Last night I had the privilege of attending my first meeting of the American Culinary Federation-Kansas City Chefs Association. It was an Iron-Chef themed meeting where 5 area chefs prepared dinners from a mystery market basket and we were able to vote on our favorite. I knew three of the 5 competing chefs - one of them is one of my instructors. Chef Jerry Marcellus is one of my favorite instructors and his offering of braised beef with an orange glaze was so incredibly yummy, he had my vote at first bite! Others competing were Chef Matt Chatfield from the Culinary Center and Chef Peter (who's last name escapes me) who had been a guest chef in my American Regional class.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the host for the evening, Chef Russ Muhlburger, asked for Chefs to volunteer to compete next year. Yvette and I inquired about the possibility of a student team and he seemed genuinely interested. He also made mention of the fact that he'd been considering throwing together a fund-raising competition for a worthy charity. I tossed Jennifer Smith's name out there (Jennifer is from Autism Speaks) and I was quickly reminded just how many connections she and and I have as Chef Russ smiled and said, "Of course, I know Jennifer." I told him our idea of the culinary competition as a fund-raising mechanism and he was really quite jazzed about the idea. So, we now have Chef Russ as well as Chef Renee Kelly on board!
Back to the meeting... it was announced that ACFKC night at the Royals would be June 28th. I'm buying tickets so that the kids can experience a "tailgate" with some of the top culinary names in Kansas City. This is incredibly exciting to me... I don't think they get it. =)