ACF Midlands

The Culinary Institute

Food & Business Tips

May marked the graduation of another culinary class, and this was the largest class to graduate in our history! Having that number of graduates is encouraging from the standpoint of realizing that the incoming students are committed to our program and feel they are getting a thorough and useful certificate. The program is still dedicated to earning accreditation through ACF or another institute, and to that end we remain optimistic that the cold kitchen will have a full makeover before the end of the year, resulting in a facility more geared for teaching and training.

The new rotation will be the first with internet access by using the University’s Blackboard system. For those of you not familiar with Blackboard, the basic principle is that we can now post any information we need to share with the students, which they can then access with their account. During the course of a subject, their syllabus can be made available, handouts or worksheets can be posted, along with homework, even testing can be done online. Blackboard is a wonderful way to get information out to all the students without having to print numerous copies to handout. We can also… Continue reading

A Background Check for: Worcestershire Sauce

Food & Business Tips

Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce is probably the most well-known product produced in Worcester and was first produced by two chemists, John Wheeley Lea and William Perrins. If you look at the bottle today, there is still the message of “…from the recipe of a nobleman of the country”; but who exactly was this nobleman, and where did he get the recipe?

According to historians, Lord Sandy was a local aristocrat who had been the Governor of Bengal at one point in his life. In 1835, he went to the two chemists and asked if they could replicate a recipe he had discovered in India. Taking on the challenge, they eventually duplicated the taste to the nobleman’s content, and actually kept a few extra jars for themselves. However, they tasted the concoction and could not find a way for themselves to actually enjoy the new dish, so they took their jars and stored them in the cellar in case they had to replicate the sauce again for Lord Sandys. They forgot about the jars until some time later and decided to retaste the vinegar, just to see if it had become more palatable. To their surprise,… Continue reading

ACF Chef & Child Foundation Partners with Clemson University to Provide Free Nutrition Articles From “Vegetarian-Friendly” to “Downsizing Calories and Portions,” articles are valuable resource to chefs, foodservice professionals and the public.

Food & Business Tips

St. Augustine, Fla., May 4, 2009-The American Culinary Federation’s Chef & Child Foundation and Clemson University have partnered to offer a series of monthly “Culinary Nutrition News” articles. Written by experts, articles will bridge the nutrition gap for chefs by providing up-to-date research information. Articles will be posted on ACF’s Web site the first Monday of each month. Download the inaugural article, “Culinary Nutrition News: Vegetarian-Friendly,” today.

“Our partnership with Clemson University to promote research in the ever-changing scenery of nutrition information will help the Chef & Child Foundation fulfill its mission, which is to educate children and families about proper nutrition,” said Elizabeth Mikesell, CEC, AAC, chair, ACF Chef & Child Committee, and chef-instructor at Pima Community College, Tucson, Ariz.

Topics to expect in 2009:

* May: Vegetarian-Friendly
* June: Allergen Awareness
* July: Fiber-Rich
* August: Calorie Countdown
* September: Healthful Cooking Techniques
* October: Downsizing Calories and Portions
* November: Demystifying Lipids
* December: Diabetic Menu Makeover

Experts in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department at Clemson University will utilize research teams, its research kitchen and its CU CHEFS(r) (Clemson University’s Cooking and Healthy Eating Food Specialists) program to bring the most… Continue reading

Business Sense

The most common question I get from chefs, restaurateurs, students, and just people interested in the environment is: What is sustainable seafood and how do I know if I am using it? Unfortunately, that is a difficult question to answer because there are no clear-cut answers for many of the seafoods. This month, however, I will try to give you some guidelines to follow for the most common fish we use.

To begin with, sustainable seafood is seafood from either fished or farmed sources that can maintain or increase production in the future without jeopardizing the ecosystems from which it was acquired. This means it is seafood we are not harvesting faster than the population can be replenished, or the farms we are harvesting from are not destroying other systems. It is extremely hard for us to know exactly which fish are being caught correctly, but let’s go over some of the more common fish:

American catfish, tilapia, trout: Farmed is the way to go with these fish, but try to use farmed in the United States vs ones farmed in China. The Chinese use many pollutants which hurt nearby waters.
Crabs: Blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay… Continue reading


Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, a French lawyer and politician, was born in 1775 in Bresse, a region well known for food and wine. He was among the first to write about cuisine and gained fame as an epicure and gastronome. A brilliant individual, Brilliat-Savarin studied law, chemistry and medicine in Dijon. As a politician he was first elected magistrate, then mayor of his town. He was forced to flee the country after the French Revolution, eventually making his way to New York where he supported himself by teaching French and giving violin lessons. He met Thomas Jefferson and persuaded him to part with his wild turkey recipe while visiting Philadelphia. Brillat- Savarin returned to France in 1776 where he was a judge and writer. The rest of his life was spent entertaining friends and dining at the finest French restaurants. A prolific journalist, his gastronomic memoirs filled many pages with recipes and anecdotes.

Brillanr –Savarin is