October 2017

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are all well and in good health.  It seems like the summer had gone by very quickly and autumn has officially arrived. I find this to be my favorite and the most beautiful time of the year. The fall colors starting to turn, the smell of the fallen leaves on the ground, and the chill in the air all leads to a crisp, clean feeling. Fall crops are now available, and the variety are plentiful. It’s also a time to not only go for a drive to see the colors, but also to stop by the road side veg & fruit stands and support some of the smallest farms in our area. In fall, we think about heartier foods, warmer drinks, apple pies, pumpkin pies, berry, and mincemeat pies. If you look closely you’ll see tap lines that have been set for maple syrup production. All this amounts to the benefit living in the north. Yes, it can get cold, snowy, & icy but the change of seasons is something we are fortunate to experience and it can’t be beat.

Before we know it, the holidays will be here. Many of you are gearing up for the holiday functions and dinners. Some businesses may need extra help during this time, please feel free to send me a message on what positions you need to fill and I’ll pass on the information. Make sure that you send pertinent information: desired qualification, who to contact, email, and phone number.

Last Monday, 25 September, we held our general meeting along with the last Anything Goes Competition for this year headed by Chef Inzinga CEC, CCE, AAC. The meeting was held at PTC hosted by Chef Norman Hart, CEC, CCE, AAC and the culinary staff and students. There were three competitors, all being from PTC. There were 4 judges: Chefs Johan Meinke, Edward Colon, Dave Russo, & Mark Clink. Chef Inzinga arranged with Dexter Knife Co. to donate knives as prizes for the competitors. Their names in order of placement are 1st Conner Capazoli from The Duquesne Club, 2ndVictoria Rucci from Buca di Beppo, & 3rd Chandler Flak from The Carnegie Science Center.  Thanks to Chef Inzinga, our competitors, judges, hosts, and everyone else who helped organize another great competition.

This month on 30 October, our meeting will be held at Bidwell Training Center. Joe and Mike Mastro owners of Mastro Ice Company, have agreed to do an ice carving demonstration and will have a few pieces of ice for a few people to try their hand in carving. They will discuss the various techniques of carving ice as well as the new technology now being used. Joe is a Master Ice Carver, and he and Mike are founding members of NICA National Ice Carving Association. They are both national and international competitors and past judges.

Joe & Mike have been loyal supporters of ACFPC for over thirty-five years. Their work can be found at many of the city’s events, at our Annual Awards Dinners, and in the movie Groundhog Day.  I was fortunate enough to work with Mike and Joe for the homecoming of our troops from Desert Storm. Along with 5 or so other carvers we produced a red, white, & blue flag complete with 50 stars and an eagle on top. This sculpture was featured on the cover of NICA magazine 1994 or 1995. Many of the tables, bowls, and figures are also found on their website, www.mastroice.com .  This will certainly be a fun evening.

Also, there are Board positions opening up at the end of the year. More information will follow in an email blast.  Nominations will continue until our November meeting.  Finally, the November meeting will be a social meeting at Mac & Tozz in Bridgeville.  I hope to see many of you all at the meeting.

Fraternally,
Rikk Panzera CEC, CCE, AAC
ACFPC President

September 2017

Greetings Everyone,

I hope you all had a great summer. As of today it’s chilly and the temperature is pretty erratic! I guess it’s common for us.  Now that the weather is beginning to change, the last of the tomatoes, berries, squash, & fresh herbs from our gardens will make way for heartier foods that come along with the season.  New local fall crops such as root vegetables, apples, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, spinach, pumpkins, & squash are a sampling of what our area has to offer. For us in the north we start to move away from lighter fare and think warm items.  Hearty soups & game meats always come to mind.

I always look forward to this time of year. The natural change to fall colors is a short-lived, but special beauty, that unfolds before us.

On Monday 28 August, we were treated to a wonderful ACF general meeting at the Duquesne Club. Chef Cougheneour and his staff prepared very tasty appetizers for a pre-demonstration Hors D’ Oeuvres hour - simple and full of flavor.

Executive Pastry Chef William Racin CEPC, assisted by Kodi Mikiewicz, provided a demonstration about Molded Truffles. He prepared a Lemon Caramel Truffle and Pistachio Strawberry Truffle. He brought us through the entire process which, according to Chef Racin, can be a time consuming. The final products were not only a beautiful sight, but were bursting with flavor. The truffles were not too sweet and the various flavors in each truffle were complimentary. The use of plastic molds, spray glosses, and a variety of shapes has come a long way from the days of rolling round ones by hand. After the demonstration, Chef Racin had a dessert buffet set up with many varieties of truffles and candies. There was such a bounty, and the wait-staff brought out containers to take the delectable treats home.  I would like to thank Chefs Keith Coughenour, William Racin, and Kodi Mikiewicz and Dining Room Manager Tom Wahl of the Duquesne Club for creating such an interesting meeting.

Special thanks to Lisa Beiswenger, our webmaster, who livestreamed the demonstration on Facebook. Within 30 minutes there were over 225 views!! This is the first of our livestreamed presentations, and I hope we’ll see many more. She has it posted on our website and also on YouTube (https://youtu.be/B-j8BtIjTmA).

We also started the process of opening up nominations for the Board of Directors. All Officers and 4 board members positions are open. Jeff Whyle is the committee chairman for the elections.

Chef Inzinga will be having our bi-monthly “Anything Goes” competition. This month’s competition will be “Knife Skills” hosted by Chef Norman Hart of Pittsburgh Technical College. The competition will be sponsored by Cappi Hilyard of Dexter / Chef Revival.  Please contact Chef Inzinga at ainzinga@ccac.edu for further information.

Our November meeting will be at Mac & Tozz in Bridgeville, Chef Randy Tozzi’s new adventure. This meeting will be the last of the year, so it will be our social event.

Finally, I have to mention that our annual picnic was canceled due to unforeseen circumstances.

 

Fraternally,

Rikk Panzera, CEC, CCE, AAC
ACFPC President

August 2017

The AAC New Inductees.  Image from the Official ACF Flickr.  More photos available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/acfchefs/albums/72157684256086603

The AAC New Inductees.  Image from the Official ACF Flickr.  More photos available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/acfchefs/albums/72157684256086603

2017 Student Competition from the OfficialACF Flickr.  More images can be viewed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/acfchefs/albums/72157684100329943

2017 Student Competition from the OfficialACF Flickr.  More images can be viewed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/acfchefs/albums/72157684100329943

The 2017 Baron H. Galand Knowledge Bowl Competition.  Photo from the Official ACF Flickr.  More photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/acfchefs/albums/72157670753364232

The 2017 Baron H. Galand Knowledge Bowl Competition.  Photo from the Official ACF Flickr.  More photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/acfchefs/albums/72157670753364232

The 2017 Pastry Chef of the Year Competition.  From the Official ACF Flickr.  More photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/acfchefs/albums/72157684070235823/with/36140461275/

The 2017 Pastry Chef of the Year Competition.  From the Official ACF Flickr.  More photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/acfchefs/albums/72157684070235823/with/36140461275/

Hello Everyone,

            I hope everyone is having a great summer. It’s been wet to say the least, but still a good one so far.  Before I talk about the conference, the next General meeting will be held at the Duquesne Club on 28 August at 7:00 pm.  There will be a Pastry Presentation by William Racin the club's Exec. Pastry Chef. There will be Hors D’ Oeuvres and a cash bar prior to the presentation and a dessert buffet after. Please remember to dress appropriately business casual is required. No jeans, sneakers, or tee shirts. Parking & club entrance is on the 6th floor of the Liberty Ave garage.  

As I mentioned in my last letter, the ACF National Conference was held in Orlando at Disney Worlds Coronado Springs Resort, 09-13 July.  The accommodations were very comfortable and the weather was HOT & HUMID!

The conference started with hands on classes through out the day. These have an added expense added to them.  A few of these classes were: Fruit & Vegetable Carving, Ice Carving for Food and Beverage display, Authentic Peruvian Cuisine, ServSafe Managers Course, to name a few. The welcome reception that night was a very nice array of action and stationary stations. It was a time to meet new friends and see a few older ones.  

The conference was filled with many seminars, demos, and lectures all day from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.  The Opening Session was the usual 8:00-12:00 with three presenters: Emily Ellyn, Lorena Garcia, and Francisco Migoya.  Emily Ellyn shared her culinary journey which inspired her passion for food. Lorena Garcia, who is a Venezuelan born chef, Johnson & Wales Grad, restaurateur, and author, talked about traditional complex Latin cuisine and making it healthier. She also talked about “Big Chef, Little Chef, a non-profit program to help children and their families take control of their eating habits.  Francisco Migoya ModernistCuisines head chef discussed the innovative work that went the book Modernist Bread.  He showed and talked about the extensive research & development process as well as sharing the science and history of bread as well as the techniques and ingredients that will shape its future.  

