Georgetown University Chef Battle

Georgetown University Chef Battle

GOOD MORNING HOYAS! I’m chef Matthew Thompson, your emcee for the Hoya Hospitality Chef Battle -the first of its kind here at Georgetown and is modeled after the popular “Iron Chef” TV show. We are here today to answer Georgetown University’s most savory question?...Who’s cuisine reigns supreme? Here at Launch Test Kitchen we have brought together Hoya’s top culinary talent to meet and face the ultimate gourmet challenge.

Let’s meet today’s contestants


Bjorn Verduijn grew up in The Netherlands. He learned at an early age quality food was an essential ingredient to good living. Farm to Fork food is a way of life in the rural community in the province Zeeland, where he and his family grew up using sustainable cooking methods by using locally grown and harvested resources to generate revenue for farmers and fishing boats as an innate default. Bjorn’s early inspiration and food memories comes from his grandmother’s cooking when visiting her every week.

To everyone’s surprise Bjorn decided to abandon his dream of pursuing a career in biochemistry, and leave for culinary school in Belgium where he ended up graduating from Hotelschool Ter Groene Poorte with a degree in culinary arts, pastry arts , sommelier degree and eventually earning his MBA as well. After graduating Bjorn worked as a cook and eventually Chef in Spain, Belgium, France, The Netherlands and Ireland, before finally moving to Long Island, NY.

After working in New York for a few years, he eventually moved to Annapolis, MD in 2000 where he still resides to this day. Since moving to Annapolis, Bjorn has moved into culinary management and managed prestigious accounts such as World bank, IMF, Jones Day law firm, Northrop Grumman HQ and the US House of Representatives to name a few. In his spare time Bjorn enjoys running, hunting, of course cooking, being on the water and spending lots of time with his wife and 2 kids.

Executive Chef Richard Hetzler, formally the executive chef at Mitsitam Native Foods Café for more than 10 years at the National Museum of the American Indian, brings extensive experience and a passion for food to his work that he has been cultivating since his youth. After graduating from Baltimore International Culinary College, he honed his skills in fine dining restaurants and hotels, including Elkridge Furnace Inn, Jefferson Hotel and Maryland Inn and Treaty of Paris Restaurant.

Chef Hetzler has owned his own Italian restaurant and has been a part of many world-class cultural institutions and hosted many premier events. He was also part of the catering service team, The Compass Group, at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Chef Hetzler was approached to head the Mitsitam Native Foods Café at the earliest stages of menu planning. He spearheaded the research and tasting process that resulted in the five unique regional menus and a truly one-of-a-kind dining experience that reflects and compliments the museum’s mission to educate visitors about Native cultures. Since then he has also published an award wining cookbook name “Mitsitam Café Cookbook”. He continues to be a culinary innovator and looks forward to his new role with Georgetown

Chefs are you ready for today’s battle?

There is one more ingredient to today’s battle and that is our Secret Ingredient...Today’s secret ingredient is... Salmon! The salmon used in today’s battle is donated courtesy of ProFish


Today’s battle will be judged on taste, presentation and creativity of the use of today’s secret ingredient, Salmon!

Dishes offered by Chef Bjorn

Dishes offered by Chef Bjorn

Dishes offered by Chef Richard

Dishes offered by Chef Richard

Chefs Bjorn Verduijn, Matthew Thompson, & Richard Hetzler

Chefs Bjorn Verduijn, Matthew Thompson, & Richard Hetzler

… and the winner of today’s battle? Congratulations Chef Richard Hetzler!

QimiQ Recipe Development

QimiQ Recipe Development


Harvest Table Culinary Group assembled the lead pastry chefs from each of our properties at Gourmet Foods International in Atlanta, GA. We learned from Chefs Aaron and Bryan about using a revolutionary new set of ingredients called QimiQ.

Harvest Table Culinary Group (HTCG) maintains a pantry list of ingredients which meet the brand commitments of Additive Free, Responsibly Sourced, Locally Procured, Freshly Prepared and Nutritionally Balanced. QimiQ meets the Additive Free and Nutritionally Balanced commitments.

