American Culinary Federation Announces its 2012 National Award Winners

Jul 18, 2012, 08:47 ET from The American Culinary Federation, Inc.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., July 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF) honored chefs, culinary industry professionals and foodservice establishments at the 2012 ACF National Convention held at the Orlando World Center Marriott, Orlando, Fla., July 14-17.


More than 1,000 chefs, cooks, students and foodservice professionals attended the annual event in the Sunshine State. The convention provided attendees with opportunities to advance their professional development and enhance their culinary skills through informative workshops and seminars, cutting-edge demonstrations, a trade show featuring more than 100 exhibitors, national competitions and ACF's annual national awards.

This year's guest presenters included Food Network's Robert Irvine in an interactive demonstration about maintaining nutrition and presentation in every dish while tackling the impossible. Culinary legend Paul Prudhomme, HAAC, HHOF, inspired chefs with a one-of-a-kind presentation where he discussed his career successes, challenges and motivations. Iron Chef Cat Cora also made a special appearance at the convention, emphasizing to attendees what it means to be a chef. On July 17, ACF adopted the "Feed the Planet" declaration established by the World Association of Chefs Societies and the city of Daejeon, South Korea, and joined in the worldwide chefs' initiative. Then, Rick Moonen, an early supporter of sustainability, motivated guests to understand the chef's role in feeding the world.  

Chefs competed in exciting competitions throughout the convention, demonstrating their culinary skills and leadership. ACF also presented numerous awards to various chefs and establishments for advancing the profession. Here is a look at all the 2012 ACF competition and award winners:

U.S.A.'s Chef of the Year™, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions
Scott Ryan, CEC, of Chesterland, Ohio, executive chef, The Country Club, Pepper Pike, Ohio; ACF Cleveland Chapter Inc.

Pastry Chef of the Year
Adalberto Diaz Labrada, CEPC, of Salt Lake City, executive chef, Cooking School, Harmons Grocery, Salt Lake City; ACF Beehive Chefs Chapter, Inc.

Chef Educator of the Year
Casey Shiller, CEPC, of St. Louis, program coordinator, baking and pastry arts, St. Louis Community College–Forest Park, St. Louis; Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc.

Student Chef of the Year, sponsored by Custom Culinary, Inc.
Reilly Meehan, private events cook, San Francisco Bay Area; ACF national member

Student Team Championship, sponsored by R.L. Schreiber, Inc.
ACF Chefs and Cooks of the Catskill Mountains; State University of New York at Delhi, Delhi, N.Y.; Team members: Mathew Howard, Edward Maley, Leonard Messina, James Russell and Stephanie Wickert. Victor Sommo, CEC, is the team's coach.

Chef Professionalism Award, sponsored by MINOR'S®
Donald Miller, CEC, CCE, AAC, of South Bend, Ind., executive chef, University of Notre Dame Food Services, Notre Dame, Ind.; ACF South Bend Chefs and Cooks Association

Hermann G. Rusch Chef's Achievement Award
Wilfred Beriau, CEC, CCE, AAC, of Gray, Maine, retired department chair, culinary arts and lodging and restaurant management, Southern Maine Community College, South Portland, Maine; ACF Casco Bay Culinary Association of Portland ME

Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, sponsored by American Technical Publishers
Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Kirkland, Wash.; ACF Washington State Chefs Association; Team members: Richard Hill, Randall Poole, Sarah Ridges and Margaret Venema. Matthew DiMeo and Janet Shaffer, CWPC, are the team's coaches.

What's in Your Wok: A Fried Rice Competition, Sponsored by Riviana Foods, Inc.
Austin Yancey, of Chicago, culinary instructor, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago, Chicago; ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians Inc.

Galbani® Mozzarella Caprese Challenge, Sponsored by Lactalis Foodservice and Galbani® Mozzarella
Edward Adel, CEC, of Lee Summit, Mo., culinary instructor, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan.; ACF Greater Kansas City Chefs Association

ACF Humanitarian Award
Paul Prudhomme, HAAC, HHOF, chef/owner of K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, New Orleans, and Magic Seasoning Blends Inc., Harahan, La.; ACF New Orleans Chapter

ACF Immediate Past President's Award
Todd Kelly, of Batavia, Ohio, executive chef/director of food and beverage, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Cincinnati; ACF Greater Cincinnati Chapter

ACF Industry Partnership Award
The Cheesecake Factory Bakery, Inc., Calabasas Hills, Calif.

Communicators of the Year
Jeffrey Barr, food service specialist/refrigeration solution manager, Tigar Refrigeration, Everett, Mass.; ACF Epicurean Club of Boston

Dennis Jeffries, retired chef, Lancaster, Pa.; ACF Susquehanna Valley Chefs Association

National Chapter of the Year
ACF Columbus Chapter, Columbus, Ohio

Region of the Year
ACF Northeast Region

ACF President's Medallion Recipients
Sean Blair, CSC, Chartwells, Canal Winchester, Ohio; ACF Columbus Chapter

Gene Cordova, CEC, CCE, president and managing partner, American Hospitality Academy Philippines, Makati City, Philippines; ACF Chefs Las Vegas

Daniel Gorman, chef de cuisine, Terrace Level, Cherokee Town and Country Club, Atlanta; ACF Greater Atlanta Chapter Inc.

