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Patrick Mitchell Honored as ACF Chef of the Year

American Culinary Federation announces 2016 national award winners

Patrick Mitchell earned the American Culinary Federation’s esteemed title of U.S.A’s Chef of the Year by winning the organization’s WEB-ACF-chef-of-yearPatrick Mitchell is all smiles after earning acclaim as ACF Chef of the Year.national culinary competition. Mitchell is the executive chef/culinary adviser for Ben E. Keith Foods in Fort Worth, Texas.

Mitchell competed against two other regional winners during the event to win the title. Each had one hour to prepare, cook and present four different show plates using trout and rabbit. Winners were determined based on the chef’s organizational skills, culinary techniques and taste of each dish.

Pastry Chef of the Year went to Cher Harris, CEPC, executive pastry chef, The Hotel Hershey, Hershey, Penn.

More than 15 additional individuals or establishments received recognition as ACF award winners. Here’s the complete list of 2016 ACF award winners and honorees, as well as American Academy of Chefs Awards, which inducted 14 chefs into the honor society: 

U.S.A.’s Chef of the Year

Patrick Mitchell, CEC, AAC

Executive chef/culinary advisor for Ben E. Foods, Fort Worth, Texas


ACF Pastry Chef of the Year

Cher Harris, CEPC

Executive pastry chef, The Hotel Hershey, Hershey, Penn.


ACF Chef Educator of the Year

Christopher Misiak, CEC, CCE

Program coordinator/instructor, Schoolcraft College, Livonia, Mich.; ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association


ACF Student Chef of the Year

Michelle Stephenson

Utah Valley University graduate, Orem, Utah; kitchen manager, Station 22 Cafe, Provo, Utah, ACF Beehive Chefs Chapter Inc.


Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award

Dominick Laudia, CEC, AAC

Executive chef, Boca Grove Golf and Tennis Club, Boca Raton, Fla.; ACF Palm Beach Couny Chefs Association


ACF Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award

James Taylor, CEC, AAC, MBA

Professor and academic chair of hospitality programs, Columbus State Community College, Columbus, Ohio; ACF Columbus Chapter


ACF Student Team National Championship

ACF Bay Area Chefs Association of Oregon


ACF Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl

Culinary Arts Institute at Utah Valley University


ACF Industry Partnership Award

Industry Partner -- Friedr. Dick Corp.


ACF National Chapter of the Year

ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association


ACF Region of the Year

Central Region


ACF World of Thanks Award

ACF Chef’s Association of Arizona Inc.


Humanitarian Award

South Jersey Chapter


Presidential Knife

Joe Fioretto


ACF President’s Medallion Recipients

  • Earl Arrowood Jr., CCC, CCE, AAC
  • Mark H. Brown, CEC, CCA, AAC
  • Bert P. Cutino, CEC, AAC, HBOT, HOF
  • Mark Eggerding, HAAC
  • Frederick Ferrara, CEC, CCE
  • Nicholas Follacchio, CEC, AAC
  • Todd Gold, CEC, CCA, AAC
  • Dorothy Johnston, CEC, CCE, AAC
  • John Kaufmann, CEC, AAC, HOF 
  • Patrick Michael O’Brien
  • Garrett Sanborn, CEC, CCE, AAC, ED.D
  • Fritz H. Sonnenschmidt, CMC, AAC, HOF
  • Peter Sproul, CEC
  • Michael Villon, CEC, CCE, AAC


Cutting Edge Award Recipients

  • Bruce Davis
  • Sarah Deckert, CEC
  • Hilmar Jonsson, AAC
  • Robert Phillips, CEC, CCA, AAC
  • Jeffrey I. Schlissel
  • Melissa Trimmer, CEPC
  • Scott Turley, CEC
  • Fred Wright, CEC, AAC
  • Jason Ziobrowski, CEC


Achievement of Excellence Awards

  • Apropo Catering; Chicago
  • Arugula Ristorante; Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
  • Chubby's of Dallas; Dallas
  • David's Restaurant; Portland, Maine
  • Delmonico's; Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Island Sushi & Grill; Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Lai Lai Garden; Blue Bell, Pa.
  • Lawry's The Prime Rib; Chicago
  • Lawry's The Prime Rib; Las Vegas
  • MilkWay Café; Philippines
  • Monestaro's Ristorante & Banquets; Chicago
  • Monterey’s Fish House; Monterey, Calif.
  • Rock Sugar Pan Asian Kitchen; Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Wacky Zaki's; Philadelphia, Pa.


