June 26, 2017 - Joe Bello at Bidwell Training Center

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. 

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 their professional lives. The discussion centered how the council can assist in recruiting additional culinarians to become interested in the ACFPC. 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. 

Photo Credit: Kathleen Garland

May 22, 2017: Market Basket Competition at Gordon Food Service

On May 22, our general meeting was at the amazingly impressive Gordon Food Service Distribution Center.  The meeting included a live-cooking competition with a stunning market pantry of items provided by Gordon Food Service.  The competitors were Robbie Powell from the Art Institute, Raymon Mender from CCAC, Jared Lordon from IUP and head chef at Social, and Trisha Butler from Bidwell Training Center.  The competitors were required to include chicken, a green vegetable, a root vegetable, and a sauce as part of their dish.  The competition was extremely close, but Jared Lordon's dish stood out and made him the winner.

  • First Place winner: Jared Lordon - Seared Chicken Breast with sautéed kale, sauce soubise, purple carrot, rosemary gastrique, and fine herbs.
  • Robbie Powell - Drumstick of chicken with sauce with root vegetables and oblique cut style carrots with green beans
  • Trisha Butler - mushroom, tomato, tenderloin, and basil stuffed chicken breast with grilled asparagus and toasted fingerling potatoes
  • Raymond Mender - chicken ballotine with mushrooms and gremolata seasoned with cayanne pepper and lemon juice. Grilled asparagus with lemon garlic sauce and pan-roasted potatoes seasoned with fine herbs and garlic

After the competition and announcement of the winner, guests were given a tour of the facilities.  Thank you to our hosts, Gordon Food Service, as well as our judges Chefs Johan Meinke, Scott Burkhart, Bill Hunt, and John Selick.  Congratulations to all of the competitors.

The stunning market pantry provided by Gordon Food Service

The stunning market pantry provided by Gordon Food Service

Robbie Powell, Jared Lordon, and Trisha Butler cooking. Trisha is speaking to floor judge Johan Meinke.

Robbie Powell, Jared Lordon, and Trisha Butler cooking. Trisha is speaking to floor judge Johan Meinke.

Winner: Jared Lordon - Seared Chicken Breast with sautéed kale, sauce soubise, purple carrot, rosemary gastrique, and fine herbs.

Raymond Mender - chicken ballotine with mushrooms and gremolata seasoned with cayanne pepper and lemon juice. Grilled asparagus with lemon garlic sauce and pan-roasted potatoes seasoned with fine herbs and garlic

Robbie Powell - Drumstick of chicken with sauce with root vegetables and oblique cut style carrots with green beans

Trisha Butler's dish - mushroom, tomato, tenderloin, and basil stuffed chicken breast with grilled asparagus and toasted fingerling potatoes

Judges - Scott Burkhart, Bill Hunt, and John Selick

Judges - Scott Burkhart, Bill Hunt, and John Selick

Competitors and judges for the event - Art Inzinga, Jared Lordon (winner), Raymond Mender, Trisha Butler, Scott Burkhart, Johan Meinke, Robbie Powell, and John Selick

Competitors and judges for the event - Art Inzinga, Jared Lordon (winner), Raymond Mender, Trisha Butler, Scott Burkhart, Johan Meinke, Robbie Powell, and John Selick

April 24, 2017: Pirata in Market Square

Last Monday, April 24, we had our general / social meeting at Pirata in Market Square. Pirata is a great Caribbean-style restaurant with interesting food, over 100 different rums, and Pirates of the Caribbean on the television for aesthetic benefit! Chef Josh Ross hosted the evening. Chef Ross talked about his background and how he came to Pirata. as well as the concept the owners wanted to achieve. I was able to tour the kitchen, and the spatial design is just right for this style of food. They use all fresh ingredients and the only freezer is a single door by a small walk in.  Our meeting was attended by 30 or so members. Chef Inzinga announced that the next Anything Goes competition will be in May at Gordon Foods. This will be a live competition using food supplied by Gordon’s products.

March 27, 2017: Dessert Pies Competition and Callebaut Chocolate at CCAC

Our March General meeting was at CCAC, hosted by Chef Inzinga. Dan Berman from Callebaut Chocolates presented a video on the production of chocolates from the farm through the processing. He explained that the cacao beans from Callebaut are sourced from smaller privately owned plantations. His company has spent millions of dollars on irrigation & sanitation on all of the plantations. Along with his presentation, there was 8-10 various chocolates from around the world for us to taste. Chocolate tasting can is like wine tasting. All the varieties had different notes of berries, nuts, and even bitterness.

