Chefs talk about why they’re ACF members

Richard StarkeyRichard Starkey, CEPC, CEC, Senior Manager, Commercialization Processes, Freshly

Q: What does ACF membership do for your team members? How does ACF membership enhance the professional growth of your team members?

A: ACF Membership helps our team members learn by utilizing the ACF Online Learning Center anytime, no matter how late it is. As Freshly operates almost 24 hours a day, it might be challenging for the team to go to the actual class due to time constraints. With the extensive online classes ACF offers, our staff gets to do online classes whenever they are available.

A: What are the main benefits your team members gain from having ACF membership?

Q: Our team members are exposed to not only culinary-related education, but also leadership and business skills, including brand building, crisis management, team wellness, mentorship, regulatory updates, and more. This is all vital to our team’s holistic growth.

A: In response to the current challenges facing hiring managers in our industry, how does participation in ACF bolster employee retention and motivation?
Q: ACF helps the team stay in line with culinary trends and keeps our culinary networks tied together. It is amazing how much the chefs have been motivated to gain professional development via culinary skills and knowledge.

A: What are some of your most valued ACF products/services (access to networking, educational opportunities, competitions, training/certification, etc.)?
Q: The local chapter meeting allows us to meet with other Chefs/Owners and connect. With our busy schedule every day, it is great to see the members every month and catch up.

Jeffrey Quasha HS2Jeffrey Quasha, CEC, CCA, AAC, Corporate Executive R&D Chef, Morrison Healthcare

Q: What does ACF membership do for your team members?

A: The ACF is a professional organization for chefs, foodies and culinarians that sets standards for excellence, education, and certification. For our team, the ACF provides a means to culinary certification, provides continuing education and growth through local meetings, meet ups, regional and national conferences and competition.

Q: How does ACF membership enhance the professional growth of your team members?

A: The ACF provides a clear path for certification for chefs in all paths, specializations and levels of growth. Through the pandemic the ACF offered over 100 hours of free continuing education opportunities and extended deadlines for certification and evaluator status. The ACF is also a family support structure for chefs providing support, mentorship, scholarships for growth and bringing awareness to innovation in the industry.

Q: In response to the current challenges facing hiring managers in our industry, how does participation in ACF bolster employee retention and motivation?

A: What are some of your most valued ACF products/services (access to networking, educational opportunities, competitions, training/certification, etc.) Yes I feel that all of the services networking, continuing education, competitions, culinary school accreditation, certification, apprenticeship and the ACF family as a whole are all valued offerings.

Personally, I love the aspect that Morrison Healthcare supports my involvement in the ACF and allows me the opportunity to support local chapters, be a member of the AAC, and sit on national and local ACF and culinary school boards. Many of our chefs utilize their membership to grow their culinary arts careers within Morrison, gain verification for career growth, recruit potential sous chefs or staff and network within their local and national chapters.

James Connolly, CEC, CCA, AAC, Senior Culinary Director, Unidine

Q: What does ACF membership do for your team members?

A: [ACF] provides the opportunity for education and certification as well as the ability to network with peers and colleagues.

Q: How does ACF membership enhance the professional growth of your team members?

A: The exposure to educational trainings and the ability get​ certified and eligible for advancement up the culinary ranks.

Q: What are the main benefits your team members gain from having ACF membership?

A: Exposure to the ACF`s network and educational opportunities leading up to ​certification that Compass Group will assist in scholarships for the costs associated with membership and certification fees.

Q: In response to the current challenges facing hiring managers in our industry, how does participation in ACF bolster employee retention and motivation?

A: It adds value to the candidates resume as it shows dedication and interest in the craft. My certifications moved my application to the top of a 40-applicant pile for the position of a Corporate Executive Chef seven years ago when I joined Compass Group.

Q: What are some of your most valued ACF products/services (access to networking, educational opportunities, competitions, training/certification, etc.)?

All of the above as when I am presenting for a monthly new employee orientation I highlight the advantages of membership,, networking for potential team members with an elevated skill set, and exposure to competitions, conventions (local and National)

 

Chef Tim HeadshotTimothy Recher, CEC, AAC, Director of Culinary Operations, Quail West Golf & Country Club

Q: What does ACF membership do for your team members?

