ACF

The Journey Continues: A path to success.

Posted by on Jul 1, 2013 in ACF, Culinary Techniques, Menu Development | 0 comments

Denver Cold Food Tryouts 057I having travelling down this road for several years now. A few people understand what I am doing but few don’t get it or understand. I cannot fully explain how this journey ultimately affects my career but I know one thing. It is a lot of work. It takes time away from family, friends and unfortunately my garden and gold game. I didn’t have a good one in the first place. However the process of getting to a competition whether it be the culinary Olympics or your first amateur baking contest is the same. Here are some the ways this process has helped with my career and especially my cooking.

1) Planning: You need to be extremely organized and thorough in your preparations, shopping, packing and in the kitchen. I use multiple pack lists to make sure I have everything I need. My process begins with the schedule. I mark my calendar well in advance and set practice dates, shopping days and prep days prior to practice or competition. Running my own business, I am the company. I don’t have the luxury of a purchasing department.  I have to shop both retail and from wholesalers. It requires a planned route with the right coolers to hold the items and shopping list to make the process smooth. Shopping for everything yourself helps in other ways which I will explain later. Once you get everything purchased and ready, you  need to have a place for it and the right tool or container to process it further.Denver Cold Food Tryouts 008

2) Frugality: If you pay any attention to the industry news and the prices of items at your local grocery store, you realize that food is not cheap anymore. This preparation of food for sometimes non-consumption is expense. I try not to be wasteful. You need to purchase just what you need. When buying asparagus, by one really good bunch not two. Try and figure out how to get the greatest yield out of an item.  In the case of asparagus,  the money is the tips nut what can you do with the stalks, and peels? It takes thought and discipline not to throw it in the can. With the focus on “whole hog” butchery, this same principle can be applied to anything.

3) Educated: This study of every aspect of an ingredient forces to you to continually look at others. Research and development are a huge part of the this process. Looking at menus, reading texts, listening, web-browsing and of course tasting is vital to the success of a finished dish. I spend a vast amount of time visualizing flavors, colors, shapes, textures and compatibility of foods in my head. In the morning having a coffee, during my runs and even at the oddest times. Things pop into your head. I get an idea then I research the concept  and see if I can find some reference to an already know dish in a book or restaurant. You look at anything that is going to give you an advantage. “Does it make sense” are words that continually filter through this learning process. You can’t just sometimes do something for the sake of  just doing it. It can work but for a competitor at the highest level, it is all about perfection.

4) Detailed: It comes down to details. In the  world of culinary competition, it is the detail and preciseness of a cold food platter that is the difference between a certificate and a medal. It is the perfection and minute details that make the difference in that exclusive gold medal. Items which are presented cold can be weighed, measured and dissected to ensure that those details are consistent in every item presented.  Having spent hours coating items in gel where you are concerned about the affect of air movement and ripples you might get the picture. It can drive you crazy sometimes. It is all about the pursuit of perfectionDenver Cold Food Tryouts 015

5) Driven: You have to be motivated to do the work. When preparing and training, there is always something to do. Cold food takes time. Being on your feet for 24 to 36 hours is not uncommon for culinary competitors. In the hot kitchen, there is no time to spare and you can’t believe how time flies and how little time you have in reality. Three and half hours can feel like 30 minutes. You need to be mentally as well as physically fit.

If you look at each of the traits that I briefly describe, you will see the characteristics of some of the best chefs I know. That is why I do it. I want to be around them and challenge myself against the best. If you want to know more read this article at the link below.

http://www.buedelmeatup.com/2013/06/21/chef-john-reed-what-are-the-culinary-olympics-and-why-should-you-care/

Need Expert Cooking Advice? Let American Culinary Federation Chefs Answer Your Holiday Kitchen Questions

Posted by on Nov 9, 2011 in ACF, Consulting, Culinary Techniques | 0 comments

Here is another example of why it is important to speak to an ACF affliated chef. John Reed CEC, CCA, ACE and Customized Culinary Solutions is listed in the Chefpertise Guide.