At the March monthly meeting of the ACF Pittsburgh Chapter, we had 7 students enter the “Anything Goes” competition. The theme of the competition was Dessert Pies. Entering the competition were:

  • Abbey Bartrug, a student at CCAC.
  • Trisha Butler, a student at Bidwell Training Center
  • Kathleen Garland, student at Bidwell Training Center
  • Richard Grabowski, a student at Bidwell Training Center
  • Sara Heenan, a pastry cook at the Duquesne Club
  • Katherine Marshall, a student at CCAC
  • Kodi Mikiewicz, a pastry cook at the Duquesne Club

The competition was judged by Chefs, Scott Burkhart, and Dan Berman, and Bill Hunt.

Results of the competition:

  • 1st Place: Sara Heenan, Lemon Blueberry Pie
  • 2nd Place: Kodi Mikiewicz, Mudslide Pie
  • 3rd Place: Katherine Marshall, Port Poached Apple Pie

Chef Inzinga and his students made Chicken Burritos to order, and the pies were available for tasting.

We had about 25 attendees, some were old friends from my years at PA Culinary. It was great seeing these friends again.

February 27, 2017: Allison Feldstein at Walnut Grill

This meeting was held at Walnut Grill in Fox Chapel and was hosted by Jody Mawhinney, Corporate Trainer for Walnut Grill. At the meeting, Allison Feldstein of Saul Ewing, LLP presented on new health laws in the food service industry.

February 19, 2017: ACFPC Awards Gala at Sewickley Heights Golf Club

On Sunday, ACFPC held our Annual Awards Gala at Sewickley Heights Golf Club. At the gala, we celebrated some of the people who make our organization great.

  • Our Purveyor of the Year is Mike Rykaceski from Sesco.

  • Chef Martin Thomas, the mastermind behind the evening's dinner, received the Nicholas Colletti Professionalism award.

  • Chef Keith Coughenour was awarded the highest honor of the night, Chef of the Year.

    At the reception, we had a Empanada and Ceviche Experience with Chorizo & Potato, Shrimp & Tomato, Pork & Raisin, and Spicy Potato & Peanut Empanadas. The Ceviche included Mackerel Seviche with Tomatoes & Chiles, Peruvian Ceviche with Leche De Tigre, and Brazilian Marinated Squid. Other hors d'oeuvres

    included Oaxacan Style Tamale, Salt Cod Fritters of Puerto Rico, and Jicama Crudité with Lime & Chile

    Dinner was stunningly beautiful. We started with Roasted Poblano Crema with Pepitas and Spicy Greens. The salad course was a Heart of Palm Salad with Queso Fresco, Frijoles, Sherry Lime Vinaigrette. We also had a choice of entrees

  • Short Ribs with Rosemary Chocolate Sauce, Pumpkin Coconut Gratin, Sautéed Quinoa and Chard

  • Red Snapper Veracruz (Seafood Option)

  • Toasted Fideos, Roasted Vegetables & Winter Greens with Vanilla & Ancho Chiles Scented Broth by Chef Martin Thomas

    We ended the night with Dulce Latino: Alfajore, Peruvian Rice Pudding with Coconut Chocolate Chile Flan, Caramel Sauce

    The evening was also included fundraiser for the Chef William Foust Educational Scholarship which benefits the future generation of chefs.

January 30, 2017: Small Scale Maple Syrup Production at Bidwell Training Center

At our January meeting, Gary, Margaret, and Lisa Beiswenger spoke about the art of Small-Scale Maple Syrup Production at Bidwell Training Center.

About five years ago, Gary and Margaret Beiswenger embarked on a journey to make the perfect maple syrup.  Over the years, they have honed their craft and now produce a couple of gallons of superb maple syrup every year.  If you're curious about maple syrup production, but missed the January meeting, Lisa created a PowerPoint lecture to walk you through the process.  Samples of maple water, maple syrup, maple sugar, and maple cookies were provided by the Beiswengers.  Chef Brian Buskey and the students at Bidwell also created a special maple syrup themed menu for attendees.

