For the Chef of the Year Award
This is the third in a 3-Part series of email newsletters introducing you to all of the candidates for the 2016-17 Board of Directors and all of the nominees for the 2015 Chef of the Year Award.
In this part, we introduce you to the nominees for the 2015 Chef of the Year Award. They each have a brief message for you (in alphabetical order).
Lauren Cooke, CEPC, CEC
I have worked in the Orlando area as a chef for over 35 years and I’ve helped open some of the finest hotels in the area – the Hilton in Lake Buena Vista, the Marriott World Center, Epcot France, and the Peabody Hotel. I am one of the few ACF members that holds both certifications: a Certified Executive Pastry Chef and a Certified Executive Chef. The ACF Central Florida Chapter has given me the opportunity to work with some of the most talented chefs in this area. It’s a great chapter to be a part of.
Christian Markussen, CEC, CCE
I have been a member of the ACF and Central Florida Chapter since 2005. During this time, I have earned several certifications and even become a Certified Evaluator for certification practicals. I have competed in several competitions, the most recent being the first ever Sustainable, Green, Local competition – which I placed first and won a Gold medal. This year I have also had the distinct pleasure of representing our chapter and the Southeast Region as the 2015 Chef Educator of the Year. In my position as a Chef Instructor, I take great pride in guiding and mentoring the next generation of culinarians. Telling my personal culinary journey to students and how being involved in the ACF and with our chapter has improved my professional development and growth has become a useful tool to motivate and expand the horizons of my students. I am very honored to be nominated for the ACF Central Florida Chapter Chef of the Year.
Michael Schnitzer, CEC
My current position as Chef and Instructor with Bridges of America, has given me the opportunity to give back to a community in need. Some unfortunate challenges in people’s lives – such as drug addiction and chemical dependency – has given me the chance to mentor, coach and teach ordinary people to learn a new trade in the culinary field. Since the opportunity came available to teach an ACF Certified Education Foundation supported culinary class, it was clear that this has impacted not only me in making a personal investment into others, but more so the individual lives of the students and their families. Believing a person can change and teaching these individuals a trade while incarcerated has made countless individuals able to reintegrate back into society with a newly acquired culinary talent and become productive citizens of our society again. This provides them a level of sustainability and will greatly impact their lives and our culinary future that we must preserve.
The ballots have been emailed out early this morning. Please check the inbox (or spam folder) of the email address you have on file with the national ACF office. We use the ACF membership database to send out official ballots. Please look for that ballot and please vote.
This is your chapter and every vote counts.