QimiQ is a dairy product consisting of 99% light cream and 1% gelatine, patented by Hama Foodservice GmbH. The product was invented by Hans Mandl and Rudolf Haindl in 1995, and was designed to replace artificial emulsifiers and stabilizers by blending with liquids such as alcohol or vinegar; it also emulsifies with oil. In QimiQ, gelatine is already included, so for certain recipes, there is no need to soak gelatine sheets in liquid and then add them. QimiQ cannot be over-whipped like conventional whipping cream. It is stable when exposed to heat or mixed with acids or alcohol, and thus can be used in food products where milk products cannot be used.

Pastry Chefs from Elon University, Georgetown University, Wake Forest University, High Point University and University of Rochester attended this event along with Chef Matthew.

Pastry Chefs from Elon University, Georgetown University, Wake Forest University, High Point University and University of Rochester attended this event along with Chef Matthew.

Learning about QimiQ Whip from Chef Aaron

Learning about QimiQ Whip from Chef Aaron

Learning savory applications from Chef Bryan

Learning savory applications from Chef Bryan


Aramark Investor Day

Aramark Investor Day

Investor Day, NYSE - Harvest Table Showcase
Tuesday, December 11th, 11:30 AM
11 Wall Street, New York City, NY

Harvest Table, Residential Menu, Bento Trays
The Harvest Table Culinary Group was asked to prepare a lunch for the Aramark Investor Day to represent the next generation of residential dining programs. The program for the day did not allow for stations, buffet or family style. The Chef’s Council choose to present Bento trays. Featured recipes for food items were representative of some of the dishes we serve in our residential restaurants.


Pumpkin-Coconut Bisque
creamy pumpkin bisque with Styrian toasted pumpkin seed oil, focaccia crouton
tasting notes: locally procured, freshly prepared, additive free

Kale Caesar Salad
house made caesar, chickpea croutons, maple-glazed pork belly lardons
tasting notes: locally procured, freshly prepared, additive free

Browned-Butter Whole-Wheat Pasta with
Spicy Cauliflower, Root Vegetable & Radish
house dressing & fresh native herbs
tasting notes: locally procured, freshly prepared, nutritionally balanced

Roasted Beet Salad with Citrus & Fennel
perilla, roasted beets, shaved fennel, citrus supreme, crumbled goat cheese, & toasted chili-spiced pepitas  
tasting notes: locally procured, freshly prepared, nutritionally balanced

Cider Braised Heritage Pork
gingered carrot, harissa cream, pomegranate, frisee & delicata
tasting notes: locally procured, responsibly sourced, freshly prepared

Chicken Bibimbap & Gochujang Sauce
soy marinated braised chicken, kimchee, turnip, broccoli rabe, shiitake, kimgui, carrot, scallion
tasting notes: responsibly sourced, freshly prepared, nutritionally balanced

Gogoma Jorim (Korean Braised Sweet Potato)
tasting notes: freshly prepared, nutritionally balanced

Harvest Table Granola Bars
winter signature flavor, Fig-Hazelnut
Retail Presentation: Package as a take-away. tasting notes: freshly prepared

Chobani Creation: Pistachio & Chocolate
Chobani greek style yogurt, pistachios, dark chocolate, orange, clover honey & fresh mint
tasting notes: responsibly sourced, freshly prepared, nutritionally balanced

Honey Roasted Pear & Almond  
red-wine roasted grapes, golden flaxseed granola & minted goat cheese,
tasting notes: locally procured, freshly prepared, nutritionally balanced


Chobani Recipe Development

Chobani Recipe Development


The Chef’s Council visited Chobani Yogurt in SOHO, New York, NY on October 25! Chefs met with Chef Jake Briere, corporate chef for Chobani. We learned about substituting yogurt in recipes for healthy alternatives. Using what we learned, we went back into the kitchen to innovate some new recipes!

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AASHE Conference & Expo: Pittsburg

AASHE Conference & Expo: Pittsburg


Opening Program & Keynote - Akpezi Ogbuigwe

Tue, 10/2: 4:45 PM  - 6:00 PM 

Dr. Akpezi Ogbuigwe, former Head of Environmental Education and Training at the United Nations Environmental Program, served as UNEP's lead organizer in the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. While at UNEP, she initiated the Global Universities Partnership on Environmental Sustainability as well as a multi-stakeholder program on Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in African Universities.

