The American Culinary Federation (ACF) honored more than 30 chefs, students and chapters at its 2011 ACF Northeast Regional Conference at the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel, Columbus, Ohio, March 20-23.

Hosted by the ACF Columbus Chapter, the conference brought hundreds of chefs, cooks and foodservice professionals together for networking, competitions and professional development opportunities at cooking demonstrations, business seminars and a trade show.

On March 19, the chapter partnered with the Junior League of Columbus for a community service day featuring five healthy eating demonstrations for more than 200 parents and children. The chapter also held a silent auction throughout the conference.

At the end of the conference, the chapter presented ACF Culinary Team USA with the proceeds from the auction plus a donation from the chapter for a grand total of $10,000. In addition, the American Academy of Chefs (AAC), ACF’s honor society, gave a $1,000 grant to the Northeast Region Student Team Regional Champions, Mid Hudson Culinary Association, to assist the team with expenses to travel to the national competition in July.

Here is a look at all of the 2011 Northeast Region award winners who will compete against their regional counterparts at the 2011 ACF National Convention in Dallas in July:

Chef of the Year, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions

Todd Kelly,executive chef/director of food and beverage, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Cincinnati; ACF Greater Cincinnati Chapter

Pastry Chef of the Year, sponsored by Splenda

James Neuman, CWPC,executive pastry chef, Genesee Valley Club, Rochester, N.Y.; ACF Professional Chefs/Cooks Association of Rochester

Chef Educator of the Year

J. Desmond Keefe, CEC, CCE,culinary program chair, Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, N.H.; ACF Epicurean Club of Boston

Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award

Biagio Dente, CEC, AAC, HOF,retired, Pittston, Pa.; ACF Professional Chefs of Northeast Pennsylvania

Chef Professionalism Award, sponsored by Minor’s

Charles Gipe, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Hershey Entertainment Complex, Hershey, Pa.; ACF Harrisburg Chapter

Student Chef of the Year, sponsored by Custom Culinary, Inc.

Caitlin Sive, student, Schenectady County Community College, Schenectady, N.Y.; ACF Capital District–Central New York

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

Representing Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood, Pa., members of ACF Laurel Highlands Chapter: Ellen Cervone, Heather Ferrara, Patricia Firestone, Rebecca Hawk and Adam Peroney. Cindy Komarinski, CCC, CCE, is the team’s coach.

Student Team Regional Championship, sponsored by R.L. Schreiber, Inc.

Representing Mid Hudson Culinary Association, students fromThe Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, N.Y.: Lee Cummings, Nick Dugan, Tommy Messina, Sean Pera and Prateek Sadhu. Brad Barnes, CMC, CCA, AAC, is the team’s coach.

Paella, Please! sponsored by Riviana

Meegan Roberts, pastry chef, Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, Ohio; ACF Columbus Chapter

The 2011 ACF Northeast Regional Conference award recipients listed below were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the culinary industry.

Chapter of the Year

ACF Harrisburg Chapter, Harrisburg, Pa.

Chapter Achievement Award

  • ACF Capital District–Central New York, Schenectady, N.Y.
  • ACF Columbus Chapter, Columbus, Ohio
  • ACF Harrisburg Chapter
  • ACF Pittsburgh Chapter, Pittsburgh

Cutting Edge Award

  • Wilfred Beriau, CEC, CCE, AAC, department chair, culinary arts, Southern Maine Community College, South Portland, Maine; ACF Casco Bay Culinary Association of Portland ME
  • Patrick Britten, CEC, AAC, corporate chef, Sysco of Northern New England, Westbrook, Maine; ACF Casco Bay Culinary Association of Portland ME
  • James Connolly, CEC, regional foodservice director,Atria Senior Living Group, Nashua, N.H.; ACF Epicurean Club of Boston
  • Francine Greff, HAAC, retired, Columbus, Ohio; ACF Columbus Chapter
  • Michael Miely, CEC,corporate chef, Michaels & Associates, Grand Rapids, Mich.; ACF Columbus Chapter

ACF President’s Medallions

  • Linda Boggioni, CWPC, teaching assistant/adjunct instructor, Columbus State Community College, Columbus; ACF Columbus Chapter
  • Charles Gipe, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Hershey Entertainment Complex, Hershey, Pa.; ACF Harrisburg Chapter
  • Cindy Komarinski, CCC, CCE, associate professor, Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood, Pa.; ACF Laurel Highlands Chapter
  • Steven Lautieri, CEC, executive chef, Pawtucket Country Club, Pawtucket, R.I.; ACF Rhode Island Chapter
  • Paul Suplee, CEC, culinary/baking and pastry instructor, Worcester Technical High School, Newark, Md.; Delmarva Chefs & Cooks Association.

The ACF is the largest association of professional culinarians in North America.

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