The Great Hall
Grand Master Chefs Association The Great Hall: Grand Master Chefs Association
By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Sunday, August 04, 2002 - 11:08 pm: Edit

Has anyone heard of the Grand Master Chefs Association of America? Do they have a website? My searches have been fruitless.

By Mbw (Mbw) on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 12:31 pm: Edit


I don't qualify anyway.. Sounds costly.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 01:43 pm: Edit

Nah..only the Grand Pubba Assn.

By Sam (Sam) on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 07:35 pm: Edit

there is an international master chefs association, I think you can access thru the wacs to my knowledge there is no grand master chefs association in this country, all of the certified master chefs (US) are certified by the ACF....sam sears, cec

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 07:42 pm: Edit

Hey, chefgbs...they meet in my backyard.
They told me to say Hi.

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 08:52 pm: Edit


I said master chefs, not master debaters.


Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, there is a chapter in California. I'm not looking to join. I am of the same opinion as Groucho Marx - "I would never want to belong to a club that would allow me in as a member."

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 09:16 pm: Edit

I told you....
LA, California.
My back yard........

By Sam (Sam) on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 10:11 pm: Edit

dear chef gbs, well for a number of years (about 20+) I did not want to be an "association type person", lots of other things to occupy my time with, but joining & participating (that is the key) in the ACF, has done nothing be enhance my career & my outlook toward my profession, but that just my thoughts....good luck...sam sears, cec

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 11:13 pm: Edit

Hi Sam,

I've always thought of joining the ACF, but was turned off by the old boys club/network which has always given me the heebie jeebies. Have things changed? How has the ACF helped your career?



By Sam (Sam) on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 09:47 pm: Edit

I've found that there are still some "ole boys" network, but they are a dwindling bunch, the new nat't president is only 42 or so & a real "chef's chef" far as my career, you get to network with chefs from every walk of life, in a non competitive enviroment, we all seem to be free with our knowledge, I"ve made many "friends" that we trade equipment & food back & forth, send each other buisness, had great times & learned a lot from endless national & regional competitions, the absolute BEST nat'l convention of any of the "foodie" associations & by far the most economical....but you only get out of an association, what you put into it...I preach to lots of young people that I believe it was a mistake for me not to have become affliated when I was younger,,,,but in life we are all still students.....sam

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 05:48 am: Edit

Thanks Sam.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 05:57 am: Edit

ACF has gotten much better since they decided to put Chefs in the national office as opposed to clerical help that had no clue as to what the industry was about and, treated the membership like s***!
In my opinion it's 1000% better these days!
Especially with the certificationprocess!

By George (George) on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 08:45 am: Edit

Just to follow up on what Sam said-
...I preach to lots of young people that I believe it was a mistake for me not to have become affiliated when I was younger,,,,

I think folks that are starting out or just beginning to move up can get the most out of the ACF.

It exposes you to the players in your area and if you are looking to move around the country it gives you a foot in the door in every market. One often overlooked asset of an ACF chapter is that even if all the local Chefs can't do meetings regularly because they are busy working, friends of theirs are there and the Sysco type guys are there. The local Sysco type folks know who is looking for help and more about the local scene than just about anyone because they are constantly going from kitchen to kitchen.


By Point83702 (Point83702) on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 01:45 pm: Edit

My experience with the A.C.F. has not been very positive. I've seen "chefs" promise to sign off on all of a cooks experience if he'll work for them ("come work with me, I'll get you certified.") I've interviewed "chefs" active in the local chapter who couldn't name mother sauces. I worked for a certified chef who has been an executive chef for several years and didn't know how to calculate a monthly food cost. Another active member referred to one of their strengths on a resume as garmachy. I later found out they meant garde manger. In the last three years I've worked with five graduates of ACF accredited culinary schools and have watched them proof puff pastry, try to whip cream over a hot water bath, take a plastic cryo that had a striploin in it out of the garbage to get blood to finish a sauce, and thats not to mention all the creative outlets these young "artists" need. Whether it's adding demi to hollandaise for eggs benedict or espresso to the demi for service. They want to cook the food that's in art culinaire before they can cut steaks accurately. I mean they did graduate from a program that told them they were an artist. Let them create and let somebody else execute those skills that define a chef. Too many titles, too many diplomas, too many young people that went to culinary school after high school and will tell you how they've paid their dues in the two years they've been cooking. They may not know how to french a rack of lamb, but they know what they want to get paid. I'm glad that so many of you have had such a positive experience with the ACF, but in my experience it celebrates paying annual dues in the mail more than professional dues in a kitchen.

By Chefacec (Chefacec) on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 02:21 pm: Edit

I couldn't agree any more...I've seen similiar things myself. I was an active member for years, and had to get out because of the reasons you mentioned. Maybe you should check Chef's from Hell. The anti-ACF

By George (George) on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 04:47 pm: Edit

First the ACF is far from perfect. In fact the most vocal and persistent complainers are active members that no matter the party in power says, they will take the opposite position, regardless of what the topic is. That's just the nature of some folks. Keeps them entertained.

Point83702 you have two basic points. 1- That a chef made promises to falsify documents to get someone certification to get them to sign on to a job. That should have been an immediate clue to run away from that job. If he'll lie about something like that, that's how he probably got his certification, and he'd lie or cheat to an employee without thinking twice. Any person that would take a position with that type of promise gets what they deserve. The main problem with any organization or type or certification is that they are made up of and conducted by people, and there are folks of questionable character EVERYWHERE.

As to the second and larger point it deals with culinary programs as a whole, not just ACF ones. Of course new culinary grads with little, no or minimal experience know next to nothing and think they are ready to rule the culinary world (wherever that is). Folks that really know a lot about any topic realize how little they know.

All that said this is an argument from about 5 years ago. Just about everyone that runs a kitchen or runs a HR department that hires staff is familiar with, and quickly discounts a culinary diploma or certificate and looks at real work experience, not medals, diplomas or certifications. The diploma or certification just gets you in the door and gives you an edge over folks with similar experience.

The only point I (or the others with a positive slant) are trying to make is that there is some benefit from the networking you can get through a chapter.

Just one guys opinion...


By Corey (Corey) on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 05:40 pm: Edit

ya, out here you know what they call a culinary school grad? a potwasher.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 06:20 pm: Edit

Point has a point but, it (ACF) also has some good benefits like George mentioned also.
It is good for networking.
It's like school, you get out of it what you put into it...crappy membership means a crappy chapter, professional membership means a great chapter!!!!!

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 06:56 pm: Edit

Okay. Does anyone here have anything to say about the ACF Hudson Valley Chapter? Or is there a chapter in northwest Connecticut?

I remember going to a couple of meetings when I was at school and I did not think very much of them at the time. Maybe it was because I was a hot shot know it all student. Right George?

By Sam (Sam) on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 08:17 pm: Edit

just my two cents also, yes in any group there are some bad apples, so to speak, but like I said you get no more than you put in, as for the certification business, when there are unscrupulous members of our profession, I can think of no "fool proof" method to "weed out" all the players, but the nat'l office does their best to validate everyones creditionals....and yes I have worked with some culinary grads who couldn't boil water without directions OR asked where the recipe is for " Soup DuJour"...LOL,,,but I must say that in our small chapter there are many well qualified individuals who give of their time to help other members & our junior members,,,,but nothing is perfect!....just my thoughts...sam

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Saturday, August 10, 2002 - 10:55 am: Edit

let me chime in here.
altho, my experience with these groups has been
disappointing. i do think that, had I participated more, I would have had a better long term experience. There may be much to learn.
It does not hurt to go to the meetings a couple of times to check it out. I do believe that they should get a better apprentice program going.
Formatted, structured, like the Europeans.
But it should be at a National level, where one could get signed off in every state.
It's also a good way to weed out the idiot's that seem to be in large numbers in this biz.
It may even raise the pay level.
just my 0.02

By Sam (Sam) on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 05:00 am: Edit

I too believe that a structured apprentice system would be advantageous to everyone here in the states, the program that the acf has in place but not widely used is a good starting point, where by the student works for two yrs under a CEC, while attending an approved community or jr college for management, nutrition & sanitation courses, but like I said not widely used-but a good idea & model,,, the european model has its draw backs also, a lot of times guys get promoted up the "chef" ladder just for tenure (time in service) and yes in europe there are some shoemakers also, just like here....sam sears, cec

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 07:22 am: Edit

Unfortunately apprenticeship programs usually become abusive to the apprentice in the sense that they get left with the mundane, repetitive, menial kitchen tasks; like peeling anything and everything, cleaning anything and everything....ect.
If the Chef mentor does things correctly the apprentice should get a balanced education in the kitchen, yes everyone should pay their dues but, the midevil ages in the kitchen have long been over and, many "Chefs" still believe in torturing the young apprentices to the point they go postal!!!

By Corey (Corey) on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 02:37 pm: Edit

ha, soup dujour? wait untill you get a new person, and tell them to get you a bain marie, and have them go all over the place asking when she is.... or trying to teach a student how to do a good bachemel sauce, then on one try have them show you a perfect sauce, only to later learn they from another student that they used a electric mixer. or asking for whipped cream and see them go into the walkin and come out with the canned type, also, the most over used kitchen joke? people walking by the person working the cheese shredder yelling "Watch out, He's going to cut the cheese!"

