Kevin brennan, center, is congratulated on his 2018 dr. l.J. minor Chef
professionalism award by richard Sandone, director, minor’s Chef2Chef Team,
and Stafford deCambra, aCF national president.
Todd leonard is 2018 u.S.a.’s Chef of the year.
u.S.a.’s Chef of the year
Todd Leonard, CEC, department chair—Culinary Arts Institute,
Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah, and a member of ACF Beehive
Chefs Chapter Inc., is 2018 U.S.A.’s Chef of the Year. Leonard
received $5,000 and the award at the President’s Grand Ball, July
19, after winning the national Chef of the Year competition July
18 on the trade-show floor.
U.S.A.’s Chef of the Year, the highest honor annually
bestowed by ACF, recognizes an outstanding culinarian who
works and cooks in a full-service dining facility. Award honorees
demonstrate the highest standard of culinary skills, advance U.S.
cuisine and give back to the profession through the development
of students and apprentices.
Leonard has had a passion for food his whole life. He found
at a young age that he loved the hospitality industry, and thanks
to his mother and grandmothers, cooking ran in his blood. By
the time he graduated from the culinary program at Salt Lake
Community College, he had already worked at some of Utah’s
premier dining establishments. In addition to teaching at Utah
Valley University, Leonard is the former executive chef for Thrive
Life, where he was involved in recipe/product development and
leadership/sales training. Now, he consults with Blue Lemon
Restaurant, doing menu changes twice a year and helping to train
staff. He earned the Utah Chef of the Year Award in 2006 and
2010. He was the first-place gold medal winner of the Western
Region Chef of the Year competition in 2011, and has earned
eight gold medals in ACF-sanctioned competitions. His passion
for outdoor cooking has taken him to three first-place victories
in International Dutch Oven Society competitions and first place
in a Camp Chef competition.
Leonard’s winning menu: first course—Southern braised pork
dr. l.J. minor Chef professionalism award
cheek with dauphine potatoes, sauteed mustard greens, red pepper
puree and Cajun fried shallots and peppers; second course—oyster
stew with bronzed redfish, Cajun pork cheek sausage and summer
vegetables stew; third course—jambalaya
a la chef, pork cheek and tenderloin
roulade with pork cheek sausage and
redfish collar jambalaya, Creole heirloom
tomato compote, Cajun cream and
spicy tomato sauces, buttery sauteed
asparagus; and fourth course—a
seafood trio of smoked Creole butter
redfish, Chef Todd oysters Rockefeller
and Cajun redfish mousseline with
cayenne butter sauce, summer root
vegetable puree, sauteed sweet corn
medley, and glazed carrots and
Sponsored by MINOR’s®
Kevin Brennan, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Detroit Athletic
Club, Detroit, a member of ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine
Association, is the winner of the 2018 Dr. L.J. Minor Chef
Professionalism Award. Brennan was named the winner and received
the award during the Chef Professionalism Dinner July 16.
The Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award is presented
annually to a culinarian who exemplifies the highest standards of
professionalism through certification, continuing education and
training, culinary competitions and community involvement.
Brennan was named the Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism
Award winner for the Central Region, and became one of four
finalists for the national award. MINOR’S® honors one culinarian
from each ACF region with the award.