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Chapter News

President's Message

Greetings Fellow Members,

I hope everyone has had a great summer so far and survived our hot hot hot days! It seems summer is going quickly and we will again become busy as fall approaches. Our next chapter meeting will take place August 20th at the Radisson in Merrillvile. Chef Brian Narug and staff will be our hosts. September will be held at IVY Tech in East Chciago, with Mr Edward Garcia owner of El Popular Choriszo as a guest speaker. I've had the opportunity to be a guest judge at IVY Tech E.C. campus for their annual choriszo culinary competition and the Garcia family are very generous sponsors as well as donors to the student body .

I was able to attend the ACF National Conference in Orlando to represent our chapter at the National Board of Govoners meeting as well as theCentral Regional Chapters meeting. Chef Glenn Brown and I attempted to put together an Indiana State meeting of the 6 chapter presidents, but unfortuneatly only 3 of us were present. We are in the process of setting up an Indiana State mini conference for the Indiana Chapters, as are representatives from all of the other states. Several of our own Chapter members have stepped up to offer to "take the bull by the horns" so to speak and host the event - as of right now no further decisions have been made, but a note was made that because the IVY Tech Indy campus just did a complete remodeling of their kitchens they would like to be the first chapter to host so they could have mini competitions for Chefs and Students during the conference. More details to follow as I know more, but for right now it appears that this will be conducted at Indianapolis in November. The reaiming chapters would then follow a rotating schedule to host in future years.

Here are only a few of the discussions and award results below - Congratulations goes out to Chef Donald Miller of the South Bend Chapter for winning the National Chef Professionalism award this year! Also several members of the Windy City Professional Chefs chapter won awards as well(see below)

A complete discussion of all areas of ACF National Business, the Board of Directors and various committee activities, all foundation finances and the ACF Annual Report were reviewed, voted on and approved. A few minor updates were approved to the national bylaws to bring us into legal compliance with the State of New York.

Most importantly this is a National officer election year. Nominations will be accepted for National Board positions until December 1, 2012. Anyone interested in running for an office can go to to review each positions job requirements, qualifications and nomination paperwork.

Nominations were taken from the floor. So far, here is a list of the current nominees:


Tom Macrina, CEC, CCA, HGT, AAC (Current Secretary)

David Ivey-Soto, CEC, CCA, MBA


Jeff Bacon, CEC, CCA, AAC (Current VP SE Region)

William Tillinghast, CEC, AAC, MBA (Current VP NE Region)


Jim Taylor, CEC, AAC, ACE, MBA (Current Treasurer)

Nick Nickless, CEC, CCA, AAC (Current Chair, Bylaws Committee)

Central Region VP

Kyle Richardson, CEC, CCE, AAC, CHE (Current VP Central Region)

Charles Duit, CEC, AAC, CDM, CFPP

I also attended the Central Region Conference Forum Chef Stafford DeCambra, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC, AAC Chairman, stated in the General Session that the AAC Dinner at the DAC set the benchmark standard for all future AAC Dinners. Chef Kyle Richardson discussed the 2013 Central Region Conference in Little Rock, Ark. April 29-ay 1, 2013. He asked for input from all chefs and members as to what we would like to see at this conference. Please send your ideas to James Kokenyesdi, CEC, CCA, foodservice supervisor, St. Clair County Community Mental Health Authority in Port Huron, Mich. and member of the MCCA received the Chef and Child Foundation's Michael Ty, CECR, AACR, Endowment Fund and $1,000 will be donated to a charity of his choice. Michael Hiller, catering chef, Delaware North Companies, Sportservice, Soldier Field and member of the Windy City Chefs received the Chef and Child Foundation's True Spirit Award. Austin Yancey, culinary instructor, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago, member of the Windy City Chefs won the What's in Your Wok: A Fried Rice Competition, Sponsored by Riviana Foods, Inc. Yancey won $1,000 for his dish, "Duck Duck Rice" and previously won $250 at the Central Region's competition for the same dish.

