February 2018 - Message from the President


Hello Everyone,

I hope this letter finds you in good spirits.  We started this year with an exciting meeting at The Capital Grille. Executive Chef Donato Coluccio CEC did a presentation on aging meat. He discussed the process of dry aging vs wet aging. He talked about the benefits of both as well as the taste value of each. He had three (3) sirloins aged for different times. He explained dry aging is minimum of 18 – 35 days at 36* open & unwrapped, post mortem to market. Wet aging is 7-10 days post mortem up to 21 days. Chef prepared tastings of the various steaks.  He also mentioned that there are some customers who want steaks aged longer than 35 days. This is special and not for everyone.

He removed both ends of each sirloin. He said they give about 12,000 pounds of the beef trim per year to the homeless shelters. He demonstrated cutting the sirloins into NY steaks and trimmed them to Capital Grille specs.

The steaks were simply seasoned and grilled from rare to medium rare doneness. The flavors of the steaks had their own identity and flavor. All were very good and as you might expect, the longer dry aged had the tendency to be a little drier, so undercooking these items was important to retain as much moisture as possible.

I have to say it was exciting seeing such a large turn out. I saw friends from years past as well as meeting new ones. We topped out at 60+ guests with standing room only.  I heard from a few of you saying they enjoyed the presentation and thought it was very informative. I would like to thank Chef Coluccio for hosting the meeting and sharing his knowledge. I would also like to thank Bob Hruby, Meat Specialist at Stockyard Meats (retired), a division of US Foods, for his comments and knowledge on meat. Bob has been a supporter of the ACFPC for many years.

Our next meeting will be held at CCAC, Jones Hall 808 Ridge Ave on Monday 19 February at 7:00pm hosted by Chef Inzinga. This meeting will be earlier than normal do to the ACF Regional conference in Charlotte, NC at the end of the month. This will be our first Anything Goes Competition of the year. The competition is open to all student and junior members. The theme is “Dessert Cheesecake.” Please visit our website ( https://acf-pittsburgh.squarespace.com/anything-goes-competition ) for details and contact Chef Inzinga ( ainzinga@ccac.edu ) if you would like to compete. There will also be a presentation titled "The Science of Flavors" by Chef George M. Sideras CEC, AAC, HGT of Nestles. The presentation will define the components of flavor, explain the science behind how we taste and experience flavor, and it will include demonstrations. This is sure to be an exciting and very informational meeting.

Our Annual Awards dinner will be held at St Clair Country Club on Sunday 11 March at 5:00pm. Exec Chef Shawn Culp CEC, WACSMC, MBA will head the team for what looks like an exciting evening. The invitation information is available on the website at https://acf-pittsburgh.squarespace.com/2018-gala. Please remember that your reservations will need to be made online prior to the event.

Finally, as I’m writing this, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow which means we’ll have six more weeks of winter!

Stay warm and I hope to see you at CCAC.

Rikk Panzera CEC, CCE, AAC
ACFPC President