The American Culinary Federation (ACF), Inc., the largest association of professional culinarians in North America, held its 2013 ACF Southeast Regional Conference at the Louisville Marriott Downtown, Louisville, Ky., March 1 to 4. More than 25 chefs, students, and chapters were honored at the conference. Many of these award winners will compete against their regional counterparts at the 2013 ACF National Convention in Las Vegas, July 21 to 25.
The 2013 ACF Southeast Regional Conference, hosted by ACF Kentucky Chapter, brought hundreds of chefs, cooks, and foodservice professionals to Louisville. The conference provided attendees with opportunities to advance their professional development and enhance their culinary skills through business seminars, cooking demonstrations featuring the latest trends and techniques, cooking competitions and awards.
At the conference, the ACF’s Chef & Child Foundation, in partnership with Hidden Valley Original Ranch dressings & dips, awarded $10,000 to ACF North Carolina Chapter, winner of the ACF Southeast Region $10K Challenge, for the significant impact chapter members made in their local communities by hosting Lunch Break for Kids fundraisers and outreach events for Childhood Nutrition Day. In addition, the American Academy of Chefs (AAC), ACF’s honor society, gave a $1,000 grant to the ACF Southeast Region Student Team Regional Champion, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Asheville, N.C., to assist the team with expenses to travel to the national competition in July.
- ACF Southeast Region Chef of the Year, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions: JohnMichael Lynch, chef de cuisine, Cherokee Town & Country Club, Atlanta; ACF Greater Atlanta Chapter Inc.
- ACF Southeast Region Pastry Chef of the Year, sponsored by Plugrá European-Style Butter: Geoffrey Blount, CEPC, baking and pastry arts program chair, Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, N.C.; ACF North Carolina Chapter
- ACF Southeast Region Chef Educator of the Year: Leslie Eckert, CWPC, CCE, culinary chef-instructor, The Art Institute of Tampa, Tampa, Fla.; ACF Tampa Bay Culinary Association Inc.
- ACF Southeast Region Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award: Klaus Friedenreich, CMC, AAC, chef-instructor, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando, Orlando, Fla.; ACF Central Florida Chapter
- ACF Southeast Region Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award, sponsored by MINOR’S: Christopher McCook, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Athens Country Club, Athens, Ga.; Classic City Chefs & Cooks Association
- ACF Southeast Region Student Chef of the Year, sponsored by Custom Culinary, Inc.: Kendall Knies, student, Sullivan University, Louisville, Ky.; ACF Kentucky Chapter
- ACF Southeast Region Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, sponsored by American Technical Publishers:Students from Guilford Technical Community College, Jamestown, N.C.; coached by Michele Prairie and Patrick Sanecki
- ACF Southeast Region Student Team Championship, sponsored by R.L. Schreiber, Inc.:Students at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Asheville, N.C.; ACF North Carolina Chapter: coached by Eric Backer, CEC
- ACF Southeast Region Flavors of the Mediterranean–A Minute Rice Competition, Sponsored by Riviana Foods: Clyde J. Christmas, executive chef, Durham, N.C.; ACF North Carolina Chapter
The 2013 ACF Southeast Regional Conference award recipients listed below were recognized for their outstanding contributions and goodwill.
- ACF Southeast Region Chapter of the Year: ACF Tampa Bay Culinary Association Inc., Tampa, Fla.
- ACF Southeast Region Chapter Achievement Award:
- ACF Central Florida Chapter, Orlando, Fla.
- ACF Greater Atlanta Chapter Inc., Atlanta
- ACF Southwestern Virginia Chapter, Roanoke, Va.
- ACF Tampa Bay Culinary Association Inc., Tampa, Fla.
- Classic City Chefs & Cooks Association, Watkinsville, Ga.
- ACF Southeast Region Cutting Edge Awards:
- Beverly Allman, retired, Vinton, Va.; ACF Southwestern Virginia Chapter
- Anthony Gates, executive chef, Spring Island, Okatie, S.C.; ACF Chefs of the Low Country
- Eric Karell, CEC, AAC, executive chef, St. Ives Country Club, Duluth, Ga.; ACF Greater Atlanta Chapter Inc.
- ACF Southeast Region ACF President’s Medallions:
- Josef Jungwirth, CEC, CCA, director of culinary services, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Miami; ACF Gulf to Lakes Chefs & Cooks Association, Inc.
- Jeffrey A. Rotz, CEC, CCE, AAC, consultant/educator, Chefs Helping Chefs, LLC, Eustis, Fla.; ACF Gulf to Lakes Chefs & Cooks Association, Inc.
- Dennie Streeter Veasey, CEC, CCE, private chef, Winston-Salem, N.C.; ACF North Carolina Chapter
- James J. Zeisler, Sr., CEC, CCA, program head of culinary arts, Virginia Western Community College, Roanoke, Va.; ACF Southwestern Virginia Chapter
- ACF Southeast Region American Academy of Chefs Southeast Region Service Award: Jeffrey A. Rotz, CEC, CCE, AAC, consultant/educator, Chefs Helping Chefs, LLC, Eustis, Fla.; ACF Gulf to Lakes Chefs & Cooks Association, Inc.
- ACF Southeast Region $10K Challenge: ACF North Carolina Chapter
National and regional sponsors of the 2013 ACF events series are: Alabama Gulf Seafood; Allen Brothers; American Roland Food Corp.; American Technical Publishers; The Beef Checkoff; Campbell Soup Company; Canada Cutlery Inc.; Central Region State Beef Councils; Clemens Food Group; Custom Culinary, Inc.; Ecolab; Gordon Food Service; Idaho Potato Commission; Idaho Preferred; Johnson & Wales University; JTM Food Group; Kentucky Beef Council; Maines Paper & Food Service, Inc.; McCormick For Chefs; MINOR’S; Mississippi Beef Council; Mississippi Seafood Marketing; NEWCHEF Fashion Inc.; North Carolina Beef Council; Plugrá European-Style Butter; PreGel AMERICA; R.L. Schreiber, Inc.; RC Fine Foods; Riviana Foods; S&D Coffee; Sysco; Tennessee Beef Industry Council; Tyson Food Service; Unilever Food Solutions; Victorinox Swiss Army; Virginia Beef Industry Council; Vitamix Corporation; and Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.