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About Our Chapter

History of the ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana | CulinarianĂ¯de | Chapter Awards | Chef of the Year Recipients
Junior Culinarian of the Year Recipients | Purveyor of the Year Recipient | Past Board Members

The American Culinary Federation (ACF), Inc., was founded in 1929 as a professional, not-for-profit organization for chefs and cooks. Founded by three existing chefs’ organizations, the Société Culinaire Philanthropique, the Vatel Club, and the Chefs Association of America, the organization’s principal goal is to promote the professional image of American chefs worldwide through education among culinarians at all levels, from apprentices to the most accomplished certified master chefs.

ACF is the largest and most prestigious organization dedicated to professional chefs in the United States today. The ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana is one chapter of many that is part of this great organization. Visit our parent organization’s web site at www.acfchefs.org.

History of the ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana

In 1995, Chef Muhammad Siddiqui and Chef Debra Ward, saw a future for an American Culinary Federation Chapter in Northwest Indiana, between Chicago and South Bend, and north of Indianapolis. Both Chef Siddiqui and Chef Ward had been associated with other ACF Chapters around the country, and now both were working in Northwest Indiana.

After conducting several preliminary meetings in the Fall of 1995, the chapter organizing papers were submitted and ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana was born.

The first official Northwest Indiana Chapter meeting was held in January, 1996 at Sand Creek Country Club, Chesterton, with 17 charter members present. During this meeting the first Board of Directors was elected, as follows:

ACF - About Our Chapter

President, James Galligan – Sous Chef, Sand Creek Country Club

Vice President, Philippe Joseph – Chef, Innsbrook Country Club

Secretary, Cathy Smith – Sous Chef, Sand Creek Country Club

Treasurer, Kathy Newman – Private Chef

The goal of the Northwest Indiana ACF Chapter is to make people aware of the organization and the culinary professions in general. The chapter reaches out to fellow culinarians, letting them know about ACF membership benefits: networking, monthly meetings, certification programs and tools for success for cooks and chefs.

Chef Portrait 2009
Chef Portrait 2005 2007 Chef Portrait
Chef Portrait 2001 Chef Portrait 2003

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Culinarian’s Code

As a proud member of the American Culinary Federation, I pledge to share my professional knowledge and skill with all culinarians. I will place honor, fairness, cooperation and consideration first when dealing with my colleagues. I will keep all comments professional and respectful when dealing with my colleagues. I will protect all members from the use of unfair means, unnecessary risks and unethical behavior when used against them for another’s personal gain. I will support the success, growth, and future of my colleagues and this great federation.

Adopted at Board of Governors August 3, 2010

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Chapter Awards

  • ACF Chapter Charter presented in (1997) at the National Convention Atlanta Georgia
  • ACF Chef and Child “Little Oscar” Award
  • ACF Most Improved Newsletter
  • Donation to ACF National Building Fund
  • Donation to ACF Culinary Team USA February 08 at Chicago Windy City Chapter
  • Chef of the Year Recipients

  • 2007 David Siano CCC Horseshoe Casino presented 01/21/2008 at Sand Creek Country Club
  • 2006 Tim Merkel Giovanni's Restaurant presented 01/20/2007 at Briar Ridge Country Club
  • 2005 Jack Mix Comforts Catering
  • 2004 Nico Luna CBC Villa De Bruno
  • 2003 Travis Dale CSC Sand Creek Country Club
  • 2002 Jim Galligan Sand Creek Country Club
  • Junior Culinarian of the Year Recipients

  • 2007 Billie Ross Ivy Tech/Comfort Catering
  • 2006 Megan Kozina Harrah’s Casino Joliet
  • 2005 Billy Mix Comforts Catering
  • Purveyor of the Year Recipient

  • 2007 Performance Food Groups - Jim Dawson
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    Past Board Members

    2012-2013
    2010-2011

    President - Cheryl Molenda
    Vice President - Ruben Calvo CEC
    Chairman of the Board - Jack Mix
    Treasurer- Tim Merkel
    Secretary - Terry Zych
    Sargeant At Arms - Frank Kwiecien

    2008-2009
    President - Jack Mix
    Vice President - Glennard K. Brooks
    Chairman of the Board - Peter E. Jeschke CCC
    Treasurer- James Galligan
    Secretary - Cheryl Molenda
    Sargeant At Arms - Nico Luna, CEC

    2006-2007
    President - Peter E. Jeschke, CCC
    Vice President - Glennard K. Brooks
    Chairman of the Board/Treasurer- James Galligan
    Secretary - Cheryl Molenda
    Sargeant At Arms - Jack H. Mix

    2004-2005
    President - Pete Jeschke, CCC
    Vice President - Travis Dale,CCC (served 1-5/05)
    Vice President - Michael Mazur,CCC (served 6-12/05)
    Secretary - Tammy Williams (served 1-5/05)
    Secretary - Cheryl Molenda (served 6-12/05)
    Treasurer - James Galligan
    Sargeant At Arms - Jack Mix

    2002-2003
    President - James Galligan
    Vice President - Rick Smolik
    Secretary - Pete Jeschke, CCC
    Treasurer - Tammy Williams

    2000-2001
    President - Jerry Mahshie, CEC
    Secretary - Cathy Smith
    Treasurer - James Galligan

    1998-1999
    President - Jerry Mahshie, CEC
    Secretary - Cathy Smith
    Treasurer - James Galligan

    1996-1997
    President - James Galligan
    Vice President - Philippe Joseph
    Secretary - Cathy Smith
    Treasurer - Kathy Newman

    ACF - About Our Chapter

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