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Local ACF Chapter Celebrates 50 Years, Recognizes Chefs



Daniel Cleary, the ACF Minneapolis Chef of the Year, with wife Theresa.

An American Culinary Federation chapter that’s been around for 50 years has lots to cheer about, and members of the Minneapolis chapter did just that during their annual awards dinner January 29.

From its founding in 1967 as the Midwest Chefs’ Society (check out the April issue for a history spotlight), the ACF Minneapolis Chefs Chapter has worked to support and grow the culinary profession. Part of that includes honoring its respected chefs and their achievements along with those of local culinary students.

Chef Daniel Cleary was named 2016 Chef of the Year, while Jeremiah Lanes earned his second consecutive Student Chef of the Year award.

“He’s truly a trailblazer,” said Robert Velarde, last year’s Chef of the Year, as he presented the award to Cleary. “He’s represented our chapter as a true professional.

“I wasn’t expecting this; this is awesome,” said Cleary, the executive chef at Park Tavern in St. Louis Park as he donned his new chef coat and medal. “I love this chapter—this is what I’m all about.”

Several chefs and students were recognized (see below) and outgoing President Chris Dwyer introduced the new board members: President Gary Hjellming, Vice President Daniel Cleary, Secretary Robert Velarde and Treasurer Virgil Emmert. 


ACF Minneapolis Chefs Chapter Awards

Daniel Cleary, Chef of the Year, given by Rancher’s Legacy Meat Co.
Trent Anderson, C.H.E.F. Award
Patrick Conway, Steady Eddie Award
Rancher’s Legacy Meat Co., Little Oscar Award
Keith Huffman, Most Valuable Chef
Tim Nelson, Unsung Hero Award 
Luke Siedow, Impact Player Award
Denny Cowen and Gretchen Dorn, Educator of the Year awards
Aaron Kneeland, C.H.E.F.F.Y. Award
Jeremiah Lanes, Student Chef of the Year, given by American Fish & Seafood

 

Chairman of the Board Awards

Daniel Vasterling
Virgil Emmert 
Trent Anderson
Aaron Kneeland

 

Scholarship Chef Coats

Shelley Lueckawarded by CMD Celebration
Victoria Morganawarded by Maple Leaf Farms
Sofia Dzyubanyukawarded by Bix Produce
Mickey Cupkieawarded by Compart Family Farms
Nick Lentzawarded by Reinhart Foodservice
Matthew Cupkie, Emily Pollock, Shelley Lueck, Jeremiah Lanes, Victoria Morgan, Sofia Dzyubanyuk, Nick Lentz, Mickela Cupkie, Mickey Cupkieawarded by Toby Landgraf Foundation

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