 

ACF_CM5 | pr111103 – Need Expert Cooking Advice? Let American Culinary Federation Chefs Answer Your Holiday Kitchen Questions.

Defining Who You Are in a Plate of Food

Posted by on Aug 13, 2010 in ACF, Food | 0 comments

This goes out to my fellow chefs, can you really define your style as a chef in a plate of food? (more…)

Chef John Reed Wins Prestigious Award

Posted by on Aug 8, 2010 in ACF, News, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Chef John Reed CEC, CCA wins the ACF Chef Professionalism Award for 2010 sponsored by Nestle Foodservice and Minors.

John Reed CEC, CCA wins the ACF National Chef Professionalism Award

John Reed Wins Chef Professionalism

Culinary Decompression

Posted by on Apr 28, 2010 in ACF | 0 comments

After spending several months trying out for the Culinary Olympic Team, things have setteled down and I can decompress somewhat. What that means it’s time to start refocusing on my own journey towards my CMC certification.

This will include refining recipes, defining my style, countless practice sessions and challenging my self on a regular basis to produce the best food I can in a pressure situation.

With that I am going to take a CEC certification test this summer. I am already certified but feel this will accomplish many things.
1.) It will go towards my re-certification
2.) It will help achieve my goal of becoming a Approved Certification Evaluator (ACE) with the ACF
3.) It will force me to perform at a high level
4.) It will provide continual feedback and critique from my peers.

If this is winding down I done know what relaxing is. This will pass the time until the Olympics start to take shape. By the way I didn’t make the National Team but I will be part of a ACF Regional Team which I am very excited about.

My point is, continually push your self to be the best culinarian or what ever profession you are. It will pay off more that you know

John Reed wins ACF Chef Professionalism Award 2010 for the Central Region

Posted by on Mar 31, 2010 in ACF | 0 comments

View the lastest press release about this prestigious award

http://www.acfchefs.org/Content/NavigationMenu2/About/Media/Releases/2010/pr100329b.htm

John Reed, CEC, CCA, Advances in ACF Culinary Team USA Tryout

Posted by on Feb 23, 2010 in ACF | 0 comments

 

Receiving a Cold Food Medal at the ACF Team Tryouts

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., February 23, 2010– John Reed, CEC, CCA, Skokie, Ill., is one of 15 chefs who
qualified to compete in the second of two culinary competitions to determine who will be selected to represent
the United States on ACF Culinary Team USA at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg this November and
the 2012 Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA), commonly referred to as the “culinary Olympics,” in
Erfurt, Germany.

The first of two tryouts for ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative team of the United States in
major international culinary competition was held Feb. 19-21 at Elgin Community College, Elgin, Ill. featuring
the cold-food segment. After a grueling tryout process in which the 26 chef candidates had 17 hours to
prepare, plate and present their dishes according to the guidelines, 15 were awarded medals and will advance
to the hot-food segment April 11 at Elgin Community College. Twenty-eight chefs were eligible to try out but
two were unable to attend.

Reed is owner of Customized Culinary Solutions, Skokie and an adjunct faculty member in hospitality
administration at College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, Ill. He was divisional executive chef for Food For Thought
Management, Lincolnwood, Ill. from 1999 to 2008, and before that worked for hotel and restaurant properties
throughout the U.S. and abroad. He graduated cum laude with an associate degree in culinary arts from
Johnson & Wales University, Providence, R.I. in 1983, and earned a bachelor’s in hotel, restaurant and travel
administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass. in 1986. Reed is a member of American
Culinary Federation (ACF) Windy City Professional Culinarians Inc.

Reed received a bronze medal at the tryout. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded based on a points
system that represented a standard of: presentation and layout; glazing; composition and harmony of
ingredients; correct preparation and craftsmanship; and serving methods and portions. Because competitors
compete against a standard and not each other, there can be several competitors in each medal category.

