June 2018

Good morning everyone,

I hope this letter finds you all well. It seems like the weather went from cold to hot quickly and the seasons are not changing in the way they used to! I hope you had a nice Memorial Day weekend. Now that the official start of the summer season is here, many of you have started gearing-up for this busy time of year. There will be many parties, golf outings, picnics, and most likely weddings you’ll have to contend with. Along with that, a little travel. I hope you’ll find time to be with family as well.

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Our May general meeting was held on Monday the 21st at Common Plea Catering’s corporate offices on Penn Ave. Exec Chef Adam Gooch was kind enough to host the meeting, and he held nothing back. It was easy to see why Common Plea is one of the best caterers in Pittsburgh.  The facilities are newly renovated and have a show room on street level. They had stations set-up with hot and cold tastings along with freshly made ice cream.

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Keith Martin, owner of Elysian Fields Farms gave a descriptive timeline of how their lambs go from the raising & feeding to how it reaches our tables. I must say the quality of their product is superior and this is backed by the best restaurants, hotels, and clubs in the country that use Elysian Fields Lamb. Keith also mentioned they will be starting a program with the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.

The June Meeting will be held at Treesdale Country Club. The presentation will be held by Goat Rodeo Farms. It will also be an Anything Goes competition. This month will be Hors D’ Oeuvres featuring Goat Rodeo Cheese. Please go the website (https://acf-pittsburgh.squarespace.com/anything-goes-competition/) or Chef Art Inzinga for further information.  

The ACF National Conference will be held in New Orleans, LA form 15 – 19 July. If you are planning on going, you’ll need to hurry and make your reservations. It looks like it’s going to be a great conference.

Our ACFPC picnic will be held at Turners Farm lakes in Slicksville, PA on Sunday 22 July. There will be plenty for all to do. We’ll have lawn games and fishing in one of the two (2) lakes. We’ll post directions on the website (http://acfpittsburgh.org). As a reminder, July will not have a general meeting. Our next one will be in August at the Olive and Tap Room.  More information will follow.

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The last thing I would like to mention is that the ACFPC has lost one of our industry's finest members. L. Edwin Brown, HAAC, HHOF passed away on 25 May 2018. We posted the ACF’s message on our website. Uncle Ed, as he liked to be called, was responsible for the ACF’s first apprenticeship program at CCAC, which many of our chefs and chef/instructors are graduates of.  I remember the first time I met him, I knew who he was, but I had not met him.  Chef Inzinga and I were in Rochester, NY at the ACF NE Conference. Art introduced me to him, and he greeted me as if we were friends.  We spoke for a while. It was an honor to finally meet him. From that point, whenever we saw each other, he would say hello with a hand shake and a hug. He would always find time to ask how the ACFPC was doing and he wanted to know when our annual picnic was so he could come. He was the kind of person who not only cared about you, but if he knew your family, he would ask about them as well. Our chapter has had some of the finest chefs in the country and still does today. Uncle Ed was a special man, and if you were in his very large circle of friends you can consider yourself a lucky person. The last time I saw him was in St Augustine, FL at the 2017 National convention. I was inducted into the AAC and Uncle Ed sat at our table.  What a privilege!  So, Uncle Ed, our toques are off and here’s to you. You are truly a fine gentleman and mentor to many. Thank You.

Fraternally,
Rikk Panzera CEC, CCE, AAC
ACFPC President