Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.

Join your fellow MCCA members and their families for this popular annual event! We will enjoy a pre-game party and cash bar at the Detroit Athletic Club, courtesy of Kevin Brennan, CEC, AAC, and then walk over to Comerica Park for the Detroit Tigers vs. the Toronto Blue Jays. Cost is $80.00 per person, and tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis so purchase your tickets today! Important: Please remember to bring your PayPal transaction receipt to the event, and present it at the MCCA registration table at the DAC before the game.

The tailgate portion of the event at DAC is rain or shine. In the event of the game being canceled due to weather, you will receive replacement tickets for the specific rescheduled game date. Tickets for the rescheduled game will not be exchangeable, but tickets may be transferred to anyone you choose if you are unable to attend on that date.Discounted parking for the MCCA is available in the DAC parking garage for $10 (normally $20). Cash only.

2016 Chef of the Year Nominations

It is time to once again nominate candidates for our prestigious "Chef of the Year Award." Please download and complete the forms below to nominate your candidate. This year's award dinner will be held Monday, October 3, 2016 at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, MI, hosted and presented by 2015 Chef of the Year, Sarah Rougeau, CEC. We have many outstanding chefs, pastry chefs, educators and students within the organization. This is your chance to see that a deserving recipient receives due recognition.

President's Letter

April 2016
Chef Brian Henson

I trust everyone made it through the early Easter holiday unscathed! It has made for a long spring break period for all of us. It's interesting to me how each one of us look at the business from a different angle. Club chefs see Easter as the early start of the season but that was not the case this year because it was so early. From what I hear a few clubs opened early and stayed open others did not open for the holiday while others opened for the day then closed again until the weather broke. In my new area of the industry, air travel, Easter was the start of a very long holiday and spring break travel season that slows while kids finish school and picks up again after the restaurants open the outdoor seating to the spring warmth.

What a great month it is for our chapter. ChefConnect 2016 in Hawaii was a fantastic place to have our regional convention even if it was hard going to the seminars all day while it was 82 degrees out. The American Culinary Federation again secured great seminars, half day excursions and dinning. Brian Lorge, Sarah Rougeau and I were able to go on a tour of a local Vanilla bean grower to see his operation and drying facility. After that we went to the Natural Energy Lab where small think tank companies are harvesting the power of deep sea cold water and warm surface water to create a new natural energy to power their facility. We also toured companies that rent space who are working on farm raising octopus, abalone, kampachi and trying to revive the goliath grouper, a species on the edge of extinction. The grouper can get up to 1,000 pound though the ones we observed were just over 300 lbs. In the wild this grouper is so large it has no other predators which made it secure enough to swim at the surface were mankind was kindly waiting with spear and harpoon decimating the species.

I take the great pleasure to inform everyone that Chris Misiak, CEC, CCE, Program Coordinator from Schoolcraft College won the Central Region Chef Educator of the Year award! Chef Chris has been instrumental in keeping the ACF's National Knowledge Bowl going and has turned it into the single largest attended portion of the conventions. I was told that almost half of the convention attendance were from the Knowledge Bowl teams, coaches and families that come to cheer them on. And for an unprecedented seventh consecutive year, the student team from Kendall College in Chicago won a high gold medal and the Central Region Championship. We will see both Chef Chris and Kendall College again at the National Convention in Arizona. Kendall College will represent the Central Region competing for their 4th National Championship in 7 years and Chef Misiak will now be up for the National Chef Educator of the Year.

Kevin Enright, CEC, CCE, AAC of Oakland Community College was elected by the Central Region Presidents as the Regional Ethics Committee Chair, a job that will take a lot of patience and has a lot of work to do. We can't think of a better qualified individual for this important position. Congratulations Chef!

Also of note were two other MCCA Chefs up for awards: Richard Benson, CEC, CCE, AAC, HGT, nominated for the Central Region Hermann G. Rusch Award and Randy Smith, CEC, nominated for the Central Region Chef's Professionalism Award, two of the most important and prestigious awards presented by the ACF each year. It's a huge honor just to be nominated and the field of nominees is quite prestigious. Unfortunately, neither won and neither was able to attend the conference and receive the recognition of their respective nominations at the meals in their honor. But, Chef Misiak's acceptance speech talked quite a bit about Chef Benson's impact on his life and career. And Chef Randy was with us everywhere we went. We cut out a picture of "Tiny Randy" aka "Flat Randy" and he appeared in over 150 photos at every occasion. And we continuously texted them home to him so he could enjoy the "experience". We may share a few of these every so often. They are quite a bit of fun!

