President's Letter

October 2015

What a great day we had for the Annual Golf Outing and Chef of the Year Awards Gala. From the weather to the facilities and food, it could not have been any better.

I should first thank Chef Rich King and his staff at Forest Lake Country Club for preparing a great breakfast, lunch on the course, and hors d' oeuvres after our round of golf. And in particular, the Bloody Mary bar is never a bad thing at 8:00 a.m. Their facility is really top notch with a great view of Forest Lake. When our round started, the course was in excellent condition. I say 'when we started' because as the round went along, I noticed that the tee boxes and greens seemed more and more torn up. When I worked at a golf club, I remember the superintendent hating the Monday outings because of all the repairs on Tuesday mornings, and I'm sure the same happened at Forest Hills. Since we chefs spend most of our time in the kitchen, we are typically not very good golfers, but some of our friends sure are! There was a tie of 58 for the low score that had to be played off with the hole handicaps.

After golf we were only able to relax only shortly because we had to quickly get to to the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham for dinner. I cannot tell you enough how fantastic a dinner that was. Andrew Sayes, CEC, executive chef and Amy Knowles, executive pastry chef at Country Club of Detroit and a cast of many other chefs, cooks and students prepared a dinner that many in attendance described as some of the best food they've had. Thank you, chefs! It is difficult enough to cook for 250 people, let alone your industry colleagues, friends, peers and mentors, but then to ask your staff to volunteer, telling the front of house that it is a "tipless" open bar, and calling around to get the food donated makes it even that much more challenging. Balancing the best food and also adhering to your obligation to your property to make money makes this dinner a particularly hard day, and in my opinion, it was flawless. To all of the chefs that helped with this day, on behalf of your associations' Board of Directors, a heartfelt 'thank you.' Also, we had a great MCCA team coordinating and organize the entire Chef of the Year Gala. Once again, credit goes to many.

On to the winners: Our 2015 Student Chef of the Year is Calie Nelson from The Culinary Institute of Michigan at Baker College. Calie's food at the local competition was scored unanimously first place and we hope she will be selected to compete for the Central Region Student Chef of the Year.

The 2015 Educator of the Year is Chris Misiak, CEC, from Schoolcraft College. Chris has been with Schoolcraft for over 30 years, from student to educator and he also works extremely hard with the ACF on the Knowledge Bowl on the regional and national level. I wish him the best of luck qualifying for the Central Region Educator of the Year.

It was with great pleasure that we also awarded Honorary Membership to Chef Takashi Yagihashi and Chef Luciano DelSignore. Both of these gentlemen have had an enormous impact on the very vibrant Detroit culinary scene. Fred Del Bene from Del Bene Produce was presented with our Associate Member of the Year, and the Vendor of the Year award went to Claude Ghafari of Elegance Distributors, Inc.

Next came the hardest working chef I know, our 2015 Pastry Chef of the Year, Eric Voigt from Big Rock Chop House. I hired Eric 8 years ago at that property, and it was the best and easiest hire I have ever had.

Our 2015 Chef of the Year went to the well-deserved Chef Sarah Rougeau from Oakland Hills Country Club! I know she will be selected to compete for Regional Chef of the Year and we will again have a strong opportunity to be represented next year at Nationals. I'm sure Sarah is already thinking of how she will outdo the 2013 dinner at her own club.

Don't forget there is no meeting month. We attended the Michigan Restaurant Show where we hosted an ACF-sanctioned competition, as well as numerous member demos. Please mark your calendars for November's special first time 'pastry' meeting at OCC. In addition to Todd Ostrowski from Midwest Imports (representing Fechlin Chocolates) giving a presentation on Chocolate, we are bringing in celebrity pastry chef Josh Johnson as our main presenter, and will be featuring several pastry chefs from around Detroit and sampling some of their specialties. This should be a great meeting.

Brian Henson

You're Invited to the 2015 MCCA Holiday Party

November 29, 2015 at Steve and Rocky's

MCCA members, and your families, are cordially invited to the ACF-Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association Christmas Holiday Party on Sunday November 29, 2015 from 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. at Steve and Rocky's, 43150 Grand River, Novi, MI 48375 (1/4 mile east of Novi Rd. on Grand River).

You are welcome to bring guests (extended family members or non-family members) for $35.00 per person, including children under 12 for $15.00 See the Registration Form in the newsletter, or DOWNLOAD HERE. REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Print and fax or mail the registration form to:

  • Email:
  • Fax: 248-412-5201. Phone: 248-258-5533
  • Address: Rooney Personnel Company, 1000 S. Old Woodward, Ste. 107, Birmingham, MI 48009