Chef's Blog

November 6, 2019


from Minor's

At the 29th annual American Culinary Federation (ACF) Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award Luncheon, four outstanding regional winners were recognized for the way they honor the culinary craft in their daily efforts. Chef Christopher McCook, representing the Southeast Region; Chef Tuan Raphael, representing the Western Region; Chef Brian Beland, representing the Central Region; and Chef Richard Hoffman, representing the Northeast Region. We congratulate all of these incredible chefs on being recognized regionally, and Chef Hoffman for also being named the 2019 national winner.

Chef Hoffman is a Corporate Executive Chef, CEC, CCA, AAC, CDM, CFPP. His passion for the culinary arts, and for mentoring, is evident as he talks about leading culinary training. Says Chef Hoffman, “To be the best you can be, you have to let go of all the preconceived notions, opening yourself up for opinions and critique of what you do every day—it’s how we learn.” Meeting with diverse chefs and culinarians on an ongoing basis, Chef Hoffman recognizes that he’s constantly learning from those he works with and teaches. His heart seems to lead every effort, from the creation of nourishing meals to the retention of employees to the reason he became a chef in the first place, “People outside of our industry don’t understand why we do what we do. I don’t even know if I can explain it, but every chef knows why. That is the secret of being a chef.”

The theme for this year’s awards program was Honoring the Craft. This is a sentiment that was first recognized by Dr. L.J. Minor as he worked to elevate the status of chefs and cooks across the country. Voted on by ACF members, the Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award honors the chef who has shown the highest standard of professionalism through certification, continuation education and training, culinary competition and community involvement. Rich Sandone, Director of Minor’s Chef2Chef team, who has been part of the presentation of this award for the past three years recognized that all of these regional winners honor the spirit of Dr. L.J. Minor in their own way. Said Sandone, “[This is] a craft that we all fell in love with and wanted to be a part of, with eyes wide open knowing the commitment it would take to be a professional at the highest level. Our four regional finalists are being honored today because of the commitment to their profession and to The Craft.”

To the Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award winners—to 2019 National Winner Chef Richard Hoffman—and to those who honor the craft in every culinary effort, we extend our sincere appreciation and wish you continued success.

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