Guest Speakers

Jul 11, 2020, 11:20

Guest Speaker: If You Want Something, Ask for It

Tuesday, 24 July 2012 15:52

guest_july12Chef Johnny Hernandez inspires foodservice educators at the 2012 CAFÉ Leadership Conference in San Antonio.

By Brent T. Frei

“Teachers and educators are some of my favorite people in the world,” said Johnny Hernandez as he began his keynote and shared his career story at the 2012 CAFÉ Leadership Conference at The Culinary Institute of America-San Antonio on June 23. “It’s our responsibility to teach.”

A successful chef, restaurateur and caterer, Hernandez told the story of his love and passion for food that began at age 5 in his father’s restaurant and at home in San Antonio’s westside neighborhood. At 9, he sold tacos from the restaurant to fellow students at school. Later, his home-economics teacher in high school accompanied Hernandez to the Marriott to ask for a cooking job.

Guest Speaker: There and Back Again

Sunday, 03 June 2012 11:59

guest_june12A career educator with 42 years in the food business divulges “musts” to achieve the critical successful relationship between culinary graduate and employer.

By Paul Sorgule, MS, AAC

Even with unemployment looming as one of our country’s greatest challenges, restaurants, hotels and resorts still struggle to find enough qualified, professionally committed individuals to staff their kitchen brigades. Last count there were somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 schools in the United States with culinary programs. Why is there still a gap between supply and demand?

This year marks my 42nd year in some facet of the food business. I spent 10 years in kitchens from line cook to executive chef after a two-year college program in hotel management. Twenty-six years followed in college-level culinary education beginning as instructor and finishing as the dean of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management. During that time I completed both baccalaureate and master’s degrees in related fields and dedicated a few weeks each year working in kitchens to stay fresh. I worked diligently with the American Culinary Federation to earn accreditation for the program, served a few years on the Accreditation Committee and was appointed as the chair of the ACF National Education Committee. This time in education afforded me the opportunity to serve as a member of the 1988 New England Culinary Olympic Team and in 2001 was honored as the ACF National Culinary Educator of the Year.

Guest Speaker: An (ACF Chapter) Affair to Remember

Sunday, 01 April 2012 00:00

guest_may12A member of the American Culinary Federation’s chapter in Atlanta lauds the personal and professional value of attending a well-developed and executed monthly meeting.

by Eric Karell, CEC, AAC

I attended the April meeting of our chapter not really knowing what to expect. The last time I attended an ACF Greater Atlanta Chapter Inc. meeting was at least three years ago when I hosted the President’s Gala at the Atlanta Athletic Club. Even though it was a beautiful spring evening and I was fairly tired from a busy weekend, I decided to drive the nearly 30 miles to the Halperns’ Purveyors of Steak and Seafood’s kitchen, research and training facility.

I was greeted warmly by some old friends at the door, Halperns' employees I have known for a dozen years. They gave me a raffle ticket and informed me there would be a drawing for some boxed steaks at the end of the meeting. Sounded promising.

Guest Speaker: Yes, Chefs Can Get Along with Owners

Sunday, 01 April 2012 00:44

guest_april12The executive chef of two-unit Saul Good Restaurant & Pub in Lexington, Ky., admits to learning a lot of hard lessons about how chefs and owners should get along, but he’s gotten a crash course in doing it the right way from founder Rob Perez. Chef Mayer shares some insights into why he believes “ours is not the typical owner-operator and chef relationship.”

By Jeffrey Mayer

I’m like a lot of chefs: a culinary dreamer who has a certain philosophy about the foods I want to cook. But when I first started talking to Rob about Saul Good, I saw the opportunity to work with him as a chance to learn a hell of a lot from a successful, business-savvy guy, somebody who knows how to make a whole concept work.

Guest Speaker: Chefs and Farmers Unite

Sunday, 04 March 2012 17:04

guest_march12The recent Farming for the Future Conference promoted new ideas and learning to the benefit of all.

By Jamie Moore


I recently organized the 2012 “Sustainability in the Food Service Industry” pre-conference sessions at the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s (PASA) 21st-annual Farming for the Future Conference, which brought together more than 2,000 farmers, processors, consumers, students, environmentalists, business and community leaders and chefs.

These sessions, which placed both noncommercial and commercial foodservice professionals in the same room as farmers, are an important step in understanding each other’s needs and challenges. As a PASA board member, I created “Sustainability in the Food Service Industry” in 2011 to give local producers a forum to introduce their products to chefs primarily from Parkhurst Dining (a division of Eat’n Park Hospitality Group). From there, our chefs took what they learned to new levels.