Willie Lewis, AAC, consultant executive chef, Halperns Steaks & Seafoods, Brigantine, N.J.; ACF Professional Chefs Association of South Jersey

Louis Perrotte, CEC, AAC, chef/owner, Le Coq Au Vin, Orlando, Fla.; ACF Central Florida Chapter

Dieter Preiser, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Dole Food Service Company, Scottsdale, Ariz.; ACF Chefs Association of Arizona, Inc.

Melissa Sison, CEC, academic programs manager, Center for Culinary Arts, Manila, Quezon City, Philippines; ACF national member

Cutting Edge Award Recipients
Russell Campbell, CEC, chief, advanced foodservice training division, U.S. Army, Fort Lee, Va.; Old Dominion ACF Chapter

Nora Galdiano, CEC, executive chef, Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs, Altamonte Springs, Fla.; ACF Central Florida Chapter

Rick Moonen, chef/owner, Rick Moonen's RM Seafood, Las Vegas

Patricia Nash, CEPC, executive pastry chef, MotorCity Casino Hotel, Detroit; ACF national member

ACF Achievement of Excellence Awards
Carnival Cruise Lines' Emerald Room Steakhouse on Carnival Glory, Miami

Chiara, Westwood, Mass.

Laurel Creek Country Club, Mount Laurel, N.J.

MoonFish, Orlando, Fla.

Niagara Falls Country Club, Lewiston, N.Y.

St. Charles Hospital, Port Jefferson, N.Y.

St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center, Syracuse, N.Y.

The Breakers Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Fla.

The Sanctuary Golf Club, Sanibel, Fla.

VIVO Seasonal Trattoria, Hartford, Conn.

White Manor Country Club, Malvern, Pa.          

Chef & Child Foundation Awards
Michael Ty, CEC®, AAC®, Endowment Fund

James Kokenyesdi, CEC, CCA, foodservice supervisor, St. Clair County Community Mental Health Authority, Port Huron, Mich.; ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association

True Spirit
Michael Hiller, chef, Delaware North Companies, Sportservice, Chicago; ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians Inc. 

Little Oscar Award
ACF Southwestern Virginia Chapter, Roanoke, Va.

American Academy of Chefs (AAC) Awards
AAC Distinguished Leadership Award
Michael Ty, CEC, AAC, ACF national president, executive chef, MT Cuisine, LLC, Las Vegas

AAC Chair's Medal
Michael L. Minor, CEC, AAC, culinary ambassador, Custom Culinary, Inc., Lombard, Ill.; ACF Cleveland Chapter Inc.

Lawrence A. Conti, CEC, AAC, HOF, Chair's Achievement Award
Harry Brockwell, CEC, AAC, owner, Oceanside Caterers, Westlake Village, Calif.; Ventura Chefs Association

Joseph Amendola Award
Albert Imming, CMPC, CCE, AAC, culinary professor emeritus, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Ill.; ACF Louis Joliet Chapter

Chef Good Taste Award
Paul J. O'Toole, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Deerfield Golf and Tennis Club, Newark, Del.; ACF Philadelphia Chapter

Lt. General John D. McLaughlin Award
David J. Turcotte, CEC, AAC, executive chef, U.S.  Army, Fort Lee, Va.; ACF Savannah Chefs Association

Sharing Culinary Traditions Award
Ralph Comstock, CEC, AAC, retired executive chef, Ivy Tech Community College, Indianapolis; ACF Greater Indianapolis Chapter

Lifetime Achievement Award
Gino Corelli, CEC, AAC, HOF, retired executive chef, Brown University, Providence, R.I., ACF Rhode Island Chapter

Celebrated Chef
Cat Cora

2012 American Academy of Chefs Culinary Hall of Fame
Anton Flory, CMC, WGMC, AAC, HOF, (1931-2010), posthumous

Christian Inden, WGMC, AAC, CHA, HOF, retired master chef/certified hotel administrator, Danville, Ky.; Bluegrass Culinary Association ACF

Anthony Patalano, AAC, HOF, retired executive chef, Merion Caterers, Cherry Hill, N.J.; ACF Professional Chefs Association of South Jersey

Pierre H. Rausch, CEC, WCC, AAC, HOF, retired executive chef, Pottstown, Penn.; ACF Philadelphia Chapter

2012 American Academy of Chefs Academy Fellows
Clark V. Braun, CEC, AAC,  executive chef, Alpine Inn, Hill City, S.D.; ACF Black Hills Chapter of Professional Chefs

James F. Connolly, CEC, AAC, divisional director of culinary services, Atria Senior Living Management LLC, Louisville, Ky.; ACF Epicurean Club of Boston

Shawn L. Hanlin, CEC, AAC, executive director, Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, Coos Bay, Ore.; ACF Bay Area Chefs Association of Oregon

Brian A. Hardy, CEC, CCA, AAC, director of foodservice/executive chef, The Gatesworth, St. Louis, Mo.; Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis

Tony Hilligoss, CCE, AAC, culinary arts instructor, Parkside High School Career & Technology Center, Salisbury, Md.; Delmarva Chefs & Cooks Association

David W. Knickrehm, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Bella Aquila, Eagle, Idaho; ACF Idaho Chefs de Cuisine

Franz X. Kubak, CEC, AAC, assistant professor/chef instructor, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah; ACF Beehive Chefs Chapter Inc.

