Joined Dec 8, 1999
Seeing Layjo's and David Simpson's posts about the ACF got me thinking. The last person that I worked with that had belonged to the ACF, said that they (at least here in the Twin Cities) were more politically oriented than being about food. As in being a "who you know" thing vs. a "what you know" thing. Of course, I see where certification would help me in commanding a higher salary, but is the networking aspect really worth it?
Joined Aug 11, 2000
That's with acouple of the groups here. Some guys never think they are out of high school (or rather jr. high). Program chair is a pretty interesting job in most groups. I really enjoy that aspect, and in that way I get to answer my curiosity....If your group is "old boy" then they would probably be glad not to have the work. I've started bringing in the older junior ACF and recent cross overs to do classes/workshops for my various food groups. These guys are hungry and want to get in with others in the food community and we could use their energy. Each group I'm involved in has it's politics, even the one I founded....I go to the mission statements of each group and figure out if it's what I want to do.
****I like knowing the people in St. Louis and being able to pick up the phone and find resources my answer is yes, whether it's ACF or Chef's Collaborative or
WCR or ......

[This message has been edited by shroomgirl (edited 11-09-2000).]

[This message has been edited by shroomgirl (edited 11-09-2000).]
Joined May 29, 1999
An association does not a cook make!
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Not to belabor it....But isn't learning from others a major part of your growth as a cook?
To take information back to the kitchen and work it into a usable form for you....

Associations in my mind are other people hopefully with like interests and goals.

There are societies (closed unless your invited), clubs, groups etc....each set-up round a mission statement (if not run the other way)>

Meeting people in the food world not only gives me short-cuts but pick up a phone and ask a friend who is on first name basis with you for information or help is a short cut in the learning curve. IE
I'm setting up a marketing workshop for the farmers involved at the market next year...I made 2 calls, 1) to the head of dietics at SLU to see if their marketing dept would be interested in running it 2) our exstention agent to see if there is information and funding available
I can call board members I've worked with on differnet committees and ask if they would like to collaborate on bringing in guest speakers to increase the #'s on events.
I can call the owner of a cheese distribution center to see if we can run a class on farm cheeses next Spring.
I can call 20 kitchens and ask the chefs if they want to host an event.
I can call in mycologists to do a foray onto some of the farms to identify wild mushrooms to sell next year.
Personally I am interested in Missouri's support of Monsanto and vise versa.....funding for small farms is almost impossible to access....the head speaker at our State Ag Conference is Monsanto. I wouldn't have known this if a good friend had not know my interest and informed me of the conference.....NETWORKING call it what you will it works for me. Hopefully improving access to local sustainable products (my misson statement)
Joined Oct 12, 1999
Well I belive that you make yourself a cook because you want to! I started in culinary school just going to classes and to work afterwards- day in and day out. And I was told about the local ACF chapter(s) that were in place. The ACF is a big organization of foodservice related workers, but you get the most out of the local things that take place. When I finally decided to join, I went to the meeting and saw the different formalities that the "officers" speak and report on. Then we would have an education segment at the end of the meeting, which I very much enjoyed. And we were asked if there were any ideas for future education segments. Throughout the the time I was a member, I got more involved and got acquainted with the regulars at the meetings.(Chefs, cooks, students, purveyors ect...) Before I knew it I was sometimes volunteering (and sometimes got paid if applicable) to help out with gourmet dinners, demonstrations, food shows, home and garden conventions, food competitions, fund raisers for charity, interaction with other local culinary schools. All this from being a part of the local chapter. I will say this..I belive you get success out of your career depending on what you put forth to it. And if there is an avenue that can reinforce or aid in progression of knowledge then its worth it. Are local chapter's main concern, from what I've notice is education, education, and continuing education. We converse and interact in much the same way we do cheftalk. It has open up new paths for me to walk in to, so that in the future I can once again take that path with confidence. But I guess it's all up to the individual if they think they need to associate or not.

[This message has been edited by layjo (edited 11-11-2000).]
Joined Aug 14, 2000
I've been in the ACF for 20 years. And I have heard all these arguments for 20 years. There are those who will tell you it's a good ole boy outfit. Those are the same folks who want to stand around after the meetings and complain that nothing happens.

Then there are those who get involved and make it better. I have seen chapters all across the country. Everything from 4 chefs who meet in a room at Howard Johson's (a hotel room, not a banquet room) with a bustub of beer, to the Orlando chapter who's monthly meetings were bigger affairs than most other chapter's annual banquets.

If you get involved, you can make your local ACF chapter whatever you want it to be. Volunteer to do cooking demos, or get purveyors to talk about their area of expertiese.

The ACF has been a great resource for me. I have gotten my CEC certification and I traveled all over the world as a representative of the ACF on the Culinary Team- learning a lot along the way.
Joined Jul 18, 2000
perhaps its just me. If no one was there to train you, where would you be.

If no one gave you a start, where would you be.

Realistically, given that the support came from who trains you, a network or just someone you knew, where would you be.

A network of ppl who have similar interests who involve others in their situation can only increase opportunities, so realy, there shouldnt be any complaint of what others can or will do on their behalf.

Im rather lucky, being a part of the NSW TAFE system (australia) that i dont really have to join such a association (but i do have the choice).

No one is born a chef or cook or whatever, and you have to start somewhere. Any assistance given is always appreciated.

[This message has been edited by Nick.Shu (edited 11-15-2000).]
Joined Jul 18, 2000
i must admit however, if you are a inferior cook or chef or just plain s**thouse, then it will never matter what association that you are party to, because you will never "cut the mustard" (heheh, excuse the pun).

You have to remember, 9/10 times, a reputation will proceed you, after all, why do ex employers give references?
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