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Minneapolis ACF Chapter Recognizes Chefs, Culinary Students

Amid courses of lamb sausage cassoulet and smoked beef tenderloin with blackened compound butter and herb potato pavé, the Minneapolis ACF Chapter hosted its annual Chef of the Year Awards Dinner at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine January 24, honoring its respected chefs and their achievements along with those of local culinary students.

Chef Robert Velarde was named the 2015 Chef of the Year, while Jeremiah Lanes was recognized as the Student Culinarian of the Year. 

Velarde, the kitchen manager at Concord Elementary in Edina through Chartwells School Dining Services, joined the ACF in 1997. Velarde became a certified executive chef in 2006 and is now the certification co-chair for the chapter. 

“Becoming a certified executive chef has opened job opportunities for me, as well as earning the respect of my peers,” he said. “Employers are looking for certified chefs because they know that certification means a benchmark of skills has been met and the applicant has the drive to succeed.”

Several other chefs also received awards:

Nathan Sartain—Educator of the Year

Daniel Cleary—CHEFFY  Award

Aaron Kneeland—CHEF Award

Daniel Harrison—Unsung Hero Award

Scott Parks—Steady “Eddie” Award

Daniel Cleary—Little Oscar Award

Angelo Montes—Most Valuable Chef 


Board of Governors Awards

Scott Parks

Angelo Montes

Daniel Cleary

Keith Huffman

John Van House

Scholarship Chef Coats 

Jeremiah Lanes received scholarships from American Fish & Seafood and Toby Tournament.

Anna Dzyubanyuk received scholarships from Colleen M. DeMars Fundraiser and Toby Tournament.

Lanes and Dzyubanyuk also received chef knife sets from Hormel Foodservice. 

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