April President's Message


Orlando Taste of Compassion

Greetings Chefs, Culinarians, and Colleagues!

Spring is here and the cool weather is gone. I look forward to cooking with ingredients that truly showcase their flavors during the Spring season such as fava beans, asparagus, morel mushrooms, artichokes, peas, sorrel, and lamb.

Many things have happened this month in regards to the Board of Directors. First, Chef Russell Scott, CMC, 2nd Vice President/Certification Chairperson has accepted the Dean of Education position at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Ca. Chef Russell has contributed immensely to the ACF Central Florida Chapter especially with the Certification Program. His presence in the Central Florida area will surely be missed. I wish Chef Russell the best of luck in his new endeavor.

Second, I am pleased to announce that I have appointed Chef Keith Esbin as the new 2nd Vice President effective immediately. Chef Keith has done a lot for our Chapter by hosting the Student Seafood Relay competition for the past three years, recruiting new members wherever he goes, and acquiring raffle prizes, just to name a few. He’s always enthusiastic and passionate about what he does.

Third, I have also appointed Chef Marcus Herrington as the new Certification Chairperson. Marcus has done numerous certification evaluations with the Gulf to Lakes Chapter for many years and I am confident that he will continue to steer the Certification Program forward. Please congratulate the two Chefs in their new roles.

And fourth, joining the Board of Directors, I have appointed Dawn Viola as the new Educational Chairperson, replacing Chef Mike Lodge. Ms. Viola graduated from Valencia Community College’s Culinary Program, has a marketing background and is currently a food writer and also serves as a board member for Slow Food Orlando. Ms. Viola will be an asset to our Chapter.

Roy Briggs, our Elections and Administrative Review Chairperson had surgery and is now out of ICU. I wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him out and about in the community again.

I would like to give a warm welcome to our newest Professional members in the Chapter: Ingrid Alexander, Valerie Enters, John Everson, Christopher McDale, Elizabeth Morvay-Leh, Charles Engelsher, and Wilmarie Rivera.

Our chapter event schedule is looking busy next month. We’ll start April off with the monthly meeting on April 2nd at Allstate Food Marketing (AFM) starting at 7:00pm. Address is 2251 Lynx Ln #10, Orlando, FL 32804. You will not want to miss this meeting because our educational seminar will feature Michael Bresnahan with 3 Boys Farm in Ruskin, FL. He will introduce everyone to their award-winning certified organic hydroponic growing systems (the only one in the State) and products. Dawn Viola will follow, on behalf of Slow Food Orlando, with menu tips for using organics and staying within budget, local farm resources for organic produce, meats, seafood and dairy, hydroponic information and marketing/PR tips for gaining the type of media exposure that can offset the cost of organics, including press release templates. You’ll be able to sample freshly prepared salads from 3 Boys Farm.

Next, on Friday, April 13th, three Chefs from our Chapter will be judging the food at the Bacchus Bash. The event will be held at the Orlando Premium Outlets on Vineland Ave from 5pm-10pm. Stop by to taste some of the area’s best food and beverage offerings. Bacchus Bash is a Charitable Event benefiting Central Florida Hospitality Education.

And finally, on Tuesday, April 17th, is the 10th Annual Taste of Compassion Street Party at the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Orlando from 6pm-9pm. This charity event supports two organizations (Compassion Corner and Central Care Mission) committed to Changing the Faces of Our City –One Life at a Time and the ACF Central Florida Scholarship Fund.

I hope to see you at the next meeting!

Happy Cooking!
Nora Galdiano, CEC, ACE

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