She has over thirty years of professional experience as a Law teacher first at the University of Lagos and now at the Rivers State University where she served in various capacities. She is an avid researcher in transformational change in higher education in Africa, environmental law and policy, and sustainable development. She has contributed to knowledge in the field of environmental law and education for sustainable development through a variety of published articles and book chapters. In addition, Akpezi serves as a Juror in the UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD); Adviser for the African Region United Nations University Regional Centres for Expertise on ESD; and Council Member for Earth Charter International.


Whole Grain Awareness Month

Whole Grain Awareness Month

Harvest Table Culinary Group, InHarvest Whole Grains, Rice & Legumes and ACF Triad Chapter all came together this week to celebrate Whole Grain Awareness Month. We met at Wake Forest University on Monday, September 24, 2018.


Brooke Orr, MS RD LDN
Registered Dietician, Deacon Dining
Wake Forest University

Brooke Orr is a Master’s Level Nutritionist (M.S.), a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and a Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist (LDN) with diverse experiences in wellness concerns such as eating disorders, diabetes, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Food Allergies and more.  Brooke has a personal training certification through the American College of Sports Medicine and practices from a Health at Every Size approach. Brooke will have an activity table set up for chefs to stop by on their way into the meeting set up with whole-grain education mason jars. Stop by and chat with Brook and build an overnight oats jar to take with you. We will also have samples of whole-grain smoothies.


Matthew Thompson, MBA, PCIII, CEC, CCA
Chief Culinary Officer
Harvest Table Culinary Group

Harvest Table is an inspired culinary group dedicated to turning fresh, local, and sustainably-sourced ingredients into authentic food experiences. Our creative team of culinary experts is dedicated to food literacy and flavor discovery. We bring our venues to life through a shared commitment to cultivating strong communities and connecting to local culture.  At Harvest Table, we believe everyone should experience the timeless camaraderie of mealtime and the delicious moments that a hand-crafted meal brings. Our world-class chefs and food enthusiasts specialize in creating dishes made to satisfy every guest’s nutritional needs as well as their ever-evolving appetite for something new, exciting and enriching. Driven by our food-first philosophy, we bring innovative, authentic, and personalized experiences to life for each unique college university, company, and organization we serve. We are proud to join the ACF as Property Members with a large concentration of our members joining the ACF Triad Chapter. Welcome to our table!


Jason “Jay Z” Ziobrowski, CEC
Corporate Chef, Eastern Region
InHarvest Whole Grains, Rice & Legumes

Chef Jay, InHarvest’s corporate chef for the Eastern region, is certified as an executive chef (CEC) through the American Culinary Federation (ACF). Based in North Carolina, he works personally with chefs and operators east of the Mississippi to help them capitalize on the singular qualities of InHarvest products to increase sales by heightening the dining experience. His recipe development focuses on current and forecasted menu trends, evolving customer demand and seasonal and regional ingredients. Chef Jay Z will be presenting an Intact-Grain demo and presentation.


Chefs enjoyed an educational program lead by Chef Jay Z from InHarvest, followed by a buffet tasting of dishes prepared using InHarvest ingredients.

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Harvest Table Culinary Group chefs returned the following day for a Whole Grain Takeover of their restaurant at Wake Forest University. Chefs prepared 25 signature recipes featuring whole grains. Recipes including:

  • Freekah Meatballs with Swedish Gravy

  • Gluten-Free Black Quinoa Cauliflower Flatbread

  • Greenwheat Freekah and Kale Salad

  • Ruby Wild BBQ Chicken Salad Bowl

  • Sunrise Holiday Stuffing

  • Morrocan Quinoa Shredded Beet Carrot Salad

  • Farroguacamole

  • Southern Black Pearl Salad

  • Golden Jewel Blend Cranberry and Apple Salad

  • Monterey Jack Quesadilla with Beans and Quinoa\

  • Nerone Italian Black Rice Pudding

  • Farro Risotto with Snap Pea Ragout

  • Black Barley and 5-Spice Berry Shake

  • Brazilian Black Rice Acai Shake

  • Cuban Wrap with Sunrise Blend

Chef Jay “Z” and Chef Matthew present the new dishes.

Chef Jay “Z” and Chef Matthew present the new dishes.

We received overwhelming positive student feedback on the dishes! The development aligns with the Harvest Table culinary commitments and the bold new industry food trend of Plant-Forward dining.

In Pursuit of Hospitality

In Pursuit of Hospitality

"Flight attendants please prepare for departure." Another week in the books. This time of year is especially exhausting as hundreds of higher education campuses welcome back students. For me, we're closing out a three-week travel schedule consisting of 14 cities training several thousand culinary & hospitality employees. This year marks my twentieth year in the industry; you’d think it would be second-nature by now. The truth is, every year is different and this year is by far the most exciting. This year I'm leading the culinary team of a brand new organization. 

I've spent a fair amount of time lately considering what's going on in our food landscape. This introduction to the National Geographic series of Investigating the Future of Food

We are amidst an incredible culinary renaissance where we are radically redefining our cultural relationship with food. We haven't seen as a dynamic shift in the food landscape since the mid to late 1950's industrialization of our food system. Ironically, we are fundamentally unraveling these industrialized developments and once more fully engaging clean, wholesome, fresh ingredients.

Throughout my time in the hospitality industry, food as an ingredient is not the only transformation. We have fundamentally seen a change in the role of chef. The Executive Chef is the rock star of today, not just a cook proficient in technique and flavor development, but an educator, environmental steward, wellness advocate, leader, scientist, and innovator. I am passionate to be a part of leading our culinary revolution. As a Chef, I am focused on three key fundamentals: ingredient transparency, artisan small-batch preparation, and continuous menu innovation.

I can’t think of a better time to be a chef! 

 ...but as as exciting as it is working in the “industry” today, we also bear some significant responsibilities. Why? What’s the future of food?

How to do you lead in the food industry today?

My experience? There are two camps. The first: the group that doesn’t consider themselves leaders. They’ve never stopped to ponder it. These people just know food. They don’t know anything about the food industry, the food system or food service. The second: the group that knows everything about it (or think they do.) Usually, this group drones on about insights, consumers, and innovation. They know all about what today’s consumer wants. Sadly they couldn’t cook to save their lives and they're clueless about the fact that consumers buy toaster ovens and mattresses. Guests dine at restaurants.

It is this divide that used to separate the restaurant kitchen from the institutional kitchen. The reality today is that line is becoming blurred. One cannot exist without the other. 

What we need now is a third group. A blend of both. A group of CHEFS that are proficient practitioners of the craft of culinary arts educated in the larger impact of food on our planet. This elite but growing group includes chefs like José Andrés, Dan Barber of any of the other 11 Chefs Changing the Food System.   

I said earlier we really are in a culinary revolution. Food is NOT a product. It shouldn’t come in a foil bag or a plastic bottle. Food is an experience. In growing, preparing, cooking, serving and enjoying. Food without experience is just fuel. The world's expectations about food is changing. The food service industry is dying. We’ve left the old model of the cafeteria “scoop and plop” in the rear view and embraced a new era of hospitality. That's a tall order. For me, one of my responsibilities is to take the lunch-lady of yesterday and transform her into the restauranteur of tomorrow.

The best way I know how to tell that story of hospitality evolution is through the words of an eleven-year-old:

Ladies and gentlemen at the time of this recording Birke was eleven years old. Recorded in 2010, that makes Birke around 18. Let me introduce you to the next member of our freshmen class. THIS is our customer. Studies show that 69% of his peer group -Generation Z, cares about the same things Birke does. 

I've always defined hospitality as anticipating the needs of our Guests and exceeding their expectations. Our Guest is changing. Their expectations are changing. It's time for leaders. Leaders who deliver culinary experiences. Leaders who understand food and the impact it has on the world. Leaders with the ability, energy and drive to elevate our cultural relationship with food to new heights; transforming food to better our bodies through health and wellness and improve our impact on our environment by becoming better stewards to the planet. 

At our schools, when we serve our Guests, we are stewards of our client's brand -a challenge we take incredibly seriously and requires discipline and leadership. We are passionate about serving you and exceeding your expectations.