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 03:03 pm: Edit

ONE book, or manuel.
ONE procedure on how to except Ex. Chef's, to become teachers.
ONE set of guidelines that ALL Chef's will follow.
ONE set of time tables, this will allow the apprentice to go to each station for a certain amount of time,( three months at each station?) and then be signed off by the Chef AND the Chef's Organization.
NO unpaid overtime.
NO 4 days/10 hours, and then 3 days off.
NO apprentice can work for the Chef they learned from for a period of 1 year after the apprentice has completed his or her app'ship.
There are lots of ways to controle abuse and stupidity. Even the worst of chefs may well be, very good teachers. Everyone has something to teach.
I think it comes down to Ex. Chef's, Pastry included, could not be bothered with teaching.
My 0.02

By Sam (Sam) on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 10:01 pm: Edit

I agree w/ spike that there are so many variables in our craft, so many "right ways" to accomplish a task, it is frustrating to a young apprentice, but this is an art & science so there will be different views, but alas, lots of chefs don't want to teach, but I believe it is our duty to teach & impart on young culinarians....sam

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 10:49 pm: Edit

It would make our jobs and lives easier if we taught our staff our jobs. It makes delegating a lot easier and it frees up a whole lot of time to do other things. This is the practical aspect of passing on what we know. The honorable, moral and ethical aspect is that the knowledge was passed down to us and to not pass it on is just plain selfish and stupid.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 10:59 pm: Edit

You are correct Sir....
I believe this is why we get so many young Chef's that do not know the basic's of cooking. The frustration level becomes so much that at the first chance they break away from what seems like endless potatoe peeling, to start their own place or to take the oppertunity they may not be ready for. This in turn just continues the cycle of Chef's not knowing their ass from a stock raft.
(I could have put it another way, but why?)
I also believe that glossy photos have taken the place of WORDS in books. These same books promote the idea that "anyone can do it". Which we, as Chef's know is not true, but how do you fight it?
How do you convince a young student to follow the old proven way's of our for-Chef's, and start the learning process at the begining?
How do you convince Ex. Chef's with so much on the plate already that it is advantages to take the time to teach this way?
We've seen menus go from 30 items to 12, and it's not just because of shelf life and food or labor cost. I think (believe) it's because Chefs don't know the products, and can't produce the dirivitives from even the main food groups.
Gone are the Boules of bread, hollowed out and filled with stew. I can't remember the last time I saw stew on a menu. Pork is another example I can't remember seeing, with the exception of a BBQ place. It's all chicken. Done 40 ways. And the same fish. trout, white, salmon, ect. Please someone tell me when they last saw a fish stew or bouillabaisse'. How about coque au vin'.
Consumme' Anyone?
I believe that when you have the basics, safely tucked under that white hat, that you are more creative, which means a better menu, which means YOU have the means to give that to someone else.
Ahhhhhh....that felt good!
Nothing like a good rant to clear one's head.
Thank You.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 11:21 pm: Edit

So the question has been raised.
Now, do you, as Chef's, working in Rest's, Hotels, Schools, change a system that needs changing very badly?
I would think that you would complain to your local chapters first.
Bring the issue to the table.
Lets hear from the National level, on how to correct the parts that need it.
Make it harded to become a Chef's Organized Member?
Tougher tests?
When I was a student in Detriot, we had a Jr. level, and had to particapate in so many events before we could be considered for a level advancement.
Is that still true today?
If we are in agreement that something needs to be done, then lets do it!
That in itself is teaching...No?
Please, your comments.

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Monday, August 12, 2002 - 03:19 pm: Edit

I forget who said it, but, "If you want things to change, you must change. If you want things to be better, you must be better."

We, as chefs, connot wait for or depend upon any organization to make things better for us. It has to start right here, right now, in everyone's kitchen. We train, we train, we train, and eventually, the next generation of chefs and cooks will take that with them, hopefully, and take it to the next level. I know I was physically and verbally abused by a lot of the chefs I've worked for in the past so there is NO way in hell that I'm going to treat my staff that way. I'd like to think that I am playing a bit part in changing the way things are one cook at a time. If we don't change, things won't get better for a long time to come.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Tuesday, August 13, 2002 - 12:23 am: Edit

You did , you twit!!!
It is the duty of a cuisiner to transmit all the knowledge he knows down to the next generation.....(Savarin I think!)?

