New Scholarship Opportunity

Restaurantware Icons Scholarship Program

As a leading supplier of contemporary kitchen supplies, Restaurantware is always driving the industry standard for innovation and quality. We know that the ideas and dreams of tomorrow's chefs are just as important as today's icons. We are showing our support for future culinarians through the Restaurantware Icons Scholarship Program.

Restaurantware will provide two $1,000 grants each year to culinary students that have displayed the same passion and enthusiasm for innovation in the foodservice industry as Restaurantware. One grant will be provided in the first half of each calendar year, and the other one will be provided at the end of each calendar year. Eligible students need to be currently enrolled or planning to enroll full time in the fields of Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, or a similar program at an accredited culinary arts school or college. More information is available here.

President's Letter

April-May 2017

Happy spring everyone! It's time to change menus and use all the wonderful items we grow here in Michigan. Now that Easter brunch is over we all have a short breather before Mother's Day! I have been traveling so much for my job though I cannot remember what the weather has been like in Michigan this spring. With that travel though I have been able to see firsthand the food and beverage employee shortage is certainly not unique to the Detroit area, not that it makes anyone feel any better.

I would like to thank chefs John Piazza, Jim Kokenyesdi and Brian Lorge for conducting the April meeting in my absence. I would especially like to thank chef Gabby Melton, Vera Day-Rizer and the entire Big Rock Chophouse & Reserve staff for helping us with the April meeting. Through some reasons not in our control we found ourselves without a meeting site just weeks before the scheduled date. In a very short time, Chef Gabby put together a successful meeting! More thanks should go to Gordon Food Service and Halperns' Meats for the educational segment of the meeting. I can tell everyone that it is stressful enough preparing an event for over 100 chefs and industry professionals when you have months to prepare but sticking your reputation out there with short notice is commendable.

We are just weeks away from the ACF National Board election and I believe this is a very important time as does our Michigan Chefs de Cuisine, Board of Directors. There are seven candidates running for National President so evidently there are a lot of people who agree that the American Culinary Federation is at a point where change may be needed…or not. With seven qualified candidates, it is very difficult to decide who will be the best choice for each of us so that is why our Board talked a few months about it and decided to endorse three candidates. I would advise everyone to look at all seven candidates first. The three candidates we believe can best lead us are Stafford DeCambra, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC; Jeff Bacon, CEC, CCA, AAC; and Michael Deihl, CEC, CCA, AAC. Of those seven candidates if no one chef garners at least 51% of the total vote there will then be a run off between the top two candidates and we expect that to be the case this year. The three chefs we are endorsing have very different ideas so please take the time to read about their plans. All other positions are either uncontested or just a couple of people running for each office.

May will bring us back to the University of Michigan with host Frank Turchan, CEC. I have personally been looking forward to going back to U of M not just because I am a Wolverine fan but because last year, I believe, this was one of the most informative meetings we have had. Remember this will be the last formal meeting before the summer so let's fill it up! We will have the owner of Sea to Table speaking to us about Under Utilized Fish Species and Sustainable Practices along with additional information from the Marine Stewardship Council.

I want to remind everyone we are a short time away from our annual "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" event at Comerica Park and the Detroit Athletic Club. If you have not had the opportunity to go to the DAC for a tailgate before a game here is your chance. Kevin Brennan, CEC, AAC and his staff do a unbelievable job hosting us for this event and most year the Tigers do as well.

We have a really busy fall schedule coming up this year so keep your calendar open in August, September and October and look out for the Chef of the Year Annual Dinner Gala and Golf Outing. This year our reigning Central Region Chef of the Year Chris Johnson, chef-owner of The Meeting House in Birmingham will be presenting the Dinner Gala at the Country Club of Detroit with the assistance of Brian Beland, CMC and his staff. We will soon be looking for nominations for next year's Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Educator Chef of the Year nominees as well as looking to the Culinary programs for Student of the Year candidates. See everyone in May!

Brian Henson