August 2019

Greetings American Academy of Chefs Fellows!

  Wow, what a convention it was! The most well-attended national convention in 10 years! Congratulations to the national board, the ACF Event Team and to all of the ACF staff for planning and executing every aspect of it so wonderfully.
  As I write my first message to you, I must begin by thanking Chef Mark Wright, CEC, AAC for all of his efforts and diligence in running the American Academy of Chefs. Mark has done an outstanding job as Chair and has raised the bar up, which I hope to maintain as your new Chair. I would like to personally thank him for his years of mentoring and for 20+ years of friendship.
  A few highlights of Mark’s accomplishments during the past few years include the induction of 68 Fellows, 26 Honorary Fellows and 20 Hall of Fame members, which included the induction of our first female chef! Mark also streamlined and updated our policies and procedures, and if you have ever worked with bylaws, you surely know how much fun that can be. In addition, he proudly represented the AAC at over 40 local, regional and national AAC dinners, along with chapter dinners and events. Congratulations on a job well done Mark, and for truly making a valuable difference in this organization.
  I would also like to take a moment to congratulate and wish the best to our new Vice Chair, Joe Aiello, CEC, AAC, HOF, on his induction into the American Academy of Chef's Hall of Fame. I look forward to working with Joe to fulfill the mission of the AAC.
  I must also send a special thank you to Karen Stamper our new AAC Foundation Assistant, who in a very short time made this year’s AAC Induction Dinner, Spouses Luncheon and AAC Golf Outing run smoothly and was a great help to Mark and me. She took care of so many details which helped make this year’s events a great success!
  This year we celebrated the AAC’s 64 th year anniversary at our 48 th AAC Annual Induction Dinner at the Orlando World Center Marriott, which I am happy to report was sold out! The dinner was excellent, featuring 7 courses by the Chefs, accompanied by 6 different wines and with a new twist on our first course, “Caviar served with Tito’s Vodka”. Mark and I would like to take a moment to recognize everyone who participated in making this special evening possible, as well as to send out a special note of thanks to Executive Chef Eric Martinez, Executive Banquet Chef Donald Adams, Banquet Chef Kyle Anderson, Sr., Pastry Chef Josh Cain, along with their outstanding culinary and service staff, whose hard work and dedication to our craft made this evening truly memorable.
  Mark and I also proudly had the pleasure this year of introducing and inducting 20 new Academy Fellows, 7 Honorary Academy Fellows, 6 Hall of Fame members including the induction of Chef Gale Gaud into The Hall of Fame as our Celebrated Chef. I would like to express appreciation to Harold Small, HAAC, HBOT, JD, Balli Deleague Chaine des Rottisseurs United States, for his very special presentation of $10,000. to the Academy and ACF Team USA.
  On Monday we hosted our Annual Spouses Luncheon at the Islesworth Golf & Country Club, which was another success, as a spectacular luncheon was prepared and presented by the Club. By the way, this event was sold out as well! Sending special thanks to Executive Chef Andre Rumis, to our new Fellow Pastry Chef Andreas Proisl, CEPC, AAC, as well as to the outstanding culinary and service staff at the Islesworth Golf & Country Club, who truly made this an afternoon one our spouses will remember for a long time to come.
  I thought it important to report about a meeting Mark and I held with our AAC Senior Chefs, at which the main topic was the “Emeritus Status” of our Fellows. We invited Scott Parks, CC Certification Commission Chair and Joe Syrowik, Director of Membership Development, to review and explain the changes which will affect all of our AAC Senior Fellows. I am happy to be able to put the minds of our Senior Fellows at ease by informing you of the outcome from this well-attended meeting. Please know that you will NOT lose your lifetime certifications and most importantly, you will still be Fellows of the AAC. Senior Chefs, you will just have to place the word “Emeritus” before your certification(s) when using them in print (business cards, jackets, etc.). Please see the sample below:

“John Doe, Emeritus, CEC, CCE CCA, AAC”

The generosity of the AAC Fellows is unmatched in our industry, as far as their generous donations and pledges at our annual meetings, as well as throughout the year. These donations allow the AAC to fulfill its mission of educating and supporting our next generation of chefs, as well as providing scholarships and in helping to build a strong foundation for the future of this great industry. Mark, Joe and I would like to thank the following Chapters and Fellows for their donations at this year’s Fellows Meeting.