A: ACF membership helps provide a path to a professional career, not just a job for a cook but a way to really build a lifelong career with skills, knowledge, and true professionalism

Q: How does ACF membership enhance the professional growth of your team members?

A: By becoming more involved, a culinarian learns to act as a professional, acquire new skills (and not just cooking but the all-important executive skills needed to build longevity in this business).  In addition, you have a rare opportunity to make contacts and network for not only future jobs but mentors that will be there to guide you throughout your life. The chefs I met early on have been and still are major influences in my career and without their valuable advice, I would not be as successful as I am today

Q: What are the main benefits your team members gain from having ACF membership?

A: It’s an immediate opportunity to be a professional culinarians.  Being able to tell an employer or potential employer you are an ACF member. Ultimately, ACF certifications give you a leg up on the competition for jobs and promotions. In addition, this gives you a chance to continue to learn in a more structured manner even after you finish culinary school. And if you did not attend a culinary school, the ACF provides a path to that very same career.

Q: In response to the current challenges facing hiring managers in our industry, how does participation in ACF bolster employee retention and motivation?

A: It is a real selling point and benefit we can offer our culinary team members.  One that can separate us from the other kitchens.  We use it to not only train our staff but also to attract a higher quality person, one that is interested in a career and not just a paycheck.  We need everyone but this is an opportunity to raise the bar on people coming in the door allowing us to help them be even better for our club/kitchen and for their own career and ultimately life.  The value this provides us and the value it provides the culinarian go beyond the money we spend.

Q: What are some of your most valued ACF products/services (access to networking, educational opportunities, competitions, training/certification, etc.)?

A: Certainly, the education opportunity, the certification, competitions, all are very important outcomes and well worth it in my opinion but for me, the best and most valuable part has been the mentorship the ACF has provided me.  There was never an instance over the past many years of my membership that a fellow chef wasn’t there favor me.  At a conference, on the phone, in an email, I just had to reach out and ask a question and there was this amazing resource on the other end. These chefs have been there for me since my first meeting, my first competition, my quest for certification. They still are there today and I lean on them more all the time. In fact, I was just emailing with one of my longest mentors today regarding a potential employee.  There is a value in this that goes beyond the tangible. They are lifelong friends and advisers.  The contacts I have made through the ACF have truly allowed me to be a professional chef and taken me literally around the world cooking. Joining ACF was simply one of the best career choices I ever made.

Shawn lovingShawn Loving, CMC, CCA, AAC, Executive Chef, Detroit Athletic Club

Q: What does ACF membership do for your team members?

A: The membership I believe provides comfort knowing you are supported with a professional organization that treats you like family which is important today. There is a natural and organic growth that takes place with your operation when they see the leaders participate in local competitions for enhancements along with utilizing certification competencies as a part of the building block with daily features and enhancements for the properties menu’s in different outlets. It’s a great segue and continued engagement.

Q: What are the main benefits your team members gain from having ACF membership?

 A: A professional organization they feel a part of which is very necessary because of how difficult the profession is, there is a true sense of comfort knowing they have the ACF.

 

Eckert GLCI Headshot w ToqueLes Eckert, MBA, CEPC, CCE, AAC, Director of Culinary, Great Lakes Culinary Institute

Q: How does ACF membership enhance the professional growth of your team members?

A: ACF membership enhances the professional growth of my team members through the multiple learning resources offered by way of educational sessions at monthly chapter meetings, online continuing education, regional conferences, and national conventions and webinars. Their professional growth is also enhanced by the ability to compete among peers and certify personal skills.

Q: What are the main benefits your team members gain from having ACF membership?

A: Job stability and the ability to have steady continuing education opportunities.

Q: In response to the current challenges facing hiring managers in our industry, how does participation in ACF bolster employee retention and motivation?

A: Participation in the ACF indeed bolsters employee retention as it connects chefs with continuous and up-to-date foodservice education. ACF participation also helps chefs create a true career path in foodservice rather than one long time job.

Q: What are some of your most valued ACF products/services (access to networking, educational opportunities, competitions, training/certification, etc.)?

A: For me it is networking. With every move I have made across the country I have immediately contacted the local ACF chapter to start making connections. From there it’s certification and competitions that help me stay up to date with industry knowledge, build my skills, and push me out of my comfort zones. Lastly, being in education accreditation is another valuable service the ACF provides culinary programs.

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