And the last bit of great news from ChefConnect Hawaii was that the Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association was not only recognized with a Chapter Achievement Award but also was recognized as the Central Region Chapter of the Year! I was honored to accept the award on behalf of our membership and Board. I can't tell you how many times other chapters presidents asked me throughout the week what we do and how we operate such a large, successful chapter. Thank you to everyone that works so hard for us at our events, meetings and competitions to make this the greatest chapter in the Federation and we will prove that when we win the National Chapter award in July.

John Piazza, CEC and help from his team at Dorsey Culinary Academy along with our Executive Director Brian Lorge, CCTP, HAAC, put together a great meeting at US Ice Corporation in April. Matt Sokolowski, Owner Saad Abbo and the whoIe Abbo Family and US Ice Corp. team really went over the top with a fantastic meeting and an event that included a rare ACF Sanctioned Ice Carving Competition held during the day prior to the meeting. They also sponsored prize money for the competition. The top prize of $1,000 went to Kaitlin Pfropper who earned an ACF silver medal. Second Prize of $500 went to Matt Cooper, CEC who also earned a silver medal. Third Place and $250 went to Jay Leahy, who earned a bronze medal. And a bronze medal was also earned by Alex Wagner. Two other competitors earned participation certificates which also grant them CEH's or point towards their certifications. Chef Rod Perencin, instructor and the students of Dorsey Culinary Academy really did a great job with the food. And most of the food was provided by Carmela Foods. I again want to thank Anthony Tocco and Mark Butwill for their continued support.

Monday, May 2nd, we will be visiting the University of Michigan for our meeting, which I'm sure will be another fun evening. Our Hosts are Steve Magnan, CEC, Michigan dining director and Frank Turchan, CEC, executive chef and the MDining Team. Michigan Dining has gained recognition from the National Association of College and University Food Service, winning numerous awards including Gold Awards for East Quad, South Quad and Fireside Cafe. MDining is also recognized nationally for its innovative online nutrition and allergy management program and its efforts to accommodate students with special dietary needs. Michigan Dining is comprised of eleven on-campus cafes and eight markets, seven residential dining halls, a line of Blue to Go foods and the Michigan Catering unit. Their emphasis is on creative, healthy and nutritious foods, international cuisines and sustainability throughout all dining operations.

Please make note that we are on the first Monday of the month, May 2nd this month due to Mother's Day. We will have an opportunity to tour one of the the newly constructed, award winning, foodservice facilities for student dining at the Munger Graduate Residence Building. We will be on the 8th Floor where the view of the campus is spectacular. Our educational topic will be on the very important issue of Food Allergens. The Presenters are Lindsay Haas, MPH, RD, and Kathryn Whiteside, RD, both experts in food allergies and sensitivities.

As many of you already know and the rest soon will, The State of Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has mandated allergens training for every foodservice property in Michigan. Public Act 516 of 2014 states that a certified food safety manager at all foodservice establishments complete allergens training and display an allergens poster by January 17, 2017. Our meeting will help you understand what you need to know, develop some basic training and also help you learn how to complete the state mandated training available through the MRA. We hope to have representatives of the MRA there as well to discuss their train program and approach to meet the new state requirements. Additionally we will have representatives of Gabriel Group, that represents several equipment manufacturers that are providing some of the equipment required by the new mandate. This is an extremely important topic and we are happy to be on the cutting edge of providing you this important information.

Don't miss our annual "Take Me Out to The Ball Game" event on Tuesday, June 7th. The tailgate takes place at the DAC rain or shine with host Kevin Brennan, CEC, AAC, executive chef and then we walk over to Comerica Park for the Tigers game that night against the Toronto Blue Jays. Tickets are on sale on the website and selling very fast, first come-first serve. We only have 80 seats so don't wait.

Finally, plans are underway for the fall 2016 and spring 2017 MCCA Meeting season. If you are interested in hosting a future meeting or have a great topic, please contact John Piazza or Brian Lorge. We are also looking to host another specialty competition at the MRA Show.

Have a great start of spring and see you in Ann Arbor.

Brian Henson