The 14 other chefs receiving medals and selected to advance are as follows:

Gold

• Timothy Bucci, CEC, CCE, CHE, Oak Forest, Ill.; associate professor, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Ill.;
ACF Louis Joliet Chapter
• Ben Grupe, St. Louis; sous chef, St. Louis Country Club, St. Louis; Chefs de Cuisine Association of St.
Louis Inc.
• Adam Heath, CSC, Houston; executive sous chef, River Oaks Country Club, Houston; ACF National
Chapter
• Joseph Leonardi, CEC, Johnston, R.I.; executive chef, Somerset Club, Boston; ACF Rhode Island
Chapter
• Timothy Prefontaine, CEC, Fort Worth, Texas; executive chef, The Fort Worth Club, Fort Worth; ACF
National Chapter

Silver

• Kevin Storm, CEC, CCA, AAC, Ballwin, Mo.; executive chef, Bellerive Country Club, St. Louis; Chefs de
Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc.

Bronze

• Kevin Doherty, CEC, CCA, Brighton, Mass.; regional executive chef, Delaware North Companies, Boston;
ACF Epicurean Club of Boston
• George Gonzalez, Nashville, Tenn.; executive chef, Sodexo, Nashville; ACF Middle Tennessee Chapter
• Scott Green, CEC, Collins Center, N.Y.; executive chef, Delaware North Companies, Hamburg, N.Y.; ACF of Greater Buffalo New York
• Brian Joseph Moll, CC, Orlando, Fla.; sauté cook, Isleworth Country Club, Windermere, Fla.; ACF Central
Florida Chapter
• Orlando Santos, CEPC, Pittsburgh; executive pastry chef, The Duquesne Club, Pittsburgh; ACF
Pittsburgh Chapter
• Daryl Shular, CCC, Alpharetta, Ga.; corporate executive chef, Performance Foodservice–Milton’s,
Oakwood, Ga.; ACF Greater Atlanta Chapter Inc.
• Rudy Smith, CEC, Naperville, Ill.; corporate chef, Unilever Foodsolutions, Lisle, Ill.; ACF National Chapter
• Eddie Tancredi, Blacklick, Ohio; sous chef, New Albany Country Club, New Albany, Ohio; ACF Columbus
Chapter

 
“This was the beginning of the journey for Team USA, and I was thrilled with the level of excitement and
professionalism from all of the competitors,” said ACF Culinary Team USA Manager Steve Jilleba, CMC, CCE,
AAC, corporate executive chef at Unilever Foodsolutions, Lisle, Ill. “After seeing the foods that were displayed,
I know that Team USA will have a great cold program in Luxemburg and at the ‘culinary Olympics’ in 2012.
Now I am so excited to see what the finalists are going to produce in the hot kitchen in April.”

 Before being chosen to attend the tryout, chef candidates had to pass a rigorous application review in which
their application, résumé, biography, competition experience, work history and other qualifications were
evaluated. Each chef had to display a high level of craftsmanship based on solid classical cooking principles
and a variety of cooking disciplines incorporating current and modern trends in presentation, technique and
taste.

 ACF Culinary Team USA began competing in international competitions in 1956. The 1960 team captured the
first world championship honor, and ACF Culinary Team USA repeated the distinction in 1980, 1984 and 1988
by taking the prestigious hot-food competition and establishing a new world record for the most consecutive
gold-medal wins. In 2002, Team USA had the highest score in restaurant-style cooking among 32 nations, and
in 2008, the regional team won the overall world championship title for the regional portion and the youth team
placed fourth overall in the youth category. Since 1998, all ACF Culinary Team USA teams, including national,
regional, pastry and student, have won 33 gold and 12 silver medals.

