ACF Contest for Culinary Students & Apprentices

American Culinary FederationPresident's MessageACF Contest for Culinary Students & Apprentices

Chefs in action

The American Culinary Federation has a unique opportunity for culinary students and apprentices: the Lead Like “Mike” contest.

ACF students and apprentices are invited to enter the Lead Like “Mike” Contest by May 2 for the chance to access culinary leaders and top-notch networking opportunities at the 2012 ACF National Convention in Orlando, Fla. One student will be selected to attend convention and be mentored by ACF National President Michael Ty, CEC, AAC, July 13-18. This individual will experience ACF’s national convention from the president’s perspective, from attending behind-the-scenes meetings with board members and sponsors to the lavish American Academy of Chefs dinner.

Applications are due May 2. Five finalists will then be selected for phone interviews. The winner will be announced by June 6, and will receive airfare to Orlando within the continental U.S., accommodations at the Orlando World Center Marriott and a full convention registration. Application

Applicants must be:

§  A first-, second- or third-year full-time culinary student enrolled in either a degree-granting, diploma or certificate postsecondary culinary program, or an ACFEF Apprenticeship Program.

§  An ACF member in good standing (dues paid) since January 31, 2012.

§  At least 18 years old.

§  Available July 13–18, 2012.

§  Organized, punctual and personable.

§  A leader who can communicate well with diverse groups and maintain a professional image.


To enter, the following needs to be submitted:

§  A completed and signed application.

§  A 500-word essay in English, no smaller than 12 point font, describing how this mentoring opportunity will help you achieve your goal of being a culinary leader. The essay must be an original work and should not reference Michael Ty more than twice.

§  A high-resolution color photo in appropriate chef apparel.

§  A signed letter of endorsement from your department chair and/or school/apprenticeship director on official letterhead.

Last year’s winner, Kristin Swaggart, CC, a member of ACF Northwest Wine Country Chapter, went on to graduate from Walla Walla Community College, Walla Walla, Wash., in June 2011, and was hired as chef/culinary director at J. Bookwalter Winery & Bistro in Richland, Wash. She attributes this mentorship as a large part of why she received the job.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you or your students have any questions at, or (800) 624-9458 ext. 147 or (904) 484-0247.


Patricia A. Carroll

Director of Communications, American Culinary Federation, Inc.

180 Center Place Way St. Augustine, FL 32095

Direct (904) 484-0247 – (800) 624-9458 Ext. 147

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