60 The NaTioNal CuliNary review • Sep Tember/oCTober 2018
leonard bailey is 2018 Chef educator of the year.
wolfgang Geckeler, center, is congratulated on his 2018 hermann G. rusch
Chef’s achievement award by, left to right, paige pai, Stafford deCambra and
2018 CooK. CraFT. CreaTe. aCF NaTioNal CoNveNTioN & Show award winners
Brennan graduated from Schoolcraft College, Livonia,
Michigan, in 1976. He began his career in 1979 and was at The Recess
Club, Detroit, and Orchard Lake Country Club, West Bloomfield
Township, Michigan, before joining Detroit Athletic Club. Brennan
has served his chapter as president, vice president and treasurer, and
was chapter Chef of the Year in 1989 and 1999. He has won gold and
silver medals and a judges special award in culinary competitions.
In 2013, he was awarded the Central Region’s Dr. L.J. Minor Chef
Professionalism award, and also received a presidential medallion.
Brennan is a founding member of Michigan Chefs Against Hunger.
Established in 1990, the Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism
Award commemorates the efforts of Dr. Lewis J. Minor, AAC,
Louis Szathmary, AAC, and Lt. Gen. John D. McLaughlin,
AAC, who helped to achieve a goal for American chefs: official
recognition of executive chefs as professionals, reflected in the
U.S. Department of Labor’s Dictionary of Occupational Titles.
In 2002, he joined the faculty at Indian Hills Community
College, Ottumwa, Iowa, and in 2006, moved to Mountain
State University, Beckley, West Virginia. He has been at
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute since 2012. Bailey
serves as his chapter’s vice president and volunteers as a Boy
hermann G. rusch Chef’s achievement award
Wolfgang Geckeler, CEC, AAC, HOF, a chef consultant
from Galloway, New Jersey, and a member of ACF Professional
Chefs Association of South Jersey, is the 2018 Hermann G.
Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award recipient. Geckeler received
the award July 19 at the President’s Grand Ball.
The award, which debuted in 2002 and was formerly the Hermann
G. Rusch Humanitarian Award, honors a chef who has demonstrated
the highest level of commitment to ACF and the culinary profession
and ensured the enrichment of students, members and colleagues.
Hermann G. Rusch, AAC, was a longtime ACF member.
Geckeler was an apprentice in Germany who came to the U.S.
in 1965 to begin his culinary career, and was almost immediately
drafted into the Army. He has worked at restaurants and clubs in
and around Philadelphia, at casino hotels in Atlantic City, New
Jersey, and as corporate chef with Marine Corps Community
Services in Okinawa, Japan. He has served his chapter in various
positions for the past 30 years and also volunteers for many
chapter activities, including the annual Veterans Day Brunch
and the Hearts & Souls Heart Healthy Soup Program. In addition
to his many chapter awards and recognitions, Geckeler received
Presidential Medallions in 1997 and 2014, and in 2006 was
inducted into The Honorable Order of the Golden Toque.
The award comes with a $1,000 donation to a charity of
Chef educator of the year
Leonard Bailey, CEC, a chef instructor at Southwestern
Indian Polytechnic Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico, a
member of ACF New Mexico Chapter, is the 2018 Chef Educator
of the Year. Bailey received the award July 19 at the President’s
The ACF Chef Educator of the Year award, established in 1998,
pays tribute to a culinary educator whose knowledge, skills and
expertise have enhanced the image of the professional chef and who
has given leadership, guidance and direction to students seeking a
career in the culinary profession.
Bailey received vocational culinary arts training in high
school and attended Rhode Island School of Design’s culinary
apprenticeship program. After graduation, he worked at
Foxwoods Resort and Casino, Mashantucket, Connecticut.