 The American Culinary Federation, Inc., established in 1929, is the premier professional organization for
culinarians in North America. With more than 22,000 members spanning 230 chapters nationwide, ACF is the
culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation. In
addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States. ACF is
home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international
culinary competitions, and to the Chef & Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in
children and to combat childhood obesity. For more information, visit www.acfchefs.org.

ACF TEAM TRYOUTS

Posted by on Feb 5, 2010 in ACF | 0 comments

 
Chefs Compete for Spot on Renowned ACF Culinary Team
 
 “ACF Culinary Team USA tryouts are not a venue in which to learn for first-time competitors. This is truly a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity and experience that moves careers to new levels,” said ACF Culinary Team USA Manager Steve Jilleba, CMC, CCE, AAC, corporate executive chef at Unilever Foodsolutions, Lisle, Ill. “Experience and knowledge in the craft of cookery at a skilled level is essential, as is being able to produce garde manger food and hot cuisine at the highest possible level.”
 
 Judging the competitions are the following ACF-approved culinary competition judges: Joachim Buchner, CMC, executive chef, Chevy Chase Club, Chevy Chase, Md.; Charles Carroll, CEC, AAC, executive chef, River Oaks Country Club, Houston; Alex Darvishi, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Houston Country Club, Houston; Patricia Nash, pastry chef, Motor City Casino, Detroit, Mich.; Gilles Renusson, pastry chef professor, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Daniel Scannell, CMC, chef, La Gorce Country Club, Miami Beach, Fla.; and David Turcotte, CEC, AAC, executive chef, U.S. Army, Fort Lee, Va.
 
Each chef competing at the tryouts must display a high level of craftsmanship based on solid classical cooking principles and a variety of cooking disciplines incorporating current and modern trends in presentation, technique and taste. Not only will candidates be evaluated on their skill sets, but personality, teamwork, attitude and other factors are considered when selecting the final team members. Elimination before the second tryout, hot food, is possible if a chef does not possess the necessary talent, traits and ability to excel and work cohesively in a team setting.
 
 

ACF Culinary Team USA began competing in international competitions in 1956. The 1960 team captured the first world championship honor, and ACF Culinary Team USA repeated the distinction in 1980, 1984 and 1988 by taking the prestigious hot-food competition and establishing a new world record for the most consecutive gold-medal wins. In 2002, Team USA had the highest score in restaurant-style cooking among 32 nations, and in 2008, the regional team won the overall world championship title for the regional portion and the youth team placed fourth overall in the youth category. Since 1998, all ACF Culinary Team USA teams, including national, regional, pastry and student, have won 33 gold and 12 silver medals.

The American Culinary Federation, Inc., established in 1929, is the premier professional organization for culinarians in North America. With more than 22,000 members spanning 230 chapters nationwide, ACF is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef & Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and to combat childhood obesity. For more information, visit www.acfchefs.org.

 
The Chefs selected to compete are:
Timothy Bucci CEC, CCE, CHE, associate professor, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Ill.; ACF Louis Joliet Chapter

Stephen Bush CSC sous chef, Mac D’s Pub, Wilmington, Ohio; ACF Greater Dayton Chapter

Scott Campbell executive chef, Downingtown Country Club, Downingtown, Pa.; ACF Philadelphia Chapter

Chad Durkin executive pastry chef, Desserts International, LLC, Exton, Pa.; ACF Philadelphia Chapter

Kevin Doherty CEC, CCA regional executive chef, Delaware North Companies, Boston; ACF Epicurean Club of Boston

Peter Dwyer CEC chef-instructor, Lincoln Culinary Institute, Hartford, Conn.; Connecticut Chefs Association

George Gonzalez executive chef, Sodexo, Nashville, Tenn.; ACF Middle Tennessee Chapter

Scott Green, CEC executive chef, Delaware North Companies, Hamburg, N.Y.; ACF of Greater Buffalo New York

Ben Grupe senior apprentice The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.; ACF National Chapter

Anthony Haacke CEC executive chef, Racquet Club, St. Louis; Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc

Thomas Haggerty sous chef, Indian Hills Country Club, Mission Hills, Kan

Adam Heath CSC executive sous chef, River Oaks Country Club, Houston; ACF National Chapter

Joseph Leonardi CEC executive chef, Somerset Club, Boston; ACF Rhode Island Chapter

Robert Meitzer CEC, AAC, executive chef, Red Rocks Country Club, Morrison, Colo.; ACF Colorado Chefs Association

Brian Joseph Moll CC, sauté cook, Isleworth Country Club, Windermere, Fla.; ACF Central Florida Chapter

Stephen Perkins CEC executive chef, Marriott Chesapeake, Chesapeake, Va.; ACF Virginia Chefs Association

Joseph Piazza CEC executive chef, Cherry Hills Country Club, Cherry Hills Village, Colo.; ACF Colorado Chefs Association

Timothy Prefontaine CEC executive chef, The Fort Worth Club, Fort Worth, Texas; ACF National Chapter
 
 Fred Raynaud corporate executive chef, Guest Services, Inc., Fairfax, Va.; ACF Nations Capital Chefs Association

Charles Reed executive chef, Millennium Hotel, Cincinnati; ACF Greater Cincinnati Chapter

John Reed CEC, CCA owner, Customized Culinary Solutions, Skokie, Ill.; ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians Inc

Orlando Santos CEPC, executive pastry chef, The Duquesne Club, Pittsburgh; ACF Pittsburgh Chapter

Ryan Schroeder Jr. CEC, chef/owner, Big Tomatoes, Green Bay, Wis.; ACF Fox Valley Chapter

Daryl Shular CCC, corporate executive chef, Performance Food Services, Oakwood, Ga.; ACF Greater Atlanta Chapter Inc.

Rudy Smith CEC, corporate chef, Unilever Foodsolutions, Lisle, Ill.; ACF National Chapter

Travis Smith CEC, CCA, AAC, chef director, Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Oklahoma City; ACF Culinary Arts Society of Oklahoma

Kevin Storm CEC, CCA, AAC, executive chef, Bellerive Country Club, St. Louis; Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc

Eddie Tancredi chef de cuisine, Rosendales, Columbus, Ohio; ACF Columbus Chapter

Into the “Deep End” with the ACF

Posted by on Dec 16, 2009 in ACF | 0 comments

I took the leap of faith in myself and put in an application to tryout for the ACF Culinary Team for 2012. In recent days there is much talk about canceling the team for the next Culinary Olympics and regrouping for 2016. I have mixed emotions. As a Local Chapter Board Member and acting  Treasurer, I see the financial side. What return on investment does this bring the organization outside the prestige of the team members and national pride? It is a small group of individuals who represent our nation in this culinary event. It is small group even for our organization of over 25,000 members. We represent only a small percentage of cooks and culinarians across the country who crank out great meals and cutting dishes on a daily basis. I spoke out to my local board and thought our monies would be better spent on promoting certification, continuing education and justifying our organization in a more significant position among the food world here in the United States. How many people in this country event know that there is an Olympics for cooking?

As a potential team member, I am also disappointed that this forum for our craft could be tabled so abruptly. What does this say about the future of organization? There has always been a  reverence and importance of culinary competitions as a vehicle for showcasing our passion and self-imposed discipline of our craft.  I am not fearful of putting myself on the line and having my peers critique my work. How many people can say that have represented our nation of great chefs in an international “pressure cooker” of an olympics. The winter games in Vancouver are upon us and who has not been mesmerized by men and women wielding brooms and launching weights down a sheet of ice for their country. Why can’t we get the same exposure to the nation of our trials, agony and excitement of cooking an amazing meal that at the time can be considered the finest in American Cuisine? We may not go because of lack of corporate sponsorships. If more people  knew of this of event which represents the best things that this nation can offer, I might be able to push my self to be the best chef I can be.