Summer 2018 Harvest Table Tastings

Summer 2018 Harvest Table Tastings

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Chefs Jermery Joy, Jordan Rogers, Matthew Thompson, Adam Neill & Jay Vetter

Chefs Jermery Joy, Jordan Rogers, Matthew Thompson, Adam Neill & Jay Vetter

Chefs Justin Garcia, Adam Neill, Matthew Thompson, Jay Vetter & Candice Lawson

Chefs Justin Garcia, Adam Neill, Matthew Thompson, Jay Vetter & Candice Lawson

Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention & Show

Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention & Show


The first day of Cook. Craft. Create.

ACF National Convention & Show 2018

  • We explored plant-forward cuisines and the management of evolving foodservice needs with Tulane University's Chef Leah Sarris.
  • Attendees took walking tours around the Big Easy, exploring the city's extensive food history and craft beer scene.
  • The Masquerade Welcome Reception was a hit! 

The Masquerade Welcome Reception was a hit! Masked revelers took to the red carpet in some amazing accoutrements. Sponsored by: Boar's Head Brand, Natural Tableware, Smithfield, Sterling Silver Premium Meats, Inc., Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin



Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention & Show 2018 Day 2. Check out the video to see some of our favorite moments.

  • Possibilities: The Life of a Chef
    From humble beginnings in a trapper's cabin in rural St James Parish, Louisiana, Chef John Folse has emerged as one of the nation's leading culinary entrepreneurs. He has taken his famous "Taste of Louisiana" around the world: from London to Hong Kong, and from Moscow to the Vatican. This Cajun man's journey from harvesting food from Louisiana's swamp floor panty to serving five US presidents as well as Pope John Paul II will not only be informative but entertaining as well. Presented by: John D Folse, CEC, AAC, HOF, HBOT, CEO/Owner/Executive Chef, Chef John Folse & Company
  • Culinary Medicine: Where Health Meets Food
    In this interactive tasting, we will introduce the concept of culinary medicine, or preventing and treating disease through food. Attendees will learn about innovative programming happening throughout the US in the medical field and in communities teaching people that food can be both delicious and nourishing. We will also explore culinary nutrition tenets and investigate your role as a chef and food service operator in this growing movement. Presented by: Leah Sarris, Program Director/Executive Chef, Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine
Culinary Medicine: Where Health Meets Food

Culinary Medicine: Where Health Meets Food

The "gold standard" chicken salad, vs. the "healthy" with apples & cranberries

The "gold standard" chicken salad, vs. the "healthy" with apples & cranberries

  • We learned how Tabasco has spiced up the last 150 years with sound environmental practices, artisanal manufacturing processes and a passion for the food industry.
  • The Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award was chosen by the ACF membership for the first time since the award's inception.
Chef John D. Folse talked on "Possibilities: The Life of a Chef" during the opening general session

Chef John D. Folse talked on "Possibilities: The Life of a Chef" during the opening general session

The Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award Dinner Menu

The Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award Dinner Menu


Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention & Show 2018 Day 3 was Aloha Tuesday, so most attendees skipped the chef coats in favor of leis and Hawaiian shirts. Check out the video below to see some of our favorite moments.

  • Student Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year and Student Team Edible Cold Platter Prep competitions were going all day.
  • The ACF Tradeshow showed off the best of the culinary world, with sponsors and exhibitors sharing the latest innovations food, equipment and services.
  • So many demos and workshops! From "Balancing Your Plate With Asian Flavors" with Chef Jason Licker and Chef R. Andrew Chlebana's "Jazzed-Up Tarts," to "Finding Time for You: Health, Fitness and Your Future" from Eric the Trainer and Chef Charles Carroll and "Wisconsin Cheddar & Kentucky Bourbon - A Love Story" with Peter Leuer of Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and the Society of Wine Educators' Jane Nickles, there was something for everybody yesterday.

Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention & Show 2018 Day 4. Check out the video below to see some of our favorite moments.