Along with the great seminars, there was the business part as well. Budget and policy discussions and by-law word changes were among the topics covered.

Other seminars included Floridian Cuisine with Norman Van Aken, Finding time for Health, Fitness, & Future with Charles Carroll CEC, AAC and Eric the Trainer, Hollywood Physique Expert (who has ties to Pittsburgh). They discussed how to incorporate health and fitness into a daily routine. Andrew Nutter CCE, CCC of IUP discussed how to plan your career. Rich Rosendale talked about the importance of reinvention of your food and yourself. John Noble Masi, talked about treating your customers like guests and personalizing their experiences.

Other seminars included; allergen awareness, Savory Sauces Fruit inspired BBQ sauces, Bee Keeping, The New Healthcare Foodservice, Savor the Flavor by Costa Magoulas CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC, The Efficient Innovative Kitchen by Poly Science Culinary.

There was also the Jr. Culinary Team Competition, Knowledge Bowl Competition, National Chef of the Year, National Pastry Chef of the Year, and ACF Culinary Team 2020 Team Tryouts, as well as the ACF Trade show.

All in all I wish I could have seen more, but it’s impossible. On a personal note, the highlight for me was the AAC induction and Ceremony. I was truly humbled by the experience. 

Thank you,

Rikk Panzera, CEC, CCE, AAC
ACFPC President

           

July 2017

Chef Byron Bardy, Chef Scott Burkhart, Chef Richard Chene, Jeffery Whyle, and Chef Cindy Tuite

Chef Byron Bardy, Chef Scott Burkhart, Chef Richard Chene, Jeffery Whyle, and Chef Cindy Tuite

Chefs Bill Hunt and Art Inzinga

Chefs Bill Hunt and Art Inzinga

Some of the student members in the Next Gen Council

Some of the student members in the Next Gen Council

ACFPC President Rikk Panzera

ACFPC President Rikk Panzera

Hello Everyone,

Happy 4th of July to you all! I hope you’ve had a happy and safe holiday weekend. The weather gods were good to us and we had more sun than rain, which was great for the picnics.

On Monday 26 June, Chef Cindy Tuite and Bidwell Training Center hosted our meeting. Chef Bello did a wine and barbecue paring. Chef Buskey and students from Bidwell prepared the food for the tasting. There were 25 – 30 attendees. Thank you all for your help!

We also had our second meeting of the Next Gen Council. It was attended by 9 council members and 7 Board members. The Board members were impressed with the council member’s desire to keep the ACF an important part of our professional lives. The discussion centered how the council can assist in recruiting additional culinarians to become interested in the ACFPC. As we’ve mentioned in the past, this is a time when we need to embrace new ways of attracting additional members. It was interesting to watch; as we sat there talking about the importance of getting information out to our culinary community some of the council were on their phones sending out information they were discussing. This is what we need to keep us alive and well. Thank you council members for your belief in our organization and especially the ACFPC. Chef’s Bello and Buskey are the co-chairs of the committee. If anyone has any questions about the council, please contact either chef. I was pleased to see and hear the positive interaction and conversation.

As a reminder, there will not be a general meeting in July. Our next meeting will be 28 August. More information, including where it will be held will be forth coming.

The ACF National Conference in Orlando is being held July 9-13. I’ll be attending and representing our chapter at the Board of Governors meeting. It also marks a special date for Johan Meinke CEC and me. We will be inducted into the American Academy of Chefs. This marks a milestone for the both of us. As any AAC member knows, it’s a long time coming. Thank you to Chefs Richard Chene CEC, AAC and Tim Tain CEC, CCE, AAC who sponsored Johan and Art Inzinga CEC, CCE, AAC and Byron Bardy CMC, AAC who sponsored me. I also have to thank my mentor and very good friend of over 35 years, Fritz Sonnenschmidt CMC, AAC for his support and guidance throughout my career.

I wish you all a very happy and healthy Independence Day.

Fraternally,

Rikk Panzera CEC, CCE
ACFPC President