The American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF), the premier professional chefs’ organization in North America, conferred its highest awards on chefs and students, explored culinary innovations and trends and inducted its new board of directors during Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention & Show at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Orlando, July 9–13, 2017.

The winners of ACF Regional Culinary Salons competed for the national title in their respective categories during Cook. Craft. Create. and demonstrated their culinary skills, knowledge and commitment to the craft. The ACF national competition award winners are:

U.S.A.’s Chef of the Year

Drew Garms, executive chef, The Everglades Club, Palm Beach, Florida, ACF Palm Beach County Chefs Association

ACF Pastry Chef of the Year, sponsored by Plugrá European Style Butter

Dan Boman, CEPC, chef instructor, Art Institute of Phoenix, Arizona, ACF Chefs Association of Arizona, Inc.

ACF Chef Educator of the Year

Costa Magoulas, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC,Dean, Mori Hosseini College of Hospitality and Culinary Management, Daytona State College, ACF Central Florida Chapter

ACF Student Chef of the Year

Madeline Black, student, Utah Valley University Culinary Arts Institute, Orem Utah, ACF Beehive Chefs Chapter Inc.

ACF Student Team National Championship, sponsored by Vitamix Corporation

ACF Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc. Student Team: Nick Norton, Sean Pham, Tim Polacek, Derek Kaliszewski, CC; and Nick Wenz

Coaches: Brian Bernstein and Scott Scheible

Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, sponsored by American Technical Publishers and Vitamix Corporation

Kendall College: Nikhil Bendre, CC; Brandy Freberg; Benton Givens; and Joshua Ludwig

Coaches: Wook Kang, CEC, and Nelia Salvi, CC

Top Culinary Trends Explored at Cook. Craft. Create.

The ACF National Convention & Show offered more than 1,100 chefs, cooks, students, industry professionals and culinary enthusiasts an opportunity to investigate culinary frontiers that will influence innovation in the foodservice industry. Here are the top five culinary trends:

Pop-up restaurants: In an increasingly competitive industry, pop-ups offer entrepreneurial chefs an opportunity to create innovative dining experiences, develop a following and more quickly turn a profit.

Insects as cuisine: Insects have a robust history as a plentiful food source, as well as a bright future with adventurous diners. Crickets, ants and grubs are sustainable protein alternatives and flavor enhancers in food and craft cocktail creations.

Modern plating: As diners continue to seek inventive and engaging culinary experiences, one tool in a chef’s arsenal is modern plating, using tools such as paintbrushes, record turntables and edible inks.

Sustainably sourced ingredients: Sourcing sustainable ingredients and working with local farmers and purveyors can lead to better outcomes for the environment, business owners and today’s modern diners.

“Trash fish”: Underutilized and lesser species of seafood, like lionfish and squirrelfish, can offer chefs new culinary possibilities and entice diners with the promise of meals that are as sustainable as they are delicious. 

Industry-leading presenters explored these top trends in depth, including Theodore Kozerski, co-founder, Detroit Ento; Carlos Villanueva, executive chef, Cloud Catering; Matthew Wadiak, chief operating officer, Blue Apron; and Norman Van Aken, owner, Norman’s.

American Culinary Federation Announces New Board of Directors

ACF installed national officers for the 2017-2019 term. The national officers will serve as the organization’s governing body on ACF’s board of directors and will oversee the Federation and its subsidiaries, working with ACF national office staff to guide the organization’s growth. 

“We are at a pivotal point in our organization with the introduction of a new board of directors,” said ACF National President Stafford T. DeCambra, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC. “We will work together to ensure that ACF’s mission remains relevant for today’s professionals while demonstrating the standard of excellence in everything that we do. My personal commitment is to continue to improve ACF for the next generation.”

National officers for 2017-2019 are:

President: Stafford T. DeCambra, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC, global culinary consultant, Atmore, Alabama

Immediate Past President: Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC, Food Fanatics Chef, US Foods, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Secretary: Kyle Richardson, CEC, CCE, AAC, professor, culinary arts, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Illinois

Treasurer: Christopher F. Donato, CEC, AAC, corporate executive chef, Nestle Professional, Solon, Ohio

Vice President, Central Region: Brian Hardy, CEC, CCA, AAC, executive chef/director of foodservice, The Gatesworth, Ballwin, Missouri

Vice President, Northeast Region: Christopher Neary, CEC, CCA, AAC, corporate executive chef, J Kings Food Service Professionals, East Rockaway, New York

Vice President, Southeast Region: Kimberly Brock Brown, CEPC, CCA, AAC, executive chef, Culinary Concepts, LLC, Charleston, South Carolina

Vice President, Western Region: Carlton Brooks, CEPC, CCE, AAC, retired, Mesa, Arizona

American Academy of Chefs Chair: Mark Wright, CEC, AAC, chair, hospitality management department, Erie Community College, Buffalo, New York

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