This August, the American Culinary Federation will have its first woman president, its first Black president and its first president to come from the pastry side of the kitchen: Kimberly Brock Brown.
It’s a pretty big change for the ACF, a 92-year-old organization with more than 15,000 members that has been fostering education with mystery basket-style competitions long before the creation of Top Chef. It was also through the ACF’s efforts that the United States government reclassified being a chef as a profession rather than a trade.
But in recent decades the association had developed a reputation of being rather slow-moving and Byzantine, and also mostly white.
That has changed somewhat in recent years as outreach beyond the ACF’s core membership of country club and hotel chefs and culinary educators has led to a diverse makeup within its 170 chapters nationwide. Two recent presidents, Michael Ty and Stafford DeCambra, also are people of color.
In this video, Brock Brown discusses her plans for her two-year tenure and the importance of pastry chefs. She also has some advice for young cooks.
Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary