It’s October, and we’re welcoming
fall all over the U.S. For some, that
means relief from the summer’s heat, and
for others, preparing for cold weather.
But there is one thing all of us in the
foodservice industry have in common—
making plans to best serve our customers
during the busy holiday season. As we
well know, that means meeting diverse
dietary needs, as well as paying attention to
those dishes that are cherished traditions in
There are a couple of articles in this
issue that speak to holiday meals, one on
vegetarian menus and one on side dishes.
I got to thinking about vegetarian dishes,
and my first thought was what a long
way the industry has come in this area.
It used to be that vegans and vegetarians
who wanted to eat out had little choice.
Now, menus—both regular menus and
all-vegetarian ones—are offering such
creative takes on fresh, tasty ingredients
that they appeal to meat eaters, too.
Like many of you, I sometimes choose
a vegetarian entree when eating out, and
I’m usually pleasantly surprised at the
flavors the chef has married in the dish.
It’s possible that chefs are becoming more
conscious of customers’ requests for more-healthy choices on menus, which often
translates to less meat and more alternative
proteins and vegetables. And I believe it’s
a point of pride for us to show that we’re
equally skilled at making a vegetable shine
as that prime cut of beef.
Now, I’m not going to give up meat,
but the thought of a vegetarian dish no
longer leaves me cold, and I suspect
many of you feel the same. So we
shouldn’t consider it a chore to feed the
vegetarians at our tables, but a chance
to take our skills and make vegetarian
dishes that delight all our guests.
It’s a given that as we hear more about
health or environmental reasons to eat
our veggies, we’ll find ways to make that
happen. And I see more and more chefs
today going that extra mile to satisfy their
People are vegan, vegetarian or
gluten-free for a host of reasons, and
we’re in the business of feeding them
when they come to our establishments.
And, let’s face it, we love a challenge.
Hospitality is in our blood, and nothing
is more satisfying than preparing a dish
that gives a customer an incredible
dining experience. That’s the best kind of
There is much going on this month
outside the kitchen, beginning with
Childhood Nutrition Day Oct. 16. Many
of you will be involved in programs in
your communities. These events, as simple
as offering a cooking demonstration or
holding an activity session at a local
school, help make an impact across the
country. Many of the events will involve
kid-friendly foods with an emphasis on
fresh fruits and vegetables.
International Chefs Day, Oct. 20, is
when those who belong to Worldchefs
member associations throughout the
world engage in charitable activities in
their communities. We are all members of
Worldchefs, and I encourage everyone to
participate. Events include special activities
that involve children and young people, and
this year’s theme is “Healthy Kids—Healthy
Future.” The intention is to engage with a
local school or preschool in your community
and have fun with young children while
teaching them about healthy eating. Nestlé
Professional is a partner, and offers details at
Three ACF members will take part
in the Global Chef Challenge Americas
Competition, Oct. 23-25, in Quito,
Ecuador. Victor Perez Ruiz, a student
at Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah,
a member of ACF Beehive Chefs
Chapter Inc., competes Oct. 23 in the
Hans Bueschkens Competition; Stephan
Schubert, executive pastry chef at River
City Casino, St. Louis, and a member of
Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis
Inc., competes Oct. 24 in the Global
Pastry Chef Competition; and Eddie
Tancredi Jr., CEC, executive chef, Adega,
Cleveland, a member of ACF Cleveland
Chapter Inc., competes in the Global
Chef Competition Oct. 25. Good luck to
you all. We know how much time and
effort goes into these competitions.
The World Food Championships
(WFC), which many of you will
remember from your involvement in 2014
in Las Vegas, takes place Nov. 3-10 in
Kissimmee, Florida. In this tournament-style competition, WFC identifies
winners in each of nine key categories of
competition. Those winners compete in
the final, where one of them will be named
World Food Champion. Let’s cheer on all
our members who are competing.
As we enjoy the fall weather and look
toward winter, please keep in touch. We
appreciate all your phone calls and emails.
presiDent’s Message by Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC