Wednesday, November 12, 2008

R.H. Forschner by Victorinox sponsors
ACF Convention

R.H. Forschner by Victorinox, world renowned for its professional-grade cutlery, recently participated as a sponsor in the 2008 American Culinary Federation (ACF) National Convention in Las Vegas.

At the convention, an awards ceremony was held to honor various ACF members for their superior performance in several categories. As part of the R.H. Forschner by Victorinox sponsorship, winners of specific categories at the event were awarded R.H. Forschner by Victorinox chef’s sets, containing more than 20 pieces of cutlery and other implements. The winners of R.H. Forschner chef’s sets included: U.S.A.’s Chef of the Year Russell Scott III; National Pastry Chef of the Year R. Andrew Chlebana II, CEPC; National Chef Educator of the Year Wilfred Beriau (pictured, left, with Frank Curty, national accounts manager, R.H. Forschner by Victorino), CEC, CCE, AAC; Chef Professionalism Award winner Charles Carroll, CEC, AAC; Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award winner Roland Schaeffer, CEC, AAC, HOF; Student Culinarian of the Year JohnMichael F. Lynch; and National Student Team Champions Jeff Albers, Michael Castillo, Eva Raquel del Pilar Castanon, Gabriel Gomez, Robert Morales and coach Alex Darvishi, CEC.

City Tech professor Louise Hoffman honored with ‘Educator of the Year’ Award

New York City College of Technology (City Tech) Hospitality Management professor Louise Hoffman was named “Educator of the Year” by Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR).

Hoffman, an award-winning pastry chef, was honored "for inspiring a new generation of women chefs and restaurateurs through her passion, service and dedication." She began teaching at City Tech in 1993.

"As a formally trained studio artist, Louise marries the world of fine arts and pastry arts in her teaching," says Liz Schaible, chairperson of City Tech’s Department of Hospitality Management. "She provides a nurturing learning environment in which the pastry laboratory classroom is an artist’s studio, inspiring her students to be creative and grow."

The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Hoffman’s students are known in the industry for creating incredible pastry works of chocolate and sugar. Her former students include Sonia Heidel, an independent pastry entrepreneur (Augustin's Waffles); Monica Ng, a confectionery artist and pastry chef at Patroon; Thalia Warner, pastry cook at Ritz Carlton and wedding cake designer; and Zsuzsa Bugyi, general manager, Cinema Café. Among her current students are wedding cake designer Amanda Stiles and Ashley Alioto, an honors student working on confectionery research.

Hoffman, who took third place in the 2002 U.S. Pastry Competition, mentors students and alumni for competition work. Among those she is advising are alumni Ebow Dadzie '03, pastry sous chef at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan, who was named 2007 Pastry Chef of the Year at the U.S. Pastry Competition, and Anthony Smith '96, pastry chef, Cosmopolitan Club, Manhattan, both of whom will be competing next July in the National Pastry Competition.

Before becoming a City Tech faculty member, Hoffman was a line cook at the River Café and Montrachet, a chef at One If By Land, Two If By Sea and a baker at The New Prospect Bakery in Brooklyn and at The Cottage Street Bakery on Cape Cod.

Chef Monique Porche-Smith appointed to ACF committee

Chef Monique Porche-Smith, CPC, a member of the culinary faculty at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Atlanta, has been appointed to the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) Knowledge Bowl Development Committee. Responsibilities include work with the ACF national staff to identify new variations for the knowledge bowl game, developing questions based on applicable textbooks, and identifying improvements for the competition.

Chef Porche-Smith is a graduate of The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Atlanta, earning her associate degree in 2001 and her bachelor’s degree in culinary arts management in 2007. She is a full-time member of the culinary faculty, and a Certified Professional Chef (CPC) through the American Culinary Federation.

According to culinary arts department chair Chef Jim Gallivan, “Anytime a faculty member is asked by the ACF to help with one of its’ educational programs, it speaks to the excellent reputation of the Art Institute of Atlanta’s culinary program as well as to a faculty member’s industry credibility.”

ACF, a professional organization for chefs and cooks that works to promote the professional image of American chefs worldwide through education of culinarians at all levels, sponsors the annual Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, a competition including audio and video clues and challenges, an interactive Q&A session with the audience during breaks, prize giveaways, and more. Knowledge Bowl teams compete at their respective ACF Regional Conferences. The winning team from each region earns the right to contend for the national title during ACF's annual National Convention.