The MCCA representatives at 2017 ChefConnect: Chicago


February 10, 2017

Our chapter has had an amazing week here at ChefConnect: Chicago. Congratulations to all of our winners that competed: Chris Johnson, MCCA Chef of the Year and now ACF Central Region Chef of the Year; Ben Robison, CEPC, MCCA Pastry Chef of the Year; and the Student Team from The Culinary Institute of Michigan at Baker College representing the MCCA and the entire State of Michigan. Also Matt Schellig, CEC, CCE, CCA who did a great presentation on breaking down a goat as well as all of the rest of our Chapter Members that attended. We represented very well. And oh yeah, we won another ACF Chapter Achievement Award recognizing all of our great accomplishments as the best chapter in the nation!

President's Letter

January-February 2017

Happy New Year to everyone. As the dust settles on another holiday season I trust everyone survived relatively unharmed. After 29 years in this great industry I am certain that each of those 29 Decembers took a little off my life span. I am not exactly in the part of the industry any longer that is effected by the holiday rush but I do look back and think that with each hotel, club and restaurant I worked December is the time I learned most about myself, the people I worked with and the leader I was. There is not much that compares to the feeling that is left after a New Year's Eve service.

The beginning of this year brings us a new Board of Directors and I would like to thank our nominations and election chair Brian Lorge for making sure we continually adapt to the way we hold our election. This year we had the highest percentage of eligible voters participate at 27%. I understand that sounds low but it is double the amount who usually reply to the email vote. Our new Board of Directors for 2017-2018 are; Chairman-Kevin Enright, CEC, CCE, AAC; President-Brian Henson; 1st Vice President-John Piazza, CEC; 2nd Vice President-Sarah Rougeau, CEC; Secretary-John McCormick, CEC, CCE, AAC; Treasurer-Jim Kokenyesdi, CEC, CCA, AAC; and Trustees-Kevin Brennan, CEC, AAC; Randy Smith, CEC and Joe Nader. I will follow up next month in announcing all appointed positions. Thank you everyone in helping shape this great Chapter for the future and setting us up to continue the to be one of the leaders of the American Culinary Federation.

I think it has been a while since we published the Culinarian Code and this seems like a good opportunity to do so. Our entire new Board of Directors were sworn in at the January Board of Directors meeting and we all recited the code as well as signing and committing again to follow the code of ethics.

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.

One of the first goals of the new Board of Directors will be to update the way we do business not only at the monthly meetings but also at our Annual Chef of the Year Awards Gala and the Annual Golf Outing as well. This will all go together with a new and updated website, new communication tools and enhanced e-commerce platform all designed to bring our Association into a new generation, increasing our relevancy and enhancing our benefits and value to the working chefs of the area.

Another item we plan to take on in the first part of the new year will be updating our outdated bylaws. The current bylaws are old; they were produced on an old-fashioned typewriter and we don't even have an electronic file to work from. Once we have the draft of the new bylaws ready, we will send them out to the entire membership for review and they will then be voted on by the general membership. These will be very important updates, so please watch for that as well and please vote.

Your new board is really excited and we have many great ideas on the table to continue to push us forward. If you would like to enhance your presence and work with the chapter, please let us know. As we continue to grow, there are lots of opportunities for members to get involved somehow. We are definitely an organization that you get much more out of than you put into it. It's a very satisfying feeling to know that we are having truly positive impacts on our members' professional development, careers and ultimately the quality of life in this tough industry.

Please mark your calendar for the next upcoming meetings. In February, we will again be at Henry Ford Community College on the 13th with a special guest from Mercer Cutlery representing their wearables division, and a presentation on the past history and future of the chefs' uniform, including a fashion show put on by the students. I understand this is one day before Valentine's Day but due to the regional conference, after evaluating this carefully, the board opted to keep this date. It's our sincere hope that most of you can still make it and your following weekend will be the busy time for Valentine's Day diners.

We are just a week away from the Central/Western CookCraftCreate ChefConnect conference in Chicago. This year it is held very close to home in Chicago on February 5-7 at the Hilton downtown. And yes, you are looking correct that is Super Bowl weekend! Just think of the squares that will be passed around on the first day of the conference. I just looked at the updated schedule and the ACF has put together a very good lineup of seminars once again highlighted by some of our local chefs so let's take the short drive over and support them as well as Chef Chris Johnson, Chef-Owner of The Meeting House competing for the Central Region Chef of the Year and Chef Ben Robison, Pastry Chef at Local Kitchen and Bar competing for Central Region Pastry Chef of the Year! We also have the Student Team from Culinary Institute of Michigan at Baker College representing the State of Michigan, the MCCA and their school competing as well.

If you are planning on attending the conference, please let us know. We are going to try to get all of our attending members together on Super Bowl Night.

Brian Henson