Chef Thomas Recinella, CEC, AAC, Dean of Culinary at Baker College and head of its Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM), has been honored by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) with its 2021 Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award. Chef Tom was selected as the national winner from a group of regional finalists, and recognized at the 2021 ACF National Convention on August 5, 2021 in Orlando, Fla.
The award, formerly known as the Hermann G. Rusch Humanitarian Award, is determined by a vote among the 170 ACF chapter presidents nationwide, and honors chefs who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to both ACF and the culinary profession. According to the ACF, such chefs, through their involvement with and contributions to ACF and the craft, have advanced the culinary profession and ensured the enrichment of students, members and those in the profession. Candidates are considered worthy of carrying on the proud tradition of the chef for whom the award was named, Hermann G. Rusch, AAC (1907–1997).
“In being very familiar with Mr. Rusch, who he was and the impact that he had on our profession, I am extremely humbled and overwhelmed to have been chosen to receive this award,” said Chef Tom. “It is truly special.”
“Chef Tom Recinella is a true professional chef, mentoring many young culinarians, a good friend and has the utmost commitment to ACF, and our chosen profession,” said ACF Central Region Vice President, Chef Rajeev Patgaonkar, CEC, AAC, ACF. “He is carrying forward the traditions, whom this award is named for. It was my humble honor to sit by him to see him accept this achievement award. I am very happy for him, proud of him and wish him my heartiest congratulations.”
Additionally, Chef Tom was appointed earlier this year to the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission (ACFEFAC) as the Central Region Education Representative. He will serve as a Site Visit Lead Evaluator, helping to determine educational program grants of accreditation at culinary schools throughout the central region, which includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin.
Chef Tom, who has been in the culinary industry for more than 35 years and with Baker College’s Culinary Institute of Michigan since 2012, also is an ACF Approved Mentor for ACF Practical Exam Evaluators and an ACF Culinary Competition Judge, as well as a member of the Honorable Order of the Golden Toque, the highest acclaimed recognition a chef can receive in America.