Congratulations to the Kendall College team, coached by Dina Altieri, CEC, CCE, and members Jacob Clara, Paige Meagher, Brenda Martinez, Robert Baki and Gabriele Ausraite on a third consecutive gold medal at ACF Nationals and a second place finish as they represented the Central Region and the Windy City Professional Culinarians in the Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, sponsored by American Technical Publishers. The double elimination competition was ultimately won by first time competitors from Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Kirkland, Wash. representing the West Region and the ACF Washington State Chefs Association. The ACF Chef of the Year chefs included Northeast Region Chef of the Year Scott Ryan, CEC, executive chef at The Country Club in Pepper Pike, Ohio, and Central Region Chef of the Year Brian Beland, CMC, executive chef/director of food & 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 CollegeForest 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 teams coach.

Chef Professionalism Award, sponsored by MINOR

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 Chefs 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 teams coaches.

Whats 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-Pauls Louisiana Kitchen, New Orleans, and Magic Seasoning Blends Inc., Harahan, La.; ACF New Orleans Chapter

ACF Immediate Past Presidents 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 BostonDennis 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 Presidents 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

ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana featured in The Times
"Toast to good food and wine"

October 5, 2012
By Eloise Marie Valadez
Click here to read the complete article (PDF format).

ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana featured in The Times
"Tri Kappa presents culinary-themed event"

October 3, 2012
By Eloise Marie Valadez
Click here to read the complete article (PDF format).

ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana featured in The Times
"2012 Nazareth Home Gala slated for Oct. 18"

September 28, 2012
By Scott Thunder
Click here to read the complete article (PDF format).

ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana featured in The Times
"Nazareth Home's gala marks 10 years of helping region children
September 18, 2012
By Steve Zabroski - Times Correspondent
Click here to read the complete article (PDF format).

2012 Meals on Wheels, Dine with the Chefs

Our congratulations to you all on another wonderful 2012 Meals on Wheels, Dine with the Chefs event this year. What an amazing turnout! Please click on the image (or link) below to view a slideshow of images that we captured throughout the day. These are just a few of the many images captured. We are honored to provide these services to such a wonderful organization. Keep up the great work!

Rick and Jodi Bella
Bella Photography

Dine with the Chefs Gala 2012

Chairman Chef Jack Mix shares his views on our chapter

2011 Meals On Wheels, Dine with the Chef's Gala
Courtesy of Bella Photography

2012 ACF Events Series
Click for details.

9th Annual Nazareth Home Gala

Thursday October 20th 2011
Hammond Federal Courthouse
For more information, visit or phone (219)947-8562

ACF 2011-2013 National Board of Directors Election Results

Mark Kent, CEC®, chair of the American Culinary Federation Inc.'s (ACF) Nominations & Elections Committee, announced today at 10:03 a.m. EST the results of the ACF Board of Directors national election for the 2011-2013 term. According to the results tallied by Survey & Ballot Systems, Eden Prairie, Minn., the following candidates secured the majority vote and will serve as the national ACF board of directors for a two-year term that begins at the board's installation during the President's Grand Ball at the 2011 ACF National Convention, Dallas, July 26. Click here to read more.

USDA, Surgeon General, and First Lady Teamed Up To Replace MyPyramid with MyPlate

To read the full story, click here!

For more information on MyPlate, please visit:

ACF Central Regional  Herman G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award Nominee

ACF Central Regional “Herman G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award” Nominee:  This year our chapter, Chefs of Northwest Indiana, has the honor of nominating Chef Nico Luna CEC for this prestigious award.

This award, formerly the Hermann G. Rusch Humanitarian Award, honors chefs who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to both ACF and the culinary profession. Such chefs, through their involvement with and contributions to ACF and our craft, have advanced the culinary profession and ensured the enrichment of students, our members and those in the profession. Candidates are worthy of carrying on the proud tradition of the chef for whom this award was named, Hermann G. Rusch, AAC (1907–1997).

Candidate must be an ACF member in good standing for at least 15 years, hold or have held the position or positions of executive chef, working chef, chef instructor, pastry chef, research and development chef, or corporate chef for at least 30 years, currently hold or have held an elected local chapter office in one of the following positions: president, vice president, secretary, or treasurer or served as chair for chapter membership or certification committee — documentation required,  hold or have held certification at the certified sous chef or certified working pastry chef level or higher and be a United States citizen or have a permanent resident green card.

