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The American Culinary Federation (ACF) was established in 1929 and is the largest professional chefs' organization in North America.
ACF, which was the progeny of the combined visions of three chefs' associations in New York, comprises more than 22,000 members in 230 chapters across the United States, and is known as the authority on cooking in America. Its mission is to make a positive difference for culinarians through education, apprenticeship and certification, while creating a fraternal bond of respect and integrity among culinarians everywhere. One of ACF's defining historical moments remains the ACF-led initiative that resulted in the upgrade of the definition of chef from domestic to professional in 1976. The ACF is a member of the World Association of Chefs Societies.
Culinary Competitions are a vital and evolving branch of the American Culinary Federation. Some competitions are single events taking place at ACF chapters. Whereas other student and professional competitions that include individual and team events engage in a rigorous qualifying process that begins at the local ACF chapter level, advances at the ACF Regional Conferences and culminates with the finals at the ACF National Convention. Regardless of the level, the purpose is the same-to continually raise the standards of culinary excellence in the USA while promoting camaraderie and educational opportunities among culinary professionals.
One of the many ACF Culinary competitions is the ACF Pastry Chef of the Year. The ACF Pastry Chef of the Year Award recognizes a pastry chef who has displayed a passion for the craft, has an accomplished reputation in the pastry field and has helped educate others by sharing skills and knowledge.
Founded in 1989 The Chef & Child Foundation seeks to "foster, promote, encourage and stimulate an awareness of proper nutrition in preschool and elementary school children", as well as fight against childhood obesity. Children benefit from the financial support which the foundation gives to other organizations which support childhood nutrition and obesity causes. They also support a yearly Chef & Child Day, where the ACF chapters from across the United States participate in local and national events to support children's causes.
The American Culinary Federation Chef & Child Foundation, Inc., focuses on the nutritional development of all of America's children in all economic segments. All children should learn how to cook and choose healthy foods. With many children living in homes with a single parent or with both parents working, children are cooking for their little brothers and sisters, and even for themselves and their parents.
ACF Culinary Team USA, a program of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), is the official representative team of the United States in major national and international culinary competitions. ACF Culinary Team USA comprises one national team of six members, two regional teams of five members each, and a youth team of five members less than 23 years old. The regional teams, considered a training ground for the national team, work with and assist the national team when they are not competing. ACF Culinary Team USA competes in many competitions including three major international culinary competitions: International Exhibition of Culinary Art (IKA) also known as the "Culinary Olympics", The American Culinary Classic, and Culinary World Cup.