American Culinary Federation Announces 2011 Western Region Award Winners


The American Culinary Federation (ACF), Inc., the largest association of professional chefs in North America, held its 2011 ACF Western Regional Conference at Talking Stick Resort, Scottsdale, Ariz., April 29-May 2, 2011. More than 25 chefs, students and chapters were honored at the conference, which was the last regional conference of the 2011 events series. Now all regional award finalists look ahead to the ACF National Convention in Dallas, July 22-26, 2011.

Hosted by ACF Chefs Association of Arizona, Inc., the ACF Western Regional Conference brought hundreds of chefs, cooks and foodservice professionals together for networking, competitions and professional development opportunities at cooking demonstrations, business seminars and a trade show. The American Academy of Chefs (AAC), ACF’s honor society, gave a $1,000 grant to the Western Region Student Team Regional Champions, ACF Bay Area Chefs Association of Oregon, to assist the team with expenses to travel to the national competition.

Here are the 2011 Western Region award winners who will compete against their regional counterparts in Dallas:

Chef of the Year, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions
Todd Leonard, CEC, executive chef, Blue Lemon, American Fork, Utah; ACF Beehive Chefs Chapter Inc.

Pastry Chef of the Year, sponsored by Splenda
Paul John Padua, executive pastry chef, The Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite National Park, Calif.; Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts Inc.

Chef Educator of the Year
Bill Sy, CEC, CCE, academic director, The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Tucson, Tucson, Ariz.; ACF Chefs Association of Southern Arizona Tucson

Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award
Leif Benson, CEC, AAC, retired, Welches, Ore.; ACF Chefs de Cuisine Society of Oregon

Chef Professionalism Award, sponsored by Minor’s
Anthony Danna, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Edgewood Downs Retirement, Beaverton, Ore.; ACF Chefs de Cuisine Society of Oregon

Student Chef of the Year, sponsored by Custom Culinary, Inc.
Ghil Medina, services journeyman/senior airman, U.S. Air Force, Hampton, Va.; Old Dominion ACF Chapter

Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, sponsored by American Technical Publishers
Representing ACF Pikes Peak Chapter Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo.: Liberty Blechman, Katherine Conlon, Robin Flynn, Patrick Patterson and Debra Schmidt. Heidi Block and Leslie Bender are the team’s coaches.

Student Team Regional Championship, sponsored by R.L. Schreiber, Inc.
Representing ACF Bay Area Chefs Association of Oregon, students at Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, Coos Bay, Ore.: Justin Clark, Mallory Crocker, Diana Jeffs, Reilly Meehan and Kimberly Ream. Randy Torres, CEC, is the team’s coach.

Paella, Please! sponsored by Riviana
Samuel Murillo, Glendale, Ariz.

The 2011 ACF Western Regional Conference award recipients listed below were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the culinary industry.

Chapter of the Year
ACF Pikes Peak Chapter, Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo.

Chapter Achievement Award
ACF Pikes Peak Chapter, Inc.
ACF Southern CA Inland Empire Chefs & Cooks Association, San Bernandino, Calif.

Cutting Edge Award
Donald Dickinson, CEC, CCA, AAC, culinary division director, Institute of Technology, Citrus Heights, Calif.; ACF California Capital Chefs Association
Walter Hawley, CEC, corporate executive chef, Nestle Professional, Englewood, Colo.; ACF Colorado Chefs Association
Christopher Plemmons, CEC, AAC, chef-instructor, Olympic College Culinary Arts Institute, Bremerton, Wash.; ACF Washington State Chefs Association
Ricardo Santana, executive chef, Impressions Catering, Ontario, Calif.; ACF Southern CA Inland Empire Chefs & Cooks Association

ACF President’s Medallions
Franz Kubak, CEC, assistant professor/chef-instructor, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah; ACF Beehive Chefs Chapter Inc.
Tony Parker, CEC, general manager, Eurest Dining Services, Kent, Wash.; ACF Washington State Chefs Association
James Wolters, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Manito Country Club, Spokane, Wash.; ACF Chefs de Cuisine of the Inland Northwest

Posted by Lauren 05/05/11

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