Published on Aug. 1, 2023
The 2023-2025 American Culinary Federation (ACF) National President and Board of Directors were inducted during the President’s Gala on July 19, 2023 at the ACF National Convention in New Orleans.
ACF Chef Rene J. Marquis, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC, was named the National President following the election in May, along with the following board members:
- National Secretary: Jeff Bacon, CEC, CCA, AAC,
- National Treasurer: Kyle Richardson, CEC, CCE, AAC
- Central Region Vice President: Rajeev Patgaonkar, CEC, AAC,
- Northeast Region Vice President: Ray McCue, CEC, AAC
- Southeast Region Vice President: Bryan Frick, CEC, AAC,
- Western Region Vice President: Greg Matchett, CEC, AAC,
- Immediate Past President: ACF President Kimberly Brock Brown, CEPC, CCA, AAC
Chef Marquis said his main goals as ACF National President is to focus on the financial security of the organization and grow the membership through transparency and enhanced member benefits.
“I’d like to help run the ACF more like a business,” he said. “That was the message of my campaign from the beginning and why I think I got the support I did.”
“I also want to be sure that we’re transparent and communicating all the important information members need to know so that every dues paying member feels included and supported,” he added. “I would also like to see ACF get back to the large numbers of members that we had between 2010 and 2015 or so. I believe membership is the key to our organization’s longevity. But it’s going to take a team effort. ACF is all about chefs helping chefs and doing what’s best for the membership.”
Chef Marquis plans to model these national efforts after his local efforts as chairman of the ACF Tampa Bay Chapter. “Our chapter is still growing, we have great partnerships and sponsors and our members are happy,” he said.
Here’s a little more about Chef Marquis and the current board members:
A native of Maine, Chef Marquis graduated from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York, in 1992. He worked at the Broadmoor Hotel before joining the U.S. Army in 1993. Throughout his 21-year military career, Chef Marquis was a team member and captain of the U.S. Army Culinary Arts Team (USACAT) and competed in the IKA Culinary Olympics in Germany as well as in several World Cups. He also served as business manager for ACF’s Culinary Team USA when they competed at the World Cup in 2018 and the IKA Culinary Olympics in February 2020, and he served as a judge for the World Cup in November 2022. Chef Marquis, who has appeared on “Dinner Boot Camp” and Alton Brown’s “Cutthroat Kitchen,” is also an approved ACF competition judge and certification evaluator, and he has been the recipient of Presidential Medallions and numerous ACF awards. Chef Marquis currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the ACF Tampa Bay Chapter and is a corporate executive chef for Land O’Lakes.
National Secretary Jeff Bacon, CEC, CCA, AAC, has worked in the foodservice industry for nearly 40 years and currently serves as Executive Chef/Director of Second Harvest Food Bank in North Carolina, overseeing the Providence family of programs he founded in 2006. Anchored by the Providence Culinary Training, an ACF Quality Program, students work in the Providence Community Meals department to provide meals to hungry children, seniors and other individuals, who struggle to provide nourishment for themselves and their families. Chef Bacon is a two-time recipient of the ACF’s Presidents Medallion and has won other awards during his career. This is his second term as National Secretary.
National Treasurer Kyle Richardson, CEC, CCE, AAC, is a Professor Emeritus from Joliet Junior College where he taught for 25 years. Born and raised in New Orleans, Chef Richardson established himself early as a prep cook and busboy branching out into a wide variety of kitchens, including those in hotels, country clubs, and bakeries. Today, he owns and operates Crescent City Gourmet, a Chicago area concession, consulting, and catering business with a New Orleans twist. Chef Richardson most recently served as ACF National Secretary from 2015-2019 and ACF Vice President Central Region prior to that, among other positions. He is the recipient of an ACF Presidential Medallion and many other ACF awards.
Central Region Vice President Rajeev Patgaonkar, CEC, AAC, has worked for Michigan State University since 1994, currently serving in the Culinary Services, Student Life & Engagement department. His career experiences also include working for Hilton Hotel in Saudi Arabia, Oman, as well as for the Carnival Cruise Lines and the prestigious five-star Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai. Chef Patgaonkar has served many positions at the local and national level for ACF, including ACF Internal Audit Chair, ACF Chef & Child Foundation’s Central Regional Chair and AAC Scholarship Chair. This is his second term as Central Region Vice President.
Northeast Region Vice President Ray McCue, CEC, AAC is an Associate Professor at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. Prior to joining JWU, Chef McCue worked at the Ritz-Carlton in New York City. He won ACF Chef Educator of the Year in 2015 and is the recipient of two ACF Presidential Medallions as well as the Cutting Edge Award. He currently serves as chairman of the ACF Rhode Island Chapter and is actively involved with the World Chefs Without Borders.
Southeast Region Vice President Bryan Frick, CEC, AAC, has served as Corporate Executive Chef for the Nestle Corporation since 1997, and prior to that, spent many years at Disney. An ACF member for more than 40 years, he has served in chapter leadership roles for Columbus, Ohio and Orlando, Florida. This is his second term as Southeast Regional Vice President.
Western Region Vice President Greg Matchett, CEC, AAC, is a chef-consultant with Shamrock Foods. A CIA graduate, Chef Matchett has worked as an executive chef for luxury country clubs, fine-dining restaurants, five-star hotels, gourmet off-site catering and other businesses in the senior living, sports and entertainment, convention center and food manufacturing sectors. He has also served as a chef/instructor and has coached multiple ACF student competition teams. This is his second term as Western Region Vice President.
Immediate Past President Kimberly Brock Brown, CEPC, CCA, AAC, has more than 30 years of the culinary industry experience as an executive pastry chef, culinary educator, culinary competitor, entrepreneur, author, and TV personality. Prior to serving as president, Chef Brock Brown served two two-year terms on the ACF Board as Vice President, Southeastern Region. She is the first African American Woman elected to the ACF Board in 2017, and the first woman, first African American and first Pastry Chef to have been elected ACF President in its 95-plus-year history.
In May, ACF Chef Christopher F. Donato, CCE, AAC, Chairperson of the Nominations and Elections Committee, who announced the results of the election during the ACF’s Annual Meeting, also announced the new American Academy of Chefs Chair, Joe G. Aiello, CEC, AAC, HOF.
Chef Aiello, CEC, AAC, HOF, an ACF member since 1977 and an Academy Fellow since 1987, is a graduate of the CIA and has held numerous ACF board and committee positions, including ACF national treasurer and ACF bylaws committee chair. Chef Aiello is currently serving his second term as AAC Vice Chair. For the past 30 years, Chef Aiello has held various positions in the hospitality industry as chef in hotels, country clubs and food management. He has owned and operated Apropo Catering, a multi-faceted foodservice management and special events company for more than 20 years.
Click here to watch the a recording of the annual meeting when the election results were announced.