By Corey (Corey) on Tuesday, August 13, 2002 - 10:36 pm: Edit

ah, yes master,
I now know the sound of one hand chopping....

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Wednesday, August 14, 2002 - 12:50 am: Edit

That's funny...............

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, August 20, 2002 - 11:27 pm: Edit

Ya know, the problem with waiting is that you have all those so called chef's that have never been certified, or have graduated from some shlocky bomar school, teaching God know's what to all those young mush filled minds.
And as far as getting abused, well, I needed it sometimes cause it straighted me out! Made me decide what was important. Learning or chasing skirt. Reading or partying. Getting up early and going in early to try something new or sleeping off the hang-over. I think it thins out the field, gets rid of the crap.
I think it lets the chef know who to help and teach and who not to.
Course I could be wrong.......

By Sam (Sam) on Wednesday, August 21, 2002 - 06:38 pm: Edit

well Spike I remember those days, i apprenticed under an austrian master chef, & he was a ba**ard to work for, BUT the man could out cook anyone I have ever encountered in my 25+ yr career, and he made me a great chef, I think!, made me do a task until I could do it to his satisfaction (whether a day or a week), whether consomme' clarifying or peeling carrots, then off to the next challenge, he was tough as nails.....a couple of years ago I looked him up, and wrote a nice long letter complimenting him for his determination, work ethic & not wavering from the classic established there is something to say for that autocratic style.....sam

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, August 22, 2002 - 01:05 pm: Edit

Thanks Sam, You know Chef, this Snuffy kid says he wants to learn. You need an apprentice?
Your in LA, CA or just north, right?
I'd even come and yell at him every once in awhile for ya. LOL!
At least we here would know he's getting taught the right way.
Think about it.

By Sam (Sam) on Thursday, August 22, 2002 - 09:05 pm: Edit

oh no spike, I'm on the "other" side of the us, I'm in KY......and I have a whole crew I get to yell at, but always looking for eager faces.....sam

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, August 22, 2002 - 09:56 pm: Edit

Hey Sam, what town, city you in?
There's a guy in Louisville, I think he manages
a golf club. Used to work for with him years and years ago. His first name is Terry, last name starts with a C. Ring any bells?

By Snuffaluff (Snuffaluff) on Friday, August 23, 2002 - 03:23 pm: Edit

After reading this whole thread, I'm actually glad to say that I found this place and see you all talking about what needs to happen and what not. I don't know how the industry runs, but I have to agree on the fact that the more experienced pass on their knowledge to the less. I worked at a paintball field for 7 yrs. By the 4-5th yr, I considered myself pretty much a professional referee(sounds funny, but you'd have to work there to know). I had a new guy come in one day all hung-over so I gave him the 13y/o birthday party to run all day. He never came to work w/ a hangover again. He also learned almost everything I could teach him, along w/ my other employees. There is no way that the next generation of "students" will ever go anywhere without some instruction from their peers. I think this has to do with every job and life too.

Spike, you trying to pawn me off onto Sam? lol I'm going to call Panini tomorrow(sat) and hopefully get to meet him on Tues. "You only get out of it what you put in" That's a great quote, and should be remembered in all things.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Saturday, August 24, 2002 - 12:31 am: Edit

"The only limitations we have are the ones we place on ourselves"

I don't think Panini likes me anymore.
So,...Don't use my name.
Use Manny's

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Saturday, August 24, 2002 - 05:34 pm: Edit

Spike, "a man's got to know his limitations"...Dirty Harry (don't remember which one)!!

By George (George) on Saturday, August 24, 2002 - 05:38 pm: Edit

Magnum Force, 1973

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Saturday, August 24, 2002 - 08:39 pm: Edit

You are sicker then me!!!!!

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, August 25, 2002 - 08:31 pm: Edit

1973!?? Man, THAT makes ME feel old.........
Manny, I'm having a hard time believing anyone is sicker than you.

By George (George) on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 10:03 am: Edit

Nope, just as sick, just been sicker longer ;<)

Jeez 73, turned 21.


By Snuffaluff (Snuffaluff) on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 12:42 pm: Edit

I don't think Panini likes me anymore.
So,...Don't use my name.
Use Manny's

uh, oh... what's the deal? What'd you do? lol

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 02:05 am: Edit

i did not do anything, but decide to stay here on this web site.
it's a long, old story i wont go into cause its done with, and i'm bored with it.
Panini decided to leave.
he was a very nice guy when i met him, with a wonderful family.
he has a nice operation down there, and i'm sure he would have a place for someone who wants to learn. i think he would be a good teacher.
so get off your butt and call already!

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