  • Student Team Edible Cold Platter Presentation, Student Team Hot Food and USA Chef of the Year competitions went on throughout the day.
  • The ACF Tradeshow wrapped up its second day of featuring the latest innovations in food, equipment and services. We tasted so many samples.
  • Chef Maneet Chauhan of Chopped gave the day's keynote address on "How Ethnic Food Found Its Place in American Cuisine." Check out our live-streamed videos of all the keynote addresses on the ACF Facebook page
Chef Maneet Chauhan of Chopped

Chef Maneet Chauhan of Chopped

Blackbean cakes with kale and aioli

Blackbean cakes with kale and aioli

  • Workshops and demos! There was "Canadian Cuisine: From Coast to Coast" with Peter Dewar of the Canadian Culinary Federation; a pastry certification seminar with Chef John C. Schopp; "Leading The Next Generation" by Chef Gerald Ford; "Five Questions You Should Answer Before you Retire" from financial advisor Adam Kirby of Wells Fargo Advisors; "The Art of Chocolate" with Pastry Chef Jacquelyn Lopez and more.
  • The inaugural Certified Master Chef Dine-Around had a group of eight CMCs sharing bites of amazing dishes, experiences, ideas and wisdom with an intimate group of attendees.
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Tiramisu, strawberry shortcake, black forest cherry cake, mango panna cotta, keylime

Tiramisu, strawberry shortcake, black forest cherry cake, mango panna cotta, keylime

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Silken corn polenta, southern greens, sweet & hot corn relish, tobacco shallots

Silken corn polenta, southern greens, sweet & hot corn relish, tobacco shallots

The inaugural ACF Certified Master Chef® Dine Around took place Wednesday, July 18 during Cook. Craft. Create. A group of CMC®s prepared pan-seared duck breast, beluga lentil and mushroom salad, summer corn puree with avocado crema, beef goulash with dumplings and honey thyme waffle with foie gras-cognac ice cream and MORE!

To do all that, they needed some help. That's where I come in.

Registered convention attendees were able to sign up to stage during the event. Each CMC® will choose one professional and one student to assist him. I applied and was selected by the TWO above CMCs to work on their menus. It was quite an honor!


Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention & Show 2018 went out with a bang. Check out the video below to see some of our favorite moments.

  • The last round of workshops and demos was a huge one! Chef Stefan Ryll talked "The Future of Culinary Education Online"; CMCs Russell Scott and Helmut Holzer shared "The History and Flavors of Goulash"; Chef Shaun O'Neale demonstrated "The Modern American Table" with some squid ink and lobster ravioli; photographer Susan Bourgoin gave a packed seminar on using food photography to increase your bottom line; Chef Amy L. Queret-Mitchell shared her wisdom on "What Excellent Educators do Exceptionally" and so much more.
  • There were book signings and pop-up tastings everywhere.
  • Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto gave the closing keynote address on "Sushi A to Z," deconstructing a huge tuna on stage before an amazed crowd. Check out our live-streamed videos of all the keynote addresses on the ACF Facebook page
  • The President's Grand Ball was an 'ohana-style dinner to remember. There were dancers, award presentations (we'll share all those in next week's issue of The Culinary Insider) and, of course, fabulous food. 

That's it for this year's Convention! I had a blast! Hope to see you in Orlando in 2019!

Culinary Institute of America Menus of Change

Culinary Institute of America Menus of Change


Menus of Change is a ground-breaking initiative developed by The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in collaboration with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health—Department of Nutrition.

Together, the CIA and Harvard are working to create a long-term, practical vision for the integration of optimal nutrition and public health, environmental stewardship and restoration, and social responsibility concerns within the foodservice sector and beyond.  

Half of all meals consumed in America today are prepared by culinary professionals. Chefs and culinary leaders are assuming ever larger, more pivotal roles in integrating key imperatives of taste, health, the environment, community, business, and economics.

We’re asking a lot of these chefs and foodservice operators. And in the future, we will ask more:

  • How can we make our most delicious foods healthful and environmentally sustainable?
  • What if America's most talented chefs and today’s culinary students were to collaborate with scientists and business leaders to find business-friendly solutions to our obesity and healthcare crises and food security issues around the globe?
  • How can chefs and restaurateurs work in partnership with nutrition and medical experts, and environmental scientists to help the business community develop new models of innovation—and new, long-term business strategies—around opportunities for the future of food and foodservice?