American Academy of Chefs Awards


AAC Chair’s Medal

David L. Banks, CEC, AAC
Executive Chef/Partner, Harry’s Hospitality Group, Wilmington, Dela.; Regional Director (Northeast), American Academy of Chefs; ACF First State Chefs Association


Lawrence A. Conti, CEC, AAC, HOF, Chair’s Achievement Award

John W. Zehnder, CEC, AAC
Executive Chef, Zehnder’s Restaurant, Frankenmuth, Mich.; Chapter Certification Chair, ACF Flint/Saginaw Valley Chapter


Joseph Amendola Award

Jan Bandula, CMPC, CEC, AAC
Faculty Emeritus, Stratford University, Baltimore, Md.; Chapter Membership Chair, ACF Greater Baltimore Chapter Inc.


Chef Good Taste Award

Peter Hodgson, CEC, AAC
Campus Executive Chef, University of Utah Dining Services -- Chartwells Dining Services, Salt Lake City; Chapter Membership Chair, ACF Beehive Chefs Chapter Inc.


Lt. General John D. McLaughlin Award 

Robert M. Sparks, Chief Warrant Officer 4, U.S. Army (Retired), A.K. Food Consultants LLC, Petersburg, Va.; ACF Old Dominion Chapter


Sharing Culinary Traditions Award

Christopher A. Desens, CEC, CCA, AAC
Program Director, Culinary Institute of St. Louis at Hickey College, St. Louis, Mo.; Chapter Education and Program Chair, ACF Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc.


AAC Celebrated Chef

Walter Staib


AAC Culinary Hall of Fame

  • Robert M. Forquer, CEC, AAC, HOF (posthumous); ACF Conemaugh Valley Chefs Association
  • Wolfgang D. Geckeler, CEC, AAC, HOF; ACF Professional Chefs Association of South Jersey
  • Walter W. Leible, CMC, AAC, HOF; ACF Chef’s Association of Arizona Inc.
  • Louis Venezia, CEC, AAC, HOF; ACF of Greater Buffalo New York


AAC Fellows

  • Jacqueline Bamrick, CEC, AAC; ACF of Greater Buffalo New York
  • John DiSessa, CEC, AAC; ACF Epicurean Club of Boston
  • Brian A. Floyd, CEC, CCE, AAC; ACF West Virginia Chapter
  • Otto F. Kurcsics, CEC, CCE, AAC; ACF of Greater Buffalo New York
  • Juan Martinez, CEC, CCE, AAC; ACF Chef’s Association of Arizona Inc.
  • Jay R. Mahoney, CEC, AAC; ACF West Virginia Chapter
  • Greg Mueller, CEC, CCA, AAC; Sodexo
  • Renny Parziale, CEC, CCA, AAC; ACF Virginia Chefs Association
  • René Rawraway, CEC, CCE, AAC; ACF Akron-Canton Area Cooks and Chefs Association
  • Joshua T. Spiess, CEC, AAC; Gulf Coast Culinary Association
  • Kenneth B. Trout, CEC, AAC; ACF Professional Chefs Association of South Jersey
  • Scott D. Turley, CEC, AAC; ACF of Southeast Iowa
  • Jean Yves Vendeville, CEPC, AAC; ACF Chefs of the Low Country
  • Joshua Wickham, CEC, CEPC, AAC; ACF Columbus Chapter


AAC Honorary Fellows

  • Richard W. Alford, CEC, CCE, HAAC; Associate Professor Emeritus (Retired), University of Akron, Akron, Ohio
  • John A. Beaudrie, HAAC; Regional Account Executive - Southern Division, S&D Coffee & Tea Inc., Concord, N.C.
  • Graham Elliot, HAAC; Chef and Restaurateur, Graham Elliot Bistro, Chicago
  • Nicholas Schiarizzi, HAAC; Executive Chef/Culinary Arts Instructor, Boston University School of Hospitality Administration, Boston, Mass.
  • Jeff L. Simms, HAAC; Executive Chef, The Breakers, Palm Beach, Fla.
  • Harold S. Small, HAAC, JD, HBOT; Bailli Délégué/U.S. National President, Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs of the United States, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.