First, thank you for your participation
in the recent election of national officers
and your confidence in me as your
president to lead the board for a second
term. You have elected those who will
take their responsibilities on the Board of
Directors seriously and are committed to
serving ACF for the next two years.
Two new regional vice presidents were
elected: Carlton Brooks for the Western
Region, and Brian Hardy for the Central
Region. In addition, Mark Wright joins
the board as the newly elected chair of the
AAC. We look forward to the experience
and insight they bring. Lastly, Kyle
Richardson, who served as Central Region
vice president for the past four years, was
elected board secretary. The 2015-2017
term will begin Aug. 4 following Cook.
Craft. Create. ACF National Convention
& Show in Orlando.
I look forward to seeing you July
30-Aug. 3 at the Orlando World Center
Marriott for the 2015 national convention.
This yearly gathering brings together ACF
members, sponsors and guests from across
the country and allows us to spend valuable
time together. In addition to a stellar lineup
of presenters, there are many opportunities
to network. I know from speaking with you
that networking is considered one of the
true benefits of our events. We spend most
of our time in kitchens and classrooms,
and we appreciate a few days when we
can engage colleagues in conversation and
share our varied experiences.
So, what’s new at convention? We’re
adding sessions regularly, and we’re
confident you’ll find something to speak
to your particular needs. For families,
we have an outing to Lowry Park Zoo,
Tampa, on Friday. Activities that include
a scavenger hunt are on the agenda, as
well as lunch prepared by executive chef
Rene Marquis and his team at the zoo’s
Reilly’s Reserve dining room.
Vitamix Corporation and US Foods are
both sponsoring several sessions, including
creating healthier menu items and
addressing the industry’s changing cultural
demands. That evening, we hold the Chef
Professionalism Dinner, where the Dr. L.J.
Minor Chef Professionalism Award winner
will be announced.
What do you know about Colombian
food? Saturday, join Andres Marin to
explore this cuisine that offers dishes
influenced not only by the indigenous
Colombian culture, but Spanish, African
and Arab cultures, as well. Health on
the Menu, sponsored by Unilever Food
Solutions, will help make sense of the
FDA’s Menu Calorie Labeling regulation.
At noon Saturday, the two-day trade
show opens. ACF Student Team National
Championship, Baron H. Galand
Culinary Knowledge Bowl and Student
Chef of the Year competitions take place
on the trade-show floor. Also, we’ll hold
the first day of the American Culinary
Classic, which includes ACF Culinary
Team USA competing in the cold food
category. Come out and support all the
participants in this exciting event.
Sunday, the trade show opens at 11
a.m., and the American Culinary Classic
continues, as well as competitions for
Pastry Chef of the Year and U.S.A.’s
Chef of the Year™. Finally, in the evening,
head over to Universal CityWalk to spend
time unwinding and having fun.
And just because Monday is our final
day, it doesn’t mean we’ve slacked off
on our efforts to keep you engaged. You
can learn about grass-fed versus grain-fed meats and how their differences
affect the end product and nutritional
value. The Wisconsin Milk Marketing
Board offers its popular cheese-and-beer
pairing. And Costa Magoulas repeats
a seminar well-received at this year’s
ChefConnect events: helping chefs plan
and prepare for the transition to life
outside the kitchen.
Our final session is not to be missed.
Norman Van Aken, chef/founder of
Norman’s, Miami, is considered by
many to be the founding father of New
World Cuisine, and he will demonstrate
just what that means. Our day—and the
2015 national convention—ends with the
President’s Grand Ball.
Now, there are a couple of things
I want to talk about before I end this
message. The first is to strongly encourage
everyone to sign up for Chef’s Roll and
discover the benefits of membership. It’s an
excellent place for chefs to meet and learn.
Check it out at chefsroll.com. The premium
membership is free for two years to ACF
members, so you have nothing to lose while
exploring what it can do for you.
Lastly, the National Restaurant
Association Educational Foundation’s
ProStart program for high-school students
focuses on restaurant management and
culinary arts. Many of you in education
are already familiar with it and include
it in your curriculum. I attended the 14th
Annual National ProStart Invitational in
Anaheim, California, April 18-20, and
was impressed by the talent and skills
on display. If you are unfamiliar with
ProStart, go to www.nraef.org/ProStart
and discover this program that involves
thousands of high-school culinary students
across the country and beyond. You will
be hearing more about ACF’s involvement
with ProStart in the coming months.
PresiDeNT’s Message by Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC
CoNTACT THoMAS MACrINA AT TMACrINA@ACFCHeFS.Ne T