Roger W. Newell, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC, culinary arts instructor, Technical Education Center Osceola, Kissimmee, Fla.; ACF Central Florida Chapter

Michael D. Paradiso, CEPC, AAC, lead pastry instructor, Pikes Peak Community College, Colorado Springs, Colo.; ACF Pikes Peak Chapter

Douglas J. Petruzzi, CEC, AAC, executive chef/marketing coordinator, Pocono Produce Company, Stroudsburg, Pa.; ACF Professional Chefs of Northeast Pennsylvania

Gary J. Rawson, CEC, AAC executive chef/manager, Vanderbilt Dining, Nashville, Tenn.; ACF Middle Tennessee Chapter

Ryan C. "RC" Schroeder Jr., EC, AAC, executive chef/co-owner, Big Tomatoes, Green Bay, Wis., and culinary arts instructor, Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, Wis.; ACF Fox Valley Chapter

Gregory M. Skibinski, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Western Hills Country Club, Cincinnati; ACF Greater Cincinnati Chapter

Christopher A. Tanner, CEC, WCC, CHE, AAC, director, The Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, Pa.; ACF Philadelphia Chapter

Randy J. Torres, CEC, AAC, culinary arts department chair/chef instructor, Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, Coos Bay, Ore.; ACF Bay Area Chefs Association of Oregon

Barry R. Young, CEC, CCE, ACE, AAC, chef instructor, Columbus Culinary Institute, Columbus, Ohio; ACF Columbus Chapter

2012 American Academy of Chefs Honorary Fellows
Donald Gyurkovits, HAAC, president, Canadian Culinary Federation, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; ACF national member

Joseph Hardiman, HAAC, president, Le Cordon Bleu–Orlando, Orlando, Fla.; ACF Central Florida Chapter

Guy Lott, HAAC, director of sales, Carrington Foods, Saraland, Ala.; ACF Metro Mobile Chefs & Cooks Association

Cary Miller, HAAC, vice president, Food Industry News, Park Ridge, Ill.; ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians Inc.

Neal Miller, HAAC, vice president, food and beverage, Poarch Creek Indian Gaming Authority, Atmore, Ala.

Allan Okuda, CEC, HAAC, director, culinary arts, Hawaii Community College, Hilo, Hawaii; ACF national member

Orlando was the location of the 2012 ACF National Convention, bringing more than 1,000 chefs, cooks, students and foodservice professionals to the Sunshine State. The national convention provided attendees with numerous opportunities to advance their professional development and enhance their culinary skills through informative workshops and seminars, cutting-edge demonstrations, a trade show featuring more than 100 exhibitors, national competitions and ACF's annual national awards.

Sponsors of the 2012 ACF National Convention are: Alabama Gulf Seafood; Allen Brothers; Albert Uster Imports; American Technical Publishers; The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes; Barilla Foodservice; Barry Callebaut; BelGioioso Cheese, Inc.; Canada Cutlery Inc.; Carrington Foods, Inc.; Certified Piedmontese by Great Plains Beef; The Cheesecake Factory Bakery Inc.; San Jamar Chef Revival; Contessa Premium Foods; Custom Culinary, Inc.; Diamond Crystal® Kosher Salt; Ecolab®; Farmland Foods, Inc.; Foodservice Rewards; French's Foodservice; Johnson & Wales University; Lactalis Foodservice; Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America; Manitowoc Ovens and Advanced Cooking; McCormick For Chefs; MINOR'S®; Mississippi Seafood Marketing; NEWCHEF Fashion, Inc.; Plugra European Style Butter; PreGel AMERICA; Riviana Foods Inc.; R.L. Schreiber, Inc.; Sara Lee Foodservice; The Schwan Food Company; S&D Coffee; Sysco®; Tanimura & Antle, Inc; Tyson Food Service; US Foods; Uncle Ben's®; Unilever Food Solutions; Valrhona; Victorinox Swiss Army, Inc.; Villeroy and Boch; Vitamix Corporation; and Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

About the American Culinary Federation
The American Culinary Federation, Inc., established in 1929, is the premier professional organization for culinarians in North America. With more than 20,000 members spanning more than 200 chapters nationwide, ACF is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States, with the Certified Executive Chef® and Certified Sous Chef designations the only culinary credentials accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef & Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and to combat childhood obesity. For more information, visit Find ACF on Facebook at and on Twitter @ACFChefs.

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SOURCE The American Culinary Federation, Inc.