Watch the lecture The Art of Small-Scale Maple Syrup Production here:

November 28, 2016: Autumn Entree Soups Competition at Pittsburgh Technical College

On November 28, we had our last general meeting for the year. The meeting was hosted by Chef Norman Hart, CEC, CCE, AAC at Pittsburgh Technical College. He, the faculty, and their students did a great job. We were treated to a nice charcuterie display as well as dessert and cookies, all prepared by the students at PTC.

It was attended by 20-25 people. At the meeting, we had 5 students enter the “Anything Goes” Autumn Entrée Soups competition. The entrants were:

  • First place: Trisha Butler, a student at Bidwell Training Center, who prepared a Rustic Pear & Potato Soup.
  • Second place: Nicole Grback, a student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, entered her Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup with Barley.
  • Third place: Mark Zengler, a student at Bidwell Training Center, who served his Sausage and Cheddar Oktoberfest Soup.
  • Lynn Gales, a student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, who prepared Velvet Roasted Pumpkin Soup.
  • Robert Powell, a student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, who prepared a Puree of Peanut soup.

The competition was judged by Chefs Johan Meinke, Scott Burkhart, and Derek Perrone.  Thank you to all of the entrants, Pittsburgh Technical College, Chef Hart, and the judges for making this event a success.

First place: Trisha Butler, a student at Bidwell Training Center, who prepared a Rustic Pear & Potato Soup.

Second place: Nicole Grback, a student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, entered her Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup with Barley.

Third place: Mark Zengler, a student at Bidwell Training Center, who served his Sausage and Cheddar Oktoberfest Soup.

Pictures Left to Right: Robert Powell, a student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, who prepared a Puree of Peanut soup; Lynn Gales, a student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, who prepared Velvet Roasted Pumpkin Soup; the five competitors: Mark Zengler, Trisha Butler, Robert Powell, Nicole Grback, and Lynn Gales with competition organizer Chef Art Inzinga; The judges, competition organizer, and competitors for the Autumn Soups Anything Goes Competition: Judge Scott Burkhart, Robert Powell, Competition Organizer Art Inzinga, Nicole Grback, Judge Johan Meinke, Lynn Gales, Trisha Butler, Mark Zengler, and Judge Derek Perrone; Charcuterie, dessert, and cookies prepared by the students at Pittsburgh Technical College; Chef Rikk Panzera giving Chef Norm Hart a copy of Inspire for hosting the November 2016 meeting

Photo Credit: Kathleen Garland

October 24, 2016: Mike Rykaceski at Concept Foods

On Monday, October 24, our general meeting was hosted by Concept Foods in Carnegie. Mike Rykaceski and Jayme Schneider, Exec Chef, introduced the new line of Rational Ovens. In short, you can do anything in these ovens. Their capabilities are so advanced the only thing they don’t do is to eat the food for you!   Jayme & Mike prepared roasted asparagus, red “B” potatoes, beef tenderloin, and shrimp all prepared in the Rational Oven. I would suggest going online to see just what this oven can do. It’s truly impressive.  https://www.rational-online.com/o/in/products/produkte_neu/der_neue_rational/index.html

Raquel Fava Rockwell & Alisa Fava Fasnacht of Emerald Valley Artisans of Washington, PA talked about their farm, the cheese making process, and how they choose the cows for the milk they use. We were also treated to a few of their cheeses. The cheese was fantastic; the flavor was robust and texture was creamy.

At the meeting, Chef Inzinga talked about the Anything Goes competition next month at Pittsburgh Technical College, hosted by Chef Hart. The competition’s theme is autumn soups. Judging will begin at 6:15.  Competitors should arrive in time to heat soup, plate, and clean up.  The general meeting begins at 7:00.  Competitors should bring their own bowls and pot for heating their soup.  They should be prepared to serve 4 entrée sized portions. 

September 26, 2016: Bak'n

September was a good month for our general meeting. It was a time for celebration and fellowship. The meeting was a social gathering held at Bak’n in Carnegie.  Bak’n is owned by Chef Randy Tozzi CEC, and for the event, Chef Tozzi opened the restaurant especially for us on his day off.  As expected, the food and libations were great and did not let us down.  We also used this event as an opportunity to finally celebrate the retirement of two of our long time members:  Johan Meinke CEC and Chuck Baux CEC, CCE.  Both have served the ACFPC for over 30 years.  Congratulations Chuck and Johan, and thank you Chef Tozzi and the Bak’n staff.

Photo Credit: Kathleen Garland