ACF Black Hills Chapter of Professional Chefs
ACF Caxambas Chapter of Southwest Florida
ACF Chefs of the Low Country
ACF Epicurian Club of Boston
ACF Professional Chefs Association of South Jersey
ACF Texas Chefs Association
Attilio Esposito
Canada Cutlery Inc.
Congressional Seafood Co.
Sam A. D'Angelo, Samuel's and Son Seafoood
Addiemae Rolle-Farrington, CEC, HAAC
Stephen Klinghoffer, FarmArt Produce/Happy Huckster Corp
Kurt A. Kwiatkowski, CEC, CCA, AAC


Jim Churches, CEC, CCA, AAC
Bert A. Cutino, CEPC, AAC
John Miller, CEC, CCA, AAC
Bryant Withers, CEC, AAC

This year, as in years past, the AAC supported the 4 regional Hot Food teams by presenting each with a check for $1,000. to assist with their costs of attending our national convention. In addition, the AAC supported the 4 regional Knowledge Bowl teams via a new method, which had been presented to Mark and I by Michelle Whitfield, based on the Jeopardy Game Show. Basically, the AAC would present $4,000. and then teams would be awarded dollar amounts based on their scores earned during the Knowledge Bowl . The awarded funds would then be used towards the costs of attending the national convention. Congratulations to the following teams:
ACF Southwestern Virginia Chapter
4 Members  
$280 each

Utah Valley University Culinary Arts Institute 
5 members  
$250 each

Culinary Institute of Michigan at Baker College
4 members  
$400 each

Harrisburg Area Community College - ACF Harrisburg Chapter 
3 members  
$210 each

In closing, Joe, Karen and I look forward to working with you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Warm regards,

Americo DiFronzo, CEC, CCA, AAC
Chair, American Academy of Chefs

Congratulations to all those recognized at this years AAC Induction Dinner
2019 AAC Inductees

The American Academy of Chefs, the honor society of the American Culinary Federation, recognizes those ACF members who have met rigorous requirements and whose culinary achievements and involvement in ACF qualify them for Fellowship in this prestigious society.

Jeremy J. Abbey, CEC, CEPC, CCE, CCA
ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association

Kerry J. Beadle, CEC, CCA
ACF Syracuse New York Chapter

Robert E. Brantly, CEC
ACF Myrtle Beach Chapter

Paul G. Brennen, Ed.D., CEC, CCA
ACF Middle Tennessee Chapter

Paul N. Brown, CEC, CCA
ACF Nation’s Capital Chefs Association

Jim Churches, CEC, CCA
ACF Chefs de Cuisine Association of California

Richard J. Crisanti, CEC, CCA
ACF Caxambas Chapter of Southwest Florida

Johnny W. Curet, CEC
Texas Chefs Association

Alexandra Alfano Higgins, CEC
ACF Chefs de Cuisine Association of California

Maria B. Iacovitti, CEPC
ACF of Greater Buffalo New York

Richard R. Kugelmann, CEC, CCA
American Culinary Federation Chefs of Charlotte Inc .
Kurt A. Kwiatkowski, CEC, CCA
 ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association

Gary T. Lyons, CEC
ACF Fox Valley Chapter

Robert W. Marilla, CEC
American Culinary Federation Chefs of Charlotte Inc

Ray J. McCue, CEC
ACF Rhode Island Chapter

John Miller, CEC, CCA
ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association

Andreas Proisl, CEPC
ACF Central Florida Chapter

John Selick, CEC, CCA
ACF Cleveland Chapter Inc

Ben Simpkins, CEC, CCA
ACF Palm Beach County Chefs Association

Robert Walljasper, CEC, CCE
ACF Big Apple Chapter

2019 Honorary AAC Inductees
Honorary Fellowship in the Academy is conferred upon individuals in recognition of their dedication and service to the culinary profession, as well as for their enhancement of the culinary arts through their unique accomplishments.
John Burson
Membre du Conseil Magistral
Chaîne des Rôtisseurs
Toledo, Ohio

Luis Del Cid
Academia Culinaria de Guatemala
Henderson, Nevada

John Johnstone, CMC
Vice President, Food & Beverage
The Broadmoor
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Liu Gwangwei
President of Bejing Eatology Research Institute
Chinese Master Chef
Chinese Culinary Culture Master
Bejing, China

Scott R. Paul
Southeast Regional Sales Manager/Corporate Chef
BelGioioso Cheese Inc.
Indian Trail, North Carolina

Mary Petersen
Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education
Annapolis, Maryland

Craig Youdale
Canadian Food and Wine Institute
Niagara College
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada

James T. Young, CCC
Executive Chef
West Yarmouth, Massachusetts
2019 Culinary Hall of Fame Inductees  
Joe G. Aiello, CEC, AAC

Luigi G. Baretto, CEC, AAC

Michael L. Minor, CEC, AAC

Frank J. Setera, CEC, AAC (honorary)

Michel D. Bouit, CEC, AAC (pothomous)

Christopher J. Neary, CEC, CCA, AAC (posthumous)

2019 Culinary Hall of Fame Celebrated Chef

Gale Gand  

2019 Award Recipients  

2019 Chair’s Medal 

Linda S. Musch, CCE, AAC

2019 Lawrence A. Conti, CEC, AAC, HOF, Chair's Achievement Award

William J. Tillinghast, MBA, CEC, AAC

2019 Joseph Amendola Award 

Garry W. Waldie, CEC, CEPC, CCE, AAC

2019 Lt. General John D. McLaughlin Award  

Jeffrey P. Lein 

2019 Chef Good Taste Award

Deborah A. Bando-Duit, CEC, AAC

2019 Sharing Culinary Traditions Award Recipient

Costa N. Magoulas, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC

The American Academy of Chefs would like to congratulate the following Fellows on their awards given at the President's Grand Ball, August 8, 2019

Spirit of Aloha
Jeffrey Rotz, CEC, CCE, AAC
Bill Sy, CEC, AAC, HOF

Presidential Medallions
Kimberly Brock-Brown, CEPC, CCA, AAC
Elena Clement, CEPC, AAC
Christopher Donato, CEC, AAC
Kevin Enright, CEC, CCE, AAC
Noralyn Galdiano, CEC, AAC
Brian Hardy, CEC, CCA, AAC
Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC
Eva Magoulas, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC
Rajeev Patgaonkar, CEC, AAC
Kyle Richardson, CEC, CCE, AAC
Peter Vossenberg, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC

Educator of the Year
  Scott Steiner, CCE, AAC

Hermann G. Rusch
    John Folse, CEC, AAC, HOF

AAC Lifetime Achievement Award
Chef George A. O’Palenick CEC, CCE, AAC, HOF
October 27, 2019
Crowne Plaza Warwick, RI

The AAC Members of the Rhode Island Chapter will be Honoring Chef George A. O’Palenick CEC, CCE, AAC, HOF with the AAC Lifetime Achievement Award on October 27, 2019 the Crowne Plaz a Warwick, RI (host of the 2014 Northeast Regional Conference). Hotel accommodations at either Crowne Plaza or Holiday Inn Express. For more information contact Linda Musch CCE, AAC (401) 787-5116 or
Chicago Chefs
The American Academy of Chefs

Cordially invite you and your guests to attend

The Thirty-Eighth Annual Chicago Chefs, AAC Gala Dinner

Honoring Steven Jilleba, CMC®, CCE® AAC®

Saturday, November Second,
Two Thousand and Nineteen
At Six O’clock in the Evening

Hosted by
Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile
20 East Chestnut Street
Chicago IL 60611

Rosemary, Ticket Chair
Cell Phone (630) 254-1049
or mail to; 9450 Keystone Ave, Skokie, IL 60076

AAC Applications

are now available. Deadline for submittal is December 1, 2019. Requirements for induction can be found on the AAC website:

Tax-Deductible Donations

Donations, as many as you choose to make in any given year, are welcome at any time. On behalf of the entire Academy family, we thank you again for your generous support. Donations may be made by check mailed directly to the Academy Office, online, or via credit card. Please contact the Academy Administrator at   if you have any questions. 
THANK YOU to all of our 2019 Donors!

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