Menus of Change: The Business of Healthy, Sustainable, Delicious Food Choices is an annual gathering of professionals from a wide range of disciplines involved in these issues—business, culinary arts, sustainability, health and wellness—to spark new insights and develop solutions. 


ACF ChefConnect: Charlotte

ACF ChefConnect: Charlotte

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Charlotte's got a lot! It is a lively city with activities ideal for all ages including dining, shopping, live music, unique nightlife venues, and sports & recreation. Steps away from the Nascar Hall of Fame, Bank of America Stadium. Chefs from across the Northeast and Southeast regions assembled at the Charlotte Westin for several days of learning, collaboration and of course, tasting! Exciting updates for the 2018 Events: the ACF provided blanket CEH's to members that register for the event.

Hanging out with Chef Stafford DeCambra CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC, ACF National President & Pinky Varghese, CEC, PCII, CFBE

Hanging out with Chef Stafford DeCambra CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC, ACF National President & Pinky Varghese, CEC, PCII, CFBE


Opening General Session

Claus Meyer


The opening general session was presented by Claus Meyer, a culinary entrepreneur, food activist, cookbook author, professor and TV host. He is often accredited as the founder of the New Nordic Cuisine philosophy. He discussed his desire to change the Danish cultural relationship with food in a top-down approach to food systems. Notable topics where his manefesto to the New Nordic Cuisine, the power of bread and culminated with the legend of the hummingbird. This idea is the focus on not pursuing a desire to be the best, but rather to make a lasting impact. 

The Future of Action Stations

Chef Ben Simpkins, CEC, CCA


General Session

David Burke


David Burke is an American chef and restaurateur, known for his appearance on the reality TV program Iron Chef America. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a student at Ecole Lenotre Pastry School in Plaisir, France. Burke worked with legendary chefs in France and New York such as Pierre Troisgros, George Blanc, Marc Meneau, Daniel Boulud, Charlie Palmer and Waldy Malouf. Burke’s mastery of French culinary technique and his unique American creativity were confirmed at the age of 26, receiving 3 Stars from the New York Times at The River Café.

His address included a cooking segment featuring clothesline bacon, cake pops, chorizo on a stick, angry lobster, lobster filet mignon and MORE! 


Breakout Session: Soulful Harvest

Timothy Grandinetti

Yes! Cast Iron is KING

Yes! Cast Iron is KING

American Academy of Chefs Gala Dinner

Monday, February 26, 2018

Thank you to the Brigade!

Thank you to the Brigade!

ACF Rhode Island Chapter, Left to Right: Chefs Ray McCue CEC, Linda Musch CCE, AAC, Rolando Robledo CEC & Matthew Thompson CEC, CCA

ACF Rhode Island Chapter, Left to Right: Chefs Ray McCue CEC, Linda Musch CCE, AAC, Rolando Robledo CEC & Matthew Thompson CEC, CCA

Appalachian Cuisne

Denny Trantham, CEC, CCA, AAC, MBA


Exploring Culinary Communication

Daniel Thomas


Utilizing World Flavors in your Everyday Menus

Brian Beland, CMC
Jonathan Moosmiller, CMC


Closing General Session

Dean Fearing


Dean Fearing is an American chef known as "The Father of Southwestern Cuisine. Dean Fearing was executive chef for 20 years at Dallas' The Mansion on Turtle Creek, leaving in 2007 to start his own restaurant, Fearing's, in partnership with Ritz-Carlton. He is the host of a national television show, Entertaining at Home with Dean Fearing, airing on Food Network, and author of three cookbooks, Mansion on Turtle Creek Cookbook, Dean Fearing's Southwest Cuisine: Blending Asia and the Americas and The Texas Food Bible: From Legendary Dishes to New Classics. In 2008, the Zagat guide gave Fearing's the top spot on its list of the best in hotel dining, simultaneously announcing the Dallas Ritz-Carlton as the U.S.' best large hotel.

His address focused on driving high passion within your team. His philosophy is happy cooks make happy food. When you hire look for candidates who bring high energy and passion. Skills can be taught, attitude must be encountered. When asked, why focus on just one restaurant where others are building empires, he simply said he's focused on doing fewer things really well, than many things with less intimacy.