President’s Message- August 2018

President’s Message- August 2018

It’s been a great break for myself and my family as I hope the summer has been for all of our members.

For me it was inspiring and energizing being able to travel and meet and learn about new foods and cultures.

As a chef we need to revitalize ourselves and desire to learn and be innovative.

While in Holland I was blessed to visit an incredible Hospitality School in The Hague in Holland. It was truly remarkable, and the level of training that they offer was not only classical but modern and state of the art. The Director of the school gave us first class treatment and opened his entire school to share with us. He allowed us a glimpse into what his students are expected to learn and accomplish, and yet also being very curious about our schools and the American Culinary Federation. I will speak briefly at our meeting on opportunities and that experience.

While there, our host made sure to tell every restaurant we visited that I was a chef, although it was a little strange these local chefs embraced me and shared so much new knowledge as well as asking me about our country.

Truly these new taste and cultural experiences woke my creative brain and reminded me why I have done this for going on 40 years.

After returning home it was a quick turnaround for me to go to New Orleans to the ACF Cook Craft Create National Convention; and that was both amazing and disappointing. The classes were truly the best I’ve seen in 30 years, the speakers funny, educational and entertaining.

The meals for the main dinners a bit disappointing, but the company and friendships helped make even those memorable.

All of this helps push me to be a better chef, teacher, and leader; all while reminding me that we have a great organization and fellowship as chefs.

In closing, I did an interview with a chef who is working on his Doctorate and during the interview it put even more into perspective for me and I’m hoping that maybe even our members. His thesis is on culinary education at college or training in industry – which is better and more beneficial?

One of my answers was what has been my biggest advantage in the industry.

For me first is the love of food and cooking, second going to college for culinary, third The American Culinary Federation and Certification along with the networking and fellowship.

As I thought of the close to 40 years ACF has been a part of my life since 1983 and given me more then I can ever give back. But unfortunately so many don’t take advantage of these opportunities.

As our ACF National President has said Be The Change.

So I am excited, inspired and ready to share this passion with our chapter.

For our August meeting I am sharing the first part of several educational meetings on American Regional Cuisine.

Come learn, share, fellowship, and bring students, friends, and let me inspire you as the chefs I have met this summer have for me.

Hope to see see you at the Leesburg Culinary Academy on August 20th at 6pm.

Chef John Bell, CEC®


ACF Gulf to Lakes Chefs & Cooks Chapter

(352) 615-3653

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