ChefConnect: Nashville is right around the corner, but it won’t be our first event in the Volunteer State. Twenty years ago, before the era of ChefConnect, ACF Chefs Forum 2000 was held at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville.
There were competitions, cooking demonstrations, a trade show, and even a Bill Clinton impersonator (who delivered the keynote address). As exciting as that speech must have been, one of the biggest standouts of the week was a special ACF Chef and Child Foundation (ACFCCF) initiative.
On July 29, 2000, the ACFCCF held a fundraising event during the convention called “Taking a Bite Out of Hunger.” During the event, 50 people made history by dipping 10,537 strawberries in chocolate in just 41 minutes — about 257 strawberries dipped each minute!
A representative from Guinness World Records was on hand to verify that this stunt set a new world record. The only other world record for strawberry dipping was set in 2013 by a single person who dipped 59 strawberries in one minute.
It sounds like a bizarre activity to hold at an ACF event, but it was a fun and unique way to raise awareness of the important work that the ACFCCF does. The foundation was immortalized in the record books forever, and as far as anyone can tell, the record our chefs set in 2000 has not been broken by anyone else yet.
Those 10,000-plus strawberries were later sold by the ACF Middle Tennessee Chapter to benefit Outlook Nashville, a local charity which was dedicated to helping children and adults with disabilities.
As we return to Nashville in a new decade, this tidbit from our past is a great reminder of the reason these ACF events and initiatives exist in the first place. It’s not about the strawberries. It’s about chefs gathering together to have fun, do good, and educate future generations.
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