by William Crum
Recently, the American Culinary Federation held its annual convention in Kansas City, Mo. The chefs are the best of the best, more than 1,200 of them from all over the world came to attend the event.
This is the first time that they came to Kansas City, Mo. The Greater Kansas City Chefs Association laid out the red carpet for them.
American Culinary Federation is the professional organization for chefs known worldwide. American Culinary Federation chefs have to go through countless hours of training. At the national convention, they attend seminars. There many types of certifications within the organization.
While at the convention, the chefs also had time to visit local restaurants. One in particular is Kevin Strickland, a chef from Memphis, Tenn., who was really surprised.
“I like it here; the people are friendly and the food is great,” he said. “I had a great time. I plan to be back hopefully in the near future. Kansas City is truly a great city.”
On July 24, the first night of the convention, there was a barbecue competition where local barbecue teams had a chance to compete. After the competition, the chefs had a chance to taste the barbecue. Many of them had never tried Kansas City barbecue before.
Before the trade show, the Schlagle High School marching band paraded them to their show. The president of the American Culinary Federation, Tom Macrina, was really impressed.
“I used to play the clarinet when I was young. They did a fantastic job. I really enjoyed it,” he said.
Other chefs were equally impressed.
The ACF has a program called Chef ‘n Child, where members go out to schools to teach the children how eat healthy. This is their way of combating the serious social problem of obesity, said chef Mark Webster, president of the Greater Kansas City Chefs Association.
Also at the convention, culinary students from the culinary program at the Kansas City Kansas Community College volunteered, giving Kansas City, Kan., national and international attention.
At the final awards banquet held Monday evening, Johnson County Community College culinary students received the top student award. This is one of the group’s most prestigious awards. Culinary schools from all over the world competed for this honor.
Mark Webster, president of the Greater Kansas City Chefs Association, said, “Kansas City is getting to be a culinary Mecca.” This is mainly due to the many culinary schools in the Greater Kansas City area.
Many of those who attended said they were planning to bring their families to Kansas City after the convention is over.
“I plan to be back. The food is great and the people are fantastic. I had a great time,” said chef Tom Macrina, president of the American Culinary Federation.