2019 American Culinary Federation National Convention Highlights

Hello Everyone!!

I hope you all have had an incredible season, and I also hope you were able to enjoy some of the wonderful things there are to do on the Cape and Islands at this very special time of year!

I have recently returned from the American Culinary Federation National Convention, and the 90th Anniversary of the ACF. It was an honor and a privilege to represent the Chefs and Associate members of the Cape and Islands Chefs’ Association.

It is my pleasure to highlight some of the key moments of the Convention.

Sunday 8/3/2019 was the start of the convention with a multitude of seminars and speakers to watch and take part in. On this day – and the day before – there were hands-on workshops from everything from modern plated desserts to vegetable carving and charcuterie.

The 1st day was also the 4-5 hour Board of Governor’s and Chapter Presidents meeting where the minutes from last year are read and accepted, and any changes were announced as well as proposals for new ideas. As our proxy from Cape and Islands Chefs, I was allowed to vote as well as make motions.

First I would like to inform you that Executive Chef Barry Young CCE AAC, has been voted in as our New Northeast Regional Vice President. We feel he is the man for the job. He is from the Columbus Ohio area and has a proven track record of working very hard for all chefs and has been President of the very successful Columbus Chapter, as well as holding other positions within the Chapter and we wish him the best of luck.

Rico DiFronzo CEC AAC, past president of the Epicurean Club of Boston, has been elected as the New Chairman of the American Academy of Chefs. We are very proud of Chef Rico, and I’m sure you will be meeting him at one of our meetings.

Other Important Announcements From Board Meeting


There will no longer be any Regional Conferences for ACF, only the National Convention.

At the 2020 ACF National Convention in Dallas, Texas on July 19th – 23rd, 2020, both Regional and National competitions will be held over five days.

Each region will have a full day to compete and at the end of the each day the highest scoring competitors will be announced as the Regional Winners.

After all four regions, and military have competed, point totals will be tallied, and the competitors and the teams with the highest overall scores will be announced at the Presidents Gala the final night of the Convention as the National Champions.


Secondary School Programs
Eligible Programs: Only ACFEF Accredited Secondary Programs will eligible and be able to have FREE MEMBERSHIP, I believe as a national member with membership participation at their local Chapter.

Post- Secondary Programs
Eligible Programs: Only ACFEF Accredited Post–Secondary are eligible to participate. They will Pay $50 instead of the regular fee of $82.

For more information, contact Joe Syrowik at 904-484-0210 or jsyrowik@acfchefs.net.


We will soon have online videos from speakers in their entirety for those that weren’t at the convention.

On the online center you are able to find all courses, guides, tools, and videos to help with any level of certification from CC to CMC. This is where you will be able to find and calculate additional CEHs for Initial Cert., and re-cert., you will also be able to access scholarship applications.

For more information, go to acfchefs.org.

I also had the opportunity to do a presentation along with two other very talented and accomplished Chefs, and it was a pleasure to be introduced as being from the Cape and Islands Chefs’ Association. The presentation was very well received with some great participation.

By being selected to emcee the National Competitions for two full days, there were many opportunities to meet so many chefs and associates from all over the world. The entire two days of the Nationals were streaming live with a reported amount of over 85,000 views.

It was truly exciting and nerve wracking at the same time; it was emotionally a very special place to be. From my view, I could see the passion, the creativity, the angst, and sometimes panic, but mostly an incredible amount of true focus and being in the moment. These are – after all – some of the most important days in any chefs’ life; it was an amazing pleasure and privilege to be among such talent.

It is a yearlong journey to get to the National Arena with an opportunity to compete for the championships that starts in the fall of 2019 in order to compete at that level in 2020. It starts for the Student Teams with a statewide competition in fundamentals, knife skills, and a cooking component. Whoever wins the state moves on to the Regionals. Whoever in the past won the Regionals moves on to the Nationals. There are 14 States in the Northeast Region, and at one time we had as many as 11 states competing at the regionals.

If you have never been to an ACF Convention, I would urge you to ask your employers to put your participation in their budget! Call it R&D, call it Continuing Education, but do try to get to one – not just for the education from over 100 seminars and demos, but also for the genuine expansion of your networking opportunities and the new friends you will make along the way!

I do not know whom more was fun to meet and hang out with for even just a beverage: Marco Pierre White, (Gordon Ramsey’s Mentor) the true legend, or Gale Gand (named Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation), both of whom were Keynote Speakers.

The seminars and demos over the five days were so exciting and so impressive, from the history of mozzarella to food and wine pairing to Physicians meet chefs for culinary medicine as well as Asian comfort food, modern trends and techniques, flavors of Switzerland, and even Modern plating for a crowd and cannabis confections.

Please check out the ACF website for an entire afternoon of shared fun and as a vitamin for new energy after a long summer!

Until we meet in October, bless you all and thank you for the opportunity to represent all of you. I am grateful to be a member of such a dedicated and passionate community. Thank you for your support and trust.

Mick Beriau CEC AAC