Chef Nico Luna

The selection process for Regional winners will be chosen by a selection committee based on the submitted applications.  The winner will be announced during the regional conference award events in New Orleans next week.

Once again, congratulations to our nominee Chef Nico Luna for “Herman G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award” for Central Regional.

The Board of Directors
ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana

ACF Central Regional “Chef Educator of the Year” Nominee

ACF Central Regional “Chef Educator of the Year” Nominee:  This year our chapter has the honor of nominating Chef Joe Trama CEC, of Ivy Tech Community College (East Chicago Campus) for this prestigious award.

The award objective of the ACF “Chef Educator of the Year” pays tribute to an active culinary educator whose knowledge, skills, expertise, guidance, and direction have enhanced the image of the professional chef and who, by example, has given leadership, guidance, and direction to students seeking a career in the culinary profession. This person demonstrates the ability to help students define and develop their careers by using their skills and abilities to provide a strong foundation for their success.

Candidate must be an ACF member in good standing for at least 5 years, hold ACF certification as a CCE, CSCE or higher, be an active culinary instructor, culinary chairperson, or culinary dean in charge of curriculum building in a culinary program for the year in which the nomination is made, have five or more years of full-term teaching in a secondary or postsecondary culinary school, and have a minimum two-year degree in culinary arts or hospitality management.

Chef Joe Trama

The selection process for Regional winners will be chosen by a selection committee based on the submitted applications.The winner will be announced during the regional conference award events in New Orleans next week.

Once again, congratulations to our nominee Chef Joe Trama for “Chef Educator of the Year” for Central Regional.

The Board of Directors
ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana

Former news anchor Bill Curtis visits Ivy Tech Community College

CHICAGO—Ivy Tech Community College’s East Chicago De La Garza campus will host former legendary Chicago news anchor, Bill Curtis to speak to culinary faculty and students in the hospitality program on Thursday, April 14 from 11am to 2pm about raising grass-fed beef. Curtis, who is retired from television has started his own cattle ranch, Tallgrass Beef  in Sedan, Kansas. "I started Tallgrass Beef to raise cattle the way they were meant to be raised,” explained Curtis.

For more information contact, Chef Joe Trama at 219-781-9294, 219-836-1950 or or Elida Abeyta at 219-392-3600 ext. 245.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

Crown Point Tri Kappa Kitchen Tour and Tasting

Sunday, October 17, 2010
Noon to 4 p.m.

The Kitchen Tour & Tasting will feature distinctive kitchens in eight private residences in Crown Point. Each kitchen will showcase a local restaurant chef and offer guests a “tasting” of a featured menu item or one of that chef’s favorite dishes. Guests will move from home to home, in whatever order they choose, and enjoy some of Northwest Indiana’s finest cuisine in eight of Crown Point’s most beautiful kitchens. You won't want to miss this delightful and delicious afternoon!

Tickets sales will be limited to 250 at a price of $40 each. Reserve your tickets by calling Terri Williams at 662–9243 or by email:

Proceeds from this event will benefit the St. Clare Clinic which provides free prenatal and early childhood medical care for underprivileged and uninsured families in Lake County, including a food pantry. Proceeds will also go to the culinary scholarship fund of the Northwest Indiana Chapter of the American Culinary Federation.

Click here for more information!

ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana In The Press

May ACF General Monthly Meeting at Giovanni's Restaurant
May, 2010
By Rick Bella
Click here to view photos.
Click here to view movie.
Article “Taste of Valparaiso Offers a Delicious Variety”
Video “Taste of Valparaiso Turns Out a Hit”

The Times
Taste an education in local fare”

2010 Meals On Wheels
"Dine With The Chefs"

Click here to read the complete article (PDF format).
Click here to view movie.

2010 World Ice Art Championships
Fairbanks, Alaska

March 6, 2010

ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana featured in The Post Tribune
"Chef of the Year honored for more than cooking "

January 27, 2010
By Mark Taylor
Click here to read the complete article (PDF format).

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