CMC, team captain
Ford is senior sous chef at the Everglades Club in Palm Beach, Florida. Ford received a bachelor’s degree in professional studies from the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York. He competes in both hot- and cold-food competitions, is a gold-medalist ice sculptor and is the 2010 winner of the Les Amis d’Escoffier competition. Ford is one of 68 ACF Certified Master Chefs® in the country. He is a member of ACF Palm Beach County Chefs Association.
R. Andrew Chlebana II, CEPC, CCA, team pastry chef
Chlebana is a culinary arts instructor at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Ill. and has competed in several national and international culinary competitions. He received ACF National Pastry Chef of the Year in 2008 and was named one of Dessert Professional’s “Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America” in 2013. He also competed as part of the ACF culinary team that placed second and received a gold medal at the 2013 Dubai World Hospitality Championship. He is a member of ACF Louis Joliet Chapter
Thomas Haggerty, CCC, team chef
Haggerty is sous chef at Gasparilla Inn & Club, Boca Grande, Florida. He is a graduate of the ACF chef apprenticeship program at Johnson County Community College (JCCC) in Overland Park, Kansas, where he also received an associate degree of applied science in culinary arts. As a member of the student culinary team at JCCC, his team earned three silver and two gold medals in ACF-sanctioned competitions. Haggerty is an ACF national member.
Paul Kampff, team chef
Kampff is executive chef at St. Louis Country Club, St. Louis. He is an avid competitor, having won many gold medals, and is also coach to junior culinary teams. Kampff was named Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc.’s 2009 Chef of the Year, and is also the recipient of an ACF national President’s Medallion. He is a member of Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc.
Geoffrey Lanez, CEC, team chef
Lanez is sous chef at Somerset Club and CEO/owner of Burrd Productions, both in Boston, Massachusetts. He holds an MBA in hospitality from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. Lanez holds numerous medals from competing in ACF-sanctioned competitions, including the title of Northeast Region Student Chef of the Year in 2014. He is the recipient of the Johnson & Wales University Apprenti Cuisinier Special Recognition Award of Excellence. He is a member of ACF Rhode Island Chapter.
Vanessa Marquis, CEC, alternate
Marquis is executive chef at the Silo Event Center and Core Brands inBrands in Tampa, Florida. Her experience includes working at a 5-star resort and country club, opening a fine dining restaurant for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and teaching at the Institute of Technology in California. She has won several gold and silver medals in ACF-sanctioned competitions and won “Top Chef of Tampa Bay” in 2014 and 2015. She was names 2016 Chapter Chef of the Year by ACF Tampa Bay Chapter and received the ACF President’s Medallion in 2017.
Jesus Olmedo, team chef
Olmedo is assistant banquet chef at The Country Club in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. He earned an associate degree in applied science from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Boston. Olmedo previously served as captain of 2016 ACF Culinary Youth Team USA, receiving two silver medals in the 2016 Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA), commonly referred to as the “culinary Olympics,” in Erfurt, Germany. He is a member of the ACF Epicurean Club of Boston.
Timothy Recher, CEC, team chef
Recher is executive chef/assistant general manager at Bay Colony Golf Club, Naples Florida. Previously, Recher was executive chef at the prestigious Army Navy Club, Arlington, Va. His experience includes executive chef at various hotels, including The Madison Hotel, Washington, D.C.; Hilton Alexandria Old Town, Alexandria; and Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, Alexandria. An avid competitor, he has received various gold and silver medals in ACF-sanctioned competitions. Recher is a current member of ACF Caxambas Chapter of Naples and Marco Island.