The Michigan Chefs

Registration Open for 2015 Golf Outing and Annual Awards Gala

REGISTER NOW for the 2015 Annual MCCA Golf Outing and Chef of the Year Awards Gala. Both events will take place on September 21, 2015. The Golf Outing will be at Forest Lake Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, hosted by Executive Chef Rich King. The Annual Awards Gala will be at The Townsend Hotel, hosted and presented by 2014 Chef of the Year Andrew Sayes, CEC, with desert course by 2014 Pastry Chef of the Year Amy Knoles. All net proceeds will benefit the MCCA Education Fund.

From The President

July 2015

I hope everyone was able to spend the 4th of July with family and were able to relax a bit. Now we enter the home stretch to fall.

Although the chapter has taken the summer off, the board is still hard at work getting the fall and winter calendar filled up. We have also had a slight change to the Board of Directors this month. Chris Hessler, CECC has decided that, with his other obligations, he needs to step back from his full time duty as Secretary for the association. Ironically, last year the board of directors voted to start a program to create assistant positions for Secretary and Treasurer for just this reason, and to build our bench strength and distribute the workload. We have done this, and currently have both an appointed Assistant Secretary, Sarah Rougeau, CSC and an Assistant Treasurer, Jim Kokenyesdi, CEC, CCA (also our first VP). In the past there have been unexpected resignations in the middle of the term that make transitions very rough putting people into positions without knowing how to do their new job or even understanding the time commitment involved, as in my case when I initially took over the Treasurer position years ago.

When a position opens midterm, one of two things happen: the open position is immediately filled by the Chairman of the Board (Brian Beland, CMC) until the President can appoint an appropriate candidate. A board vote is not really required, but with that being said, we held one any way, and it was a unanimous vote that Chef Sarah Rougeau be appointed as our new Secretary of the Michigan Chef de Cuisine Association to fill the term that runs until December 31, 2016. Chef Hessler has offered to continue to help in any way with the transition and will now handle the role of Assistant Secretary so he will still be a great asset to the MCCA. Of course we did have to prank Chef Brian Beland and tell him Sarah initially declined, so as Chairman, according to the bylaws, he would need to take the position over until a suitable replacement was found despite having four other full time positions. It was a long dead silence for a quick minute as Chef Beland digested this info and then a big hearty laugh as no one could keep a straight face any longer.

The bottom line is that your Michigan Chefs de Cuisine board of directors is well-run and continues to be set up for future success. Please join me in congratulating Chef Rougeau in her new role as Secretary. Incidentally, Chef Sarah just completed her CEC practical exam and will be receiving her new credentials in the coming weeks.

The Annual Golf Outing and Chef of the Year Awards Gala is right around the corner and foursomes are filling quickly so don't wait any longer to sign up. The same goes for the dinner portion of the day. Sign up now because as soon as Andrew Sayes, CEC wins the National Chef of the Year at the end of the month, I'm sure the price for that dinner will go up. Once again Chef, good luck in Orlando.

The nomination period for this year's awards are now closed and we will announce who will be competing for Chef, Pastry Chef and Student Chef of the Year soon, as well as Educator, Honorary Awards, the Hermann Rusch Award and the Chef's Professionalism Award. I can tell you now that we have 5 Chef of the Year Candidates, 3 Pastry Chef of the Year Candidates and at least 5 Student Chef of the Year Candidates that will all be participating in the competition on August 11th at Dorsey Culinary Academy in Pontiac. We also have 4 nominees for the Educator of the Year that the board will be voting on shortly.

We started this competition format with just the Chef of the Year three years ago, which was the year I was lucky enough to win and in the kitchen were just three competitors and three judges. Over the last two years, we have added the Pastry Chef of the Year and Student Chef of the Year competitions, and with Dorsey's help last year, there were close to fifty spectators throughout the day. This year will be our biggest competition yet. We are one of the only chapters that does this at the local level, and it's something we are nationally recognized for, and extremely proud of. Many other chapters are starting to emulate our process. Please come out and support the competitors.

Have a great month!

Chef Brian Henson