From The President

November 2014

Deck the kitchens with holiday excitement! The hustle of the very busy holiday season is in full swing. Dining rooms are full with family and corporate events. The walk-in coolers are filled with fresh produce and meats. The banquet board is cover with white function sheets like a winter snow. All this means it must be December! Happy holidays to everyone member of the MCCA and all the casual readers that have an interest in this newsletter. May they be filled with joy and lasting memories!

Similar to last year the MCCA kicked off the Holiday season with a special educational presentation by Michael Schafer, Esq., CSW, CCTP with and outstanding tasting and lecture about the "Big Three" red wine varietals. For those that are not aware, please consider using Michael Schafer's expertise when looking to build or redefine your wine and spirits programs, or consider him for educational seminars or tastings at your own establishments. The tasting that evening featured a compare and contrast of New World versus Old World styles of wine making and was supported by Vintage Wine Company in helping to select and procure the wine portfolio for this event.

Also for the November meeting I would like to give a special thank you to our Culinary Team at Country Club of Detroit. Lead by Chef de Cuisine Salvador Martinez, Senior Sous Chef Steve Valenti and Pastry Chef Amy Knoles along with the rest of the brigade and Schoolcraft student volunteers, I believe they are the best team we can build at the club. They led the entire culinary portion of the event without my assistance and did a fabulous job demonstrating what they can do when given the lead! Thank you CCD Culinary Team for making CCD look good!

I am excited to announce that MCCA gave out two scholarships the last month. Alexander Wagner and Hannah Zabowski have both been chosen as the recipient of the Leopold Schaeli Honorary Scholarship from the Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association. These $1,000 Scholarships are for your use to offset the costs of tuition and books while attending a Culinary Arts program in the State of Michigan. Congratulations to the both of you. We encourage all members to take advantage of the scholarship opportunities offered by the MCCA, ACF National and the American Academy of Chefs all looking to help support our culinarians.

Our Michigan Culinary Team had just finished up their competition in the Villeroy and Boch Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg at ExpoGast 2014 with each team member bringing home a medal. Congratulations to all of the MCCA Chefs that competed:

  • Jeremy Abbey, CEC, CCE, CCA, Culinary Director at Dorsey Schools' Waterford-Pontiac Campus earned a Silver Medal.
  • Matt Schellig, CEC, CCE, Culinary Instructor and Catering Manager at Dorsey Schools' Roseville Campus earned a Bronze Medal.
  • David Daniot, CEC, Executive Chef of the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club earned a Silver Medal.
  • Tom Giles, CEC, Executive Chef at Bronson Healthcare Group in Kalamazoo, MI earned a Bronze Medal.
  • Jake Williams, CEC, Cooking Matters Coordinator at Gleaners Community Food Bank, Detroit, MI earned a Bronze Medal.
  • Team Manager: John Piazza, CEC, Culinary Arts Program Director at Dorsey Schools.

Also congratulations to ACF Team USA, which competed at the national level scoring gold in all categories and a third place finish over all. Congratulations to all our chefs locally and nationally for their participation and achievements!

As we push through December's excitement, we enjoyed the annual holiday party at Steve and Rocky's on Sunday, November 30th. Always a fun event and enjoyed by all. Thank you to Chef Steve Allen, Duane Brady, and everyone at Steve and Rocky's for another exceptional event!

I would like to take this moment to thank everyone in the MCCA for your support in my term as President of the Michigan Chefs de Cuisine. These past two years serving you has been rewarding, educational and a true pleasure. I would like to recognize Douglas Ganhs, CEC, ACE, for his years of commitment to the MCCA Board of Directors and the leadership and passion he has provided to the organization. A special thank you to chefs Randy Smith, CEC, Kevin Enright, CEC, CCE, AAC and Kevin Brennan, CEC, AAC for their support and mentorship they have provided. The MCCA has a bright and busy future ahead as we transition into a new term of officers lead by Chef Brian Henson as our incoming president. The future for the MCCA is promising as we continue to grow and excel and one of the nation's leading chapters within the ACF. My term of presidency may be over but my passion and pursuit of excellence will continue as I hope to mentor future leaders of this organization as I had been. Thank you all for you trust and this opportunity. Happy Holidays!

Brian R. Beland, CMC, President, ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine