Served as Chairman of the Board – ACF Gulf to Lakes Chefs & Cooks Association
ACF Gulf to Lakes Chapter President 2000-2008; 2013 – 2014
Chef Jeffrey Rotz’ career path is non-traditional and a testimony of what can be done with dedication and desire to succeed. Chef Jeff grew up in New York City as a teenager of the ‘60’s. He started his career in the hospitality industry working during the summer months at resorts in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. In 1971 joined the US Navy and was enrolled in their Cook’s Apprenticeship Program where he learned the basics of cooking. Chef Rotz had many diverse assignments during his 22-year career in the Navy. He served onboard submarines; served shore assignments at a Joint Military Recreation Center in Hawaii; managed a Navy Officer’s/Senior Enlisted Club and completed his Navy career as the Senior Instructor for the Navy Food Management Team where his responsibilities included training both sea and shore commands in the Southeast United States. During his Military career, Chef Rotz received many medals and awards. Chef Rotz retired from the Navy in 1993 as a Senior Chief Mess Management Specialist (E-8).
Jeff’s second career started when he was recruited to teach culinary apprenticeship programs for St John’s School District and later Lake County School District. In 1997 Chef Rotz was assigned to instruct at Eustis High School as the first professional Chef teaching Commercial Foods/Culinary Arts in a traditional high school. The program became very popular and set an example for other schools to emulate. To date, all of the high schools in Lake County now offer a Commercial Foods/Culinary Arts curriculum that prepares students for a career in the hospitality industry and job placement. During his tenure at Eustis High School, Jeff was honored to be selected Teacher of the Year for the school district. He then went on to compete for the Teacher of the Year for the State of Florida.
A native of Switzerland with over 45 years of culinary expertise, “Tony” had an early interest in culinary arts from his foster dad, a chef at the local railways. So it was an expected move when in 1973 he progressed to culinary apprentice and also studied at the Hotel School Montana in Luzern, graduating with a Swiss Federal Chefs Certificate and a BS in Food Service Mgmt. An avid learner he is presently working on obtaining an MBA in Nutrition &Food Management from ABMS University in Switzerland.
During the mid to late seventies, his early chef studies as Commis and Chef the Partie brought him to several properties in Switzerland and England. In the summer of 79, he accepted a sous chef’s position at the prestigious Coral Beach Club in Bermuda. Additional appointments in some of the most famous hotels there, from Executive Chef to F&B manager, opened the doors to enter the US with Marriott Resorts. He held positions from food production manager, exec. Chef and F&B Director. Opportunities in the early stages of the expansion of that company afforded Chef Döös the chance to show his talents as task force chef in opening hotels from the east to the west coast. Five years later he accepted the position of F&B director at the Buccaneer Hotel in St. Croix, USVI.
What was to be a three-year appointment turned into 30 years of Caribbean experience. The next appointment as Corporate F&B director for a startup company led to ownership of eventually a portfolio of seven restaurants and the Anchor Inn Hotel. By the late 90ties and after having established himself as the authority in food on St. Croix, he answered the call to create a viable culinary program at the local technical school. By the mid-twenties, he sold the last of his company assets as he now was the chair of the FACS department at Career and Technical Education Center. “Good to Chew Catering Company” was formed as a vehicle to means to fund the program. This company has grown to be the only international certified in-flight catering provider on island and partners with Airculinaire in providing private jet catering service. The company also offers private chef service and caters to any size function.
Due to the many calls for advice from local, establishments, the formation of the Consulting Group “Doos & Don’ts” was created in 2005. He is the advisor to the VI culinary team, State Director for SkillsUSA, received multiple community awards, won equally as many culinary competitions, and is an active promoter for the advancement of contemporary Caribbean cuisine. A member of “MOVE,” promoting healthy living and fresh food in school lunch programs. He received “Teacher of the year twice, attesting to his ability to mold, motivate and educate
To the later, he has partaken in the “Caribbean Junior Culinary Challenge” in Barbados since its inception. Chef Döös volunteers as a judge at Caribbean culinary competitions and with his consulting company now trains and advises companies throughout the region. Tony is an ACF-Certified Executive Chef, a Certified Foodservice Educator, is a certified Foodservice Management Professional the President and founder of the ACFVI cooks and chefs association, President of the local BBQ Society, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor, TIPS certified and a member of many more community projects.
As a certified Executive Chef, Certified Practical Evaluator, Instructor of the Culinary Arts Program at UHS and chapter president for the local American Culinary Federation Chapter, Matt sure knows how to keep busy.
Matthew began his career while still attending High School and rapidly made a name for himself as a top executive chef amongst his peers. He frequently participates in various classes, refresher courses, conventions and conferences to maintain and elevate his knowledge of current information, procedures and techniques used within the culinary field.
Since 2008, Chef Matt has conducted training and evaluation throughout Florida and in the Caribbean with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Chefs Helping Chefs International. He has supervised several apprentices in the culinary industry. He can even say he has a TV career; as he participated in a televised cooking show while employed and residing in Connecticut.
Educating, demonstrating and connecting with an audience; whether it be a small kitchen team of ten or a large group of 100+; Chef Matthews’ easy going personable style quickly puts his audience at ease and encourages a hearty exchange of thoughts, interaction and ideas.
It all started as a small child on a bike. I delivered fresh hot rolls with fresh milk to people in my town which was a small quaint village in Northern Germany. The rolls inspired my career as a Certified Master Baker and Executive Pastry Chef. I became inquisitive about those hot rolls. Therefore, I decided to pursue a career as a pastry chef. I have been in the baking and pastry business for over 35 years in several capacities which has yielded a huge success. The fun of tasting sugar for so many years could make anyone have the sweetest of sweet tooth! My training was in Germany and it opened doors to an interesting career around the world. After completing my training, I travelled to several different countries around the world. The experience I gained was invaluable – so many different pastries in so many places. After my travels abroad, I arrived in America and became the proud owner of an exclusive pastry shop in the suburbs of Philadelphia. I made fancy pastries and artisan breads. People would travel for up to one hour to get my sticky buns on a Sunday morning. Being German I naturally made German pastries which drew a unique population of customers.
As life progressed, I decided to make a career change. I discovered I had a hidden talent for teaching. Teaching became a passion and I have been teaching baking and pastry for over 20 years. Sharing my knowledge with new aspiring pastry students is what inspires me every day! To see a new chocolate / sugar creation created by a pastry student makes the circle complete in my life of baking and pastry. My expertise stem from the fact of having work in so many different countries, and never to stop leaning.
Chef Bell has 30 years of culinary experience – From five star restaurants in Aspen Colorado, Corporate Chef, Consultant and Culinary Educator. He served as personal Chef to John Travolta and has cooked for two presidents and many celebrities.
During the course of his career, John keeps his skills sharp by participating in competitions. To date, he has received many awards noting his achievements:
- Silver Medal- Aspen Annual Chocolate Classic
- Gold Medal- Steam Boat Springs Annual Wild Game Grill
- Gold Medal- Aspen Chocolate Classic
- Silver Medal- March of Dimes Chefs Cook-Off
- Pewter Platter- Best Meal Taste of Ocala
- Pewter Platter- Peoples’ Choice Taste of Ocala
- Gold Medal- Hot Foods Team Coach Marion County Culinary Student Show
Specializing in nutrition, menu design, food cost and recipe development, Chef John is currently Instructor of the Culinary Arts Program at LHS. His adventurous personality and jovial nature, along with his extensive skills, brings a valuable asset to our CHC team.
Chef Rich graduated, with honors, from Johnson and Wales University with a degree in Culinary Arts and Food Management. Since then his career has mainly been in prestigious Country Clubs where he has received many awards and recognition for his talents and improvements to the establishments he serves. Chef has also worked with fine Hotels including Arnold Palmer’s Corporation, The Hawthorne Inn and Wyndham Garden Hotel & Resorts.
Rich is also an experienced trainer and educator for the Royal Caribbean Cruise lines and has assisted them with on-board training of their culinary team.
Additionally, Chef Rich has traveled worldwide and continues to educate himself in the latest culinary developments, keeping up with the most current trends and steadily increasing his knowledge in the wonderful field of Culinary Arts & Wine that he loves so much.
Chef Rich’s sparkling personality and friendly approach is an asset to anyone that is fortunate to work with him. We are proud to have him as a part of our team.
Bernd Mueller is a German national. He is a permanent resident since 1979 in the US. He was educated in his native home town Bensheim, Germany. His years of apprenticing and learning Culinary Art and Science took him from Germany’s highly regarded hotel and restaurants to a short but intense cooking tour through France with Paul Bocuse in Lyon and Roger Verge at Le Moulin de Mougins in Nizza. He held various executive chefs position with prestige international hotel chains like Marriott International, Hilton International, Princess International, and Opryland Hotels. In Germany, Hawaii, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Caribbean and occupied the Corporate Chefs Position for Posadas de Mexico (Holiday Inn). Bernd graduated in Germany with professional Chefs apprenticeship degree. He also obtained the Executive Chefs certification from the American Culinary Federation CEC. He is a Dale Carnegie graduate. He attended many certification courses, amongst them leadership skills, diversity training, communication skills, and people with the likes of Tom Peters, Kenneth Blanchard, and many more . . . His general management and concept development skills have been sharpened and broadened, as his love for teaching and mentoring during 10 hotel openings around the globe. Bernd has cooked for World leaders, Dignitaries and Royalties including US President Ronald Regan, George Bush Sr., Mexico’s President Miguel Aleman, Lopez Portillo, Luis Echevarria and Dias Ordaz, US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, his Royal Highness Prince Turki Bin Abdul Aziz-AlSaud, hosted Billy Graham’s seventy’s birthday party and the President of is native Germany Walter Scheels as President Suarez from Spain. Bernd’s tireless activism promoting the culinary trade through fund raising effort since 1989 with the homeless and hungry relief organization Share Our Strengths. He is still an active member with the American Culinary Federation and the German Chefs Association. He participated in Omni Hotels Food and Wine Symposium, traveling to Spain, Argentina and France. Also in 2009, he represented Omni Hotels at the James Beard House in New York to conduct the kick off for the French Promotion. He has appeared in Heath Food Network, local TV and radio stations and the syndicated international kitchen in Hawaii and traveling in 1996 with the ACF delegation and Martin Yan to China, attended the Chef excellent program at the CIA in NY and Greystone, California. He is fluent in English, German and Spanish.
Has over 12 years of experience in the Food and Beverage industry, steadily working his way from assistant waiter to bartender and now is the Resident Mixologist at the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados. For two years (2012 – 2014) he was also the Regional Brand Ambassador for Angostura Aromatic Bitters, in charge of training and development within the region for their rums and bitters portfolio. Through dedication, determination, long hours of hard work and training, Jamaal is now a certified Bar Chef. Here is a list of some of his accomplishments, accolades and certifications:
Food and Beverage Operations Certificate – Hotel Pommarine 2000 – 2002
Multiple Gold, Silver and Bronze Award Winner at N.I.F.C.A 2005
Barbados Bartender Incentive Award Winner at N.I.F.C.A 2005
Former Barbados Bartender of the Year in 2006
Food and Beverage Service Management – Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 2007
Two Time Silver Medalist at Taste of the Caribbean in 2007 & 2011
Barbados Culinary Ambassador with tours to New York, Belgium, Brazil and other nations 2007 – Present
3 Time Barbados Angostura Mixmaster Champion – 2008, 2010, 2011 (no competition in 2009)
Charter Committee Member of the Caribbean Mixologist Guild – Barbados 2009
Inaugural Regional Angostura Mixmaster Champion – Jamaica 2011
Winner of Most Creative Non-Alcoholic Cocktail at Taste of the Caribbean 2011
Featured on local television show Eggonomics as The Mixologist in 2011
Featured on the NBC Today Show with Matt Lauer and Giada De Laurentiis in November 2011
Featured Mixologist at the Barbados Food, Wine & Rum Festival 2011 – Present
3rd place finalist Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge 2012 in Trinidad and Tobago
Taste of the Caribbean Gold Medallist and Caribbean Bartender of the Year in 2012
Taste of the Caribbean Hall of Fame Inductee in 2012
Angostura Regional Brand Ambassador 2012 – 2014
Bartender & Mixology Coach of the Barbados Culinary Team which won Gold and Taste of the Caribbean Team of the Year 2013 – Present
International Bar Chef Accreditation/Certification – BartenderOne, Toronto, Canada 2014
Has facilitated successful training sessions and seminars throughout the Caribbean in various territories (Grenada, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda)
Bar and Beverage Consultant for various establishments around the island
Founder and Director of the TopShelf Bartending Academy (Opening in 2017)
David Ivey-Soto MBA, CEC®, CCA® has diverse industry experience of over twenty-five years in fourteen countries on five continents has provided him with insights into the foodservice industry and the experience to share his expertise. He is a former National Secretary of the American Culinary Federation serving on its Board of Directors.
Chef David has been featured in National Culinary Review, ESPN The Magazine, Freekick, The Daily News of the Virgin Islands, Newsweek, The Washington Post, among other publications and has been featured on WRC-TV NBC 4, Washington, DC.
Before starting his companies, Chef David was the Training Development Manager at UniPro Foodservice, Inc. There his responsibilities included instructing menu management programs, designed to assist both the operator and the distributor sales representative in understanding the importance of the menu and how it relates to profitability. He was also charged with helping to develop and implement a series of training programs for the foodservice industry.
David Ivey-Soto earned his AOS from the Culinary Institute of America where he was on the Dean’s List, was the Student Council President, and was Sommelier de Vin. He was honored to be selected as a Fellow of the Culinary Institute of America where he worked with chefs Clark and Canner in the Fish Kitchen and with Mr. Schmitter in the American Bounty Dining Room. [Fewer than 2% of all graduates of the CIA are selected to serve as a Fellow.] He has been a candidate for Master of Wine and Master Sommelier, which he pasted two of the three sections. He earned his Certified Executive Chef from the American Culinary Federation in 2000 and has earned his Certified Culinary Administrator. In 2005 he earned his MBA from the College of William & Mary. He has competed in many culinary competitions.
Israel Calderon is a Certified Executive Chef and Certified Culinary Administrator with the American Culinary Federation. He possess over 25 years of experience and has worked at renowned Hotels like: Caribe Hilton, Chicago Hilton & Towers, Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun (5 Diamond), Sheraton Old San Juan, Mundo Imperial (5 Diamond) in Acapulco, The San Juan Water & Beach Club, Hilton Trinidad, El San Juan Resort and Casino; and as an entrepreneur he created of one of the most tantalizing Latino restaurant in Chicago, Illinois, Rumba; and of Café Calderon (Creative Puerto Rican and Cuban Cuisine) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His latest venture is as Corporate Executive Chef of Jimmy’s NYC; Latin-Asian Fusion Restaurant in Times Square.
Calderon has had the opportunity of cooking for many personalities, celebrities and dignitaries. One of his most memorable moments was when he was invited to the White House by US President Barrack Obama and First Lady, Michelle Obama, for the launch of Chefs Move to School program.
Chef Israel Calderon studied at the Culinary Institute of America in New York; Instituto Educación Universal in San Juan; as well as Specialty Programs in Italy, France and Switzerland. Calderon has won over 12 gold medals in culinary competitions, several awards at various hotels, such as Manager of the Year, he was the national winner of the 1998 Jack Daniels BBQ Competition; and many more medals. He is an active member of the American Culinary Federation, ACFs Chef and Child Organization, World Association of Chefs Societies. Chef Calderon is a Board Member for ACF Gulf to Lakes Chapter in Florida, BOD of Skal International Puerto Rico and a Collaborator of the organization Chefs Helping Chefs International.
Chef Calderon is a firm believer of Mentorship; he feels very strongly about helping build a solid foundation in our young culinarians so that they can become excellent professionals tomorrow. Many of Chef Calderon’s apprentices are now day Executive Chefs, excellent professionals and above all great human beings who understand the meaning of passing along our knowledge and mentoring others.
“As a Chef, it is very important to have passion and love for cooking; and the ability of creating extraordinary dishes out of the simplest ingredients.”
He takes great pride in the presentation of his dishes, and in using the freshest local products available. Chef Calderon’s style can be described as creative, innovative, chic and classic.
Fredrick Gayle CEC
Executive Chef, Meliá Braco Village
Born in a small district called Friendship, Strawberry in the parish of Westmoreland, Fredrick Gayle attended the Strawberry All Age School and was awarded a space at Frome Secondary School now Frome Technical High School.
Chef Gayle started working in the hotel industry at the Half Moon Beach Resort and Spa in 1986 at the age of 18 years as a dishwasher. While in that capacity, Fredrick’s zest for knowledge and love for cooking resulted in him assisting the cooks in peeling potatoes and prepping vegetables before his shift began and after the end of his shift. He was eventually promoted to the position of prep cook and over a span of (4) four years, became a Sous Chef.
Fredrick went on to pursue an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts at Hocking Technical College in the United States of America, where he graduated with honors.
Since then, he has worked in various hotels in Jamaica including properties such as The Ritz Carlton Resort & Spa, Coyaba Beach Resort &Spa, Dragon Bay Beach Resort and Seawind Beach Resorts, in addition to international properties such the Ramada Inn Hotel, Hyatt Regency Columbus Ohio and Hyatt Regency Crown Center Missouri all in the USA.
Interestingly, after leaving the prestigious Half Moon Beach resort & Spa for about (12) twelve years, Fredrick was rehired as their very first Jamaican Executive Chef in Twenty Five (25) years he held the same position in one of the largest Spanish owned hotel in Jamaica- Grand Palladium Hotels and Resorts as the first and only Jamaican Executive chef in a Spanish Hotel in Jamaica, Executive Chef at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, the largest Hotel of the Sandals/Beaches family, the leading chain of hotels in the Caribbean.
Fredrick currently works as the Executive chef for Meliã Resorts International, where he opens the 232 rooms Meliã Braco Village, the first Meliã Resort in Jamaica.
Fredrick has won for himself a myriad of accolades in local and international Culinary Arts competition. He represented Jamaica on the 1997 junior culinary Olympic team to Toronto Canada and was featured in many local and international newspapers and has thrilled the palates of famous personalities around the world.
Garfield has been shaping Caribbean and international cuisine for over 15 years. A native of Barbados, Garfield’s culinary style is rooted in the Caribbean. His introduction to the world of culinary arts began at the age of
His experience afforded him gold medals in 2001and 2002 at World
Food Day Cook Off, Barbados and silver medals at the World Food Day Black Belly Sheep Competition in 2000 and Taste of the Caribbean, 2015. Garfield built up an impressive resume within the Caribbean as he served in various capacities within the food and hospitality industry, creating delectable cuisines at some of the most prominent hotels and restaurants in Barbados, St. Lucia, Jamaica, the British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos.
His career began in 1998, as a Chef de Partie upon completing his studies at
the Barbados Community College. His apprenticeship in international cuisine under the tutelage of Michellin Star, Chef Marco Pierre White at Mirabelle Restaurant- London, England in 2003 enhanced his cooking skills and he soon developed his own blend of fusion cuisine.
This certified Food Safety Manager also holds an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts and a Diploma in Food & Beverage Management. His professional kitchen experience includes positions at prominent hotels and restaurants within the Caribbean region, such as
Executive Sous Chef, Asu Restaurant, Turks and Caicos
Sous Chef, Hilton Trinidad, Hilton Jamaica and the Jalousie Hilton, St. Lucia
Sous Chef, Villa Nova Country House & Hotel, St. John, Barbados
HIS PASSION & GOALS
Chef Victor loves the challenge of cooking for people who enjoy Caribbean flavors. His dream is to someday own a bistro restaurant that serves international cuisines with a distinctive Caribbean flavor. As a child of the Caribbean, sustainability and local produce are of great importance to him and he applies this passion to the dishes he creates. An advocate of local produce, Garfield is dedicated to utilizing quality ingredients in the preparation of his dishes.SIGNATURE DISHES
Caribbean Seafood Stew
Poached Love Apple (Caribbean name: Pomerac)
Laura began her Culinary career 27 years ago and during the course of those 27 years has worked in every aspect of the Restaurant business from front of the house, back of the house, management, bar service, banquets, supervisor and even owner/proprietor of her own establishment.
Whether it be a small staff of less than 10 or a large staff of 100+, Laurie is able to connect with each team member on an individual level and develop the rapport needed to convey expectations and requirements of duties while not having any reservations about stepping up to help get the job done right alongside of her team.
Our resident customer service specialist, Laurie is on hand to work with your service staff in etiquette, service standards, professional image, teamwork and guest relations. Her outgoing personality and experience in just about any restaurant variation imaginable, makes Laurie a great asset to our team and selection of offerings available.
Chef Larry Nibbs has been cooking most of his life. Born on Tortola but raised on St. Thomas, he started in the food industry with an after school job at the old Barbary Coast in Frenchtown. He worked his way up to chef, and went on the spend eight years cooking at Frenchman’s Reef and more than four years at Caneel Bay.
Chef Nibbs has distinguished himself as a member of the ACF and is one of the only six Certified Executive Chefs in the Virgin Islands. He is also the only certified Approved Certification Evaluator located in the Virgin Islands.
Chef Nibbs has traveled the seas as he trains and tests members of the Royal Caribbean Cruise lines Culinary Staff and routinely attends National Chef Conventions where he participates in hands on seminars, training, and continued education. As our “Islands Representative”, CHC is proud to have Chef Nibbs as a member of our team.
Jeff Call, CEC, FMP
Jeff Call, Corporate Chef for Concessions International (CI) is responsible for new menu development execution for the CI brands, work closely with national brands on adapting their concepts to airport environments, developing and monitoring LTO specials for all airports, and quarterly QA inspections. He brings more than 30 years’ experience in the Food and Beverage industries.
Jeff’s culinary career began in like most at the age of 15, working in a church dining hall on Wednesday nights. His first restaurant job was with Po Folks in the late 70s. Throughout high school and college, he bounced through different kitchen and waiter jobs. He graduated in 1987 from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Commercial Spanish and a minor in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration. After a short stint in import and export work to Puerto Rico (frozen food commodities), he graduated culinary school in 1992 from the Art Institute of Atlanta. Since then he has worked in all facets of restaurants to include scratch cooking gourmet market and bakery (eatZi’s Market and Bakery), convention hotels, fine dining, QSRs, town clubs and Jewish catering. His love in the kitchen tends towards the cold kitchen—Garde Manger and baking, he has the ability to perform in both savory and sweet kitchens. He has been furthering his skills sets with ethnic and vegetarian cuisines.
Since joining CI, Jeff has completed his FMP (Foodservice Management Professional Certification from NRA) and he completed his CEC (Certified Executive Chef from American Culinary Federation) in August 2012. In 2012 he was certified by International HACCP Alliance for Basic and Advance HACCP and in 2013 he completed his HACCP train the trainer Certification from them. He and his team opened a USDA and FDA certified Ready to eat Facility at the corporate office in 2013. In 2016, the company has branched out to third party sales of products and Jeff and his team have developed new catalog items to satisfy the varied demographics that he faces in the commissary and airport worlds—including the business traveler, college student, millennials and vegetarians.
Jeff speaks Spanish fluently and can read French, Italian and some Japanese. He is passionate about food in all of its forms and brings that excitement to the daily job.
Elizabeth Baase, CEC, AAC, ACE is a distinguished chef, manager, instructor, leader and trainer. She is currently an ACF culinary evaluator (ACE), culinary instructor and Personal Chef. She is a ServSafe Certified Instructor and Proctor. She is a certified executive chef (CEC) and a member of the American Academy of Chefs (AAC), the honor society of the American Culinary Federation. She is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University.
Baase’s career, spanning more than 30 years, is dedicated to elevating the fields of culinary arts and using her skills as a culinarian to give aid to those in disaster situations.
Baase is the first woman to win Southeast Regional Chef of the Year in 1998 and Southeast Regional Vice President of the American Culinary Federation. She has been a member of ACF since 1991, and in 2005, was elected for a four-year term.
* ACF Southeast Regional Vice President, 8/2005 to 7/2009
* ACF National Presidential Award Recipient, 6/2009
*ACF National Membership Benefits Chairperson, 2011 * ACFF Disaster Relief Task Force Chairperson, 2006 to 8/2009 * American Red Cross, Disaster Relief & Shelter Volunteer * Houston Co. Career and Technology Center Professional Foods Advisory Council, 2008 to 2011 * FCCLA Culinary Competition Judge 2007, 2008 * Active in the Culinary Field over 30 years * ACF Member since 1991 * Charter Member of the ACF-Middle Georgia Chef’s Association * Chapter Chef of the Year, 1992, 1996, 2001, 2002 * Chapter Board of Directors, 12 years * Chapter President, 3 years; Vice President, 10 years; Secretary, 3 years * Chapter Newsletter Editor, 5 years * ACF Southeast Region Chef of the Year, 1998 * ACF Outstanding Dedication Award, 1997 * Designed the ACF National Junior Member of the Year Medallion, 1997 * Winner of Bronze medal as a member of Johnson & Wales Junior Culinary Competition Team, 1986
* ACF National Junior Membership Chair, 1996 to 1999 * ACF National Convention Volunteer, 1997 / 2002 * ACF National Convention Seminar Presenter, 1998 * Trade and Industrial Educators of Georgia Association, (T.I.E.G.A) Culinary Seminar Presenter * Outstanding participation in the R.O.W.C Chef’s Gala celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force * National Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, (V.I.C.A) Culinary Arts Contest Technical Committee, 1999 * Culinary Arts Advisory Committee member for the Middle Georgia Technical Institute, 1993 and 1994. * March of Dimes, Gourmet Celebrity Chef’s Tasting and Auction, 1993 * CUSTOM Culinary Excellence Achievement Award, 1993 * March of Dimes, Entertaining in Style, 1992
Chef Dave Durante worked at a young age in an Italian neighborhood delicatessen located in Schenectady, New York. His inspiration originated from the daily meals prepared by his family and an Italian Chef/Owner. Chef Dave graduated from The State University of New York in Morrisville with an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration. After the completion of college he moved to West Palm Beach, Florida where he worked in food and beverage at a corporate level but knew he wanted advancement.
Inspired to be a culinary enthusiast, Chef Dave traveled to Italy where he apprenticed at a cooking school in Semproniano, Italy, the Province of Grosseto, located in Tuscany. Once he traveled back to the States, he was offered an opportunity to be the Executive Chef at the southernmost private Golf and Tennis Club in the United States, Sombrero Country Club in Marathon, Florida, recently renamed “The Florida Keys Country Club.” Chef Dave received notoriety for his food development and was awarded numerous times for “The Taste of the Florida Keys.”
Chef Dave relocated to Crown Colony Golf and Country Club in Fort Myers, Florida as the Executive Chef/Food and Beverage Manager in 2010, He achieved the Certified Executive Chef designation and became an Approved Culinary Evaluator through the American Culinary Federation. Chef Dave is the Certification Chairman of the Caxambas Chapter of Naples and Marco Island. He is constantly striving for professional and personal growth and has become a member of The Club Managers Association of America in the Florida Chapter, Everglades Region with the ultimate goal of being a General Manager with the CCM Designation.
This past year his accomplishments were acknowledged with receiving the 2013 Culinarian of the Year and the 2013 President’s Appreciation Award from the American Culinary Federation.