A Holiday Message from your
Central Region Vice President
Happy holidays!

I would like to wish everyone a joyous holiday season. For most in our industry, the holidays are a time that keeps us very busy with special events and parties. I just want to remind everyone of the significance of what you do this time of year. Chefs and all foodservice professionals work hard to provide hospitality to others during the holiday season by sacrificing time with family and loved ones. The result of this sacrifice brings so much happiness to so many, even if some do not realize it.

You can be sure that your colleagues and fellow ACF chefs fully understand the impact of this commitment. This is the time of year to reach out to each other and appreciate how chefs make the world a better place along with the importance of our industry and the impact we can make to continue to improve it. Just remember when the dust settles to take time with your loved ones and remember the support they provide to allow us to accomplish what we need during the holiday season.

I would like to congratulate all the chapters in the Central Region for another amazing year of success, and to thank each and every one of the members who work so hard to continue to move not only ACF forward but the culinary and hospitality industry into the future.  

I had the honor of observing the 2017 ACF CMC Exam which took place Sept. 30 to Oct. 8 at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan. I would first like to thank Schoolcraft College, faculty and students for all of their hospitality while hosting the exam. It was extremely well run and everyone who attended and all who observed were very impressed by the facility and overall reception they received.
I would like to recognize the ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association for their support during the event. It was very impressive to see so many volunteers representing their chapter with dedication and professionalism. I would like to thank the ACF Certification Commission members and Jeremy Abbey, CEC, CEPC, CCE, CCA – ACF Director of Certification for all of the hard work and planning that went into the event. 

Also, thanks go to all the CMC evaluators who volunteered their time, with special thanks to Chef Brian Beland, CMC, for his leadership and professionalism making sure the test was given with the highest level of integrity. Finally, I would like to congratulate all the candidates for their participation and dedication to their craft as they all performed at a very high level. When it was all over, it was very exciting to see three new ACF Certified Master Chefs: Gerald Ford, CMC; Joseph Leonardi, CMC; and Shawn Loving, CMC, CCA . Congratulations!

I would like to thank Chef John Johnson CEC, CCE, and Madison Area Technical College for agreeing to host the 2018 Central Region Culinary Salon Feb. 16-18. Once again, we had a great turnout with the 2018 Central Regional awards applications and I would like to wish all the finalists good luck with the upcoming competition. If I can help in any way or answer any question please reach out to me and I will get you the information as soon as I can. Otherwise, good luck and congratulations again.

Finally, the ACF events staff has done an amazing job in preparation for the 2018 events and the 2018 ChefConnect: Newport Beach regional conference. The conference will be held at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa on March 18-20. I know everyone is working very hard to set up a great conference, with excellent educational seminars, delicious food and obviously great company. I do hope to see everyone there and to enjoy a great event with all of you.

Happy New Year to all!

Brian A. Hardy CEC, CCA, AAC
ACF Central Regional Vice President
ChefConnect: Newport Beach is March 18-20
ChefConnect: Newport Beach kicks off with a lineup of very innovative speakers. Our keynotes are Roy Choi, a founder of the food truck movement; Jehangir Mehta, a leader in culinary sustainability; and Sean Sherman, founder of The Sioux Chef who is revitalizing indigenous cuisine. I'll see you there  March 18-20!
We've streamlined to be more flexible for your budget:
  • Choose full registration with meals, education-only registration (no meals) or purchase a day badge.
  • Purchase a la carte meals for the Welcome reception, Chef Pro lunch, Vice Presidents' Gala or AAC dinner.
  • No more scanning for seminars or tickets for meals! You automatically receive continuing education hours post-conference.
  • All non-ACF member registrations include a one-year national membership.
  • Student/senior rate is not increased in until onsite.
  • Shortened general session features one keynote speaker daily.
Happy Holidays Sale
Give yourself the gift of education and networking to grow your career. 
Professional members who purchase a full registration for either ChefConnect by Dec. 31 will receive $100 off the standard rate and be entered into a drawing to win an iPad! Call the Events team at (904) 824-4468 to receive this offer.
Delta Airlines Discount for Event Attendees
Delta Air Lines is pleased to offer special discounts for American Culinary Federation event attendees in 2018. Visit the Hotel & Travel page for the event you plan to attend to get the meeting code and more information.
Need help convincing your boss or colleagues to attend an ACF event? Download this sheet for the talking points.
Central Region Culinary Salon Competitors
The Central Region culinary salons are Feb. 16-18 at Madison College in Madison, Wisconsin. The best chefs will compete to represent the Central Region and earn the national title at Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention & Show in New Orleans, July 15-19. The public is invited to attend and cheer on the chefs!
U.S.A.'s Chef of the Year
  • Daniel Cleary – Park Tavern
  • James McAfee, CEC, AAC – Pine Bluff Country Club
  • Rick Neal, CEC – Eagles Bluff Country Club
  • Robert Coran – Walnut Creek Country Club
Pastry Chef of the Year
  • Alison Hodges, CC, CPC – Custom Food Group
  • Jennifer Miller, CPC – Horseshoe Casino
  • Mark Slessor – Royal Park Hotel
Student Chef of the Year
  • J. Courtney Plyler – Pulaski Tech
  • Emma Prucha – Joliet Junior College
  • Morgan Wanner – Platt College
  • Andrew Dos Santos – Oakland Community College
Central Region Award Nominees
Regional award candidates will be recognized during the Vice Presidents' Gala during ChefConnect: Newport Beach on Tuesday, March 20. The below chefs have been recognized as leaders in our industry. Congratulations to everyone who was nominated!
Chef Educator of the Year
  • Wook Kang, CEC – Kendall College
  • Terri Herrera, CCE – Washtenaw Community College
Hermann G. Rusch Chef's Achievement Award
  • Alex Darvishi, CEC, AAC – Houston Country Club
  • Ewart Jones, CEC, AAC – Art Institute Houston
  • Harold Grose, CEC, CEPC, CCE, AAC – Ivy Tech Community College
  • Kevin Enright, CEC, CCE, AAC – Oakland Community College
Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award
(Award winner to be announced during Chef Pro lunch on Monday, March 19.)
  • Christopher Dwyer, CEC, CCA, AAC – Bull Brokerage Inc
  • Virgil Emmert, CEC, CCA – Oak Ridge Hotel
  • Kevin Brennan, CEC, AAC – Detroit Athletic Club
Deadlines extended: Last chance to apply!
ACF Culinary Youth Team USA
ACF Culinary Teams are the official representative of the U.S. in international culinary competitions. The deadline for youth team applications is extended to Jan. 1, 2018.
Presidential Awards
The deadline to nominate a colleague or restaurant for a presidential award is Dec. 31. These awards represent the highest honors ACF can bestow.

Certification Updates
For certification news and updates, follow the
ACF Certification Group page on Facebook.
ACF is currently piloting the CC and CPC electronic score sheets for release in early 2018.
ACF is expanding practical exam sites by reaching out to administrators and chapters. Learn more.
A new Certification Evaluator handbook is in development for Certification Evaluators.
ACF 2017 Salary Survey now available to ACF members!
Download ACF’s 2017 Salary Survey to compare earnings across the country based on responses from thousands of professional chefs. Login to access it in the member portal .
American Culinary Federation, 180 Center Place Way, St. Augustine, FL 32095
(904) 824-4468 | Fax: (904) 940-0741

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