ACF Young Chefs of the Month Recipients
April 2018 - Culinary Passion
Valeria Barger, Havertown, Pennsylvania, ACF Philadelphia Delaware Valley Chefs Association
Redundantly, my culinary passion is the food. I love the different ingredients that I’m surrounded with, both edible and not. The kitchen is such an incredible place, it’s a place where I can let everything else go and work with what matters most- the food. There’s always something new to learn with the food - from how to make a cauliflower crust, how to make aspic, how to perfectly poach a lobster tail, and everything in-between. From buffets to banquets to the line, there’s always something to experience and learn from everyday. I choose this field because it fills me. Having the ability day in and day out to cook incredible food, serve it, and interact with people about food is a dream come true. In many ways, food brings people together, and I’m grateful everyday that I get to play a small part in these events.
March 2018 - Culinary Achievements
Lydia Ross, CEC, Bethesda, Maryland
My biggest culinary accomplishment to date is being able to take all of the knowledge and skills my mentors have instilled in me and start passing them onto those around me. Through competitions and certifications, I push myself to continue growing; I have been able to help multiple coworkers start on their own paths of competitions and certifications. I love being successful but more so helping others be successful. It’s a much bigger achievement if I can spread my passion for cooking with my colleagues and succeed together. Learning is an everyday thing that will never end as long as you continue to push forward.
February 2018 - Ingredients
Richard Robinson, Woodstock, Georgia, ACF Atlanta Chefs Association, Inc
Favorite ingredient: Apples
I love apples and the idea of giving them whatever flavor you choose. I like to make apple butter and pair it with pork. Brining, smoking, and butter-braising the pork with fresh herbs and serving it with apples in any form make the most beautiful of combinations.
January 2018 - Mentorship
Sarah Dilling, Achille, Oklahoma, Texas Chefs Association
Tell us about the qualities you admire in your mentor and how he/she has helped you.
Chef Joanna Bryant was the first person that I met when I started my culinary education at Grayson College. Not only has she trained me so that I can ever improve in the kitchen, but she helped create the path for me to enter college early. I was home schooled on a farm in Oklahoma and graduated high school at 15. When I was fourteen, she worked with the College Board to allow younger students to enter the program. Now thanks to her, I will have a Culinary AAS and Hospitality Management AAS degree at the age of eighteen. I found out that Chef had nominated me for the President’s Award at Grayson College, which is rarely given. I won the President’s Award. I feel thankful to Chef Bryant for considering me for the award and giving me the opportunity to learn and study under her. She has also supplied multiple chances to go outside our program and learn in the industry. I have worked with her helping many non-profits such as the Child and Family Guidance Center of Texoma, Women Rock Inc. for breast cancer, Reba McIntyre’s Ranch House, and the Texoma Health Foundation. I have also worked with Chef Bryant and Chef Robert Irvine at the American Airline’s SkyBall benefiting many veterans’ organizations. Thanks to her hard work, I have competed in the Baron H. Knowledge Bowl in Hawaii and Chicago earning an ACF silver medal in Chicago. Now that I am finishing up my time under Chef Bryant, I am representing the State of Texas in the student team competition in Wisconsin in February. Chef Bryant has taught me what it means to be a mentor, which I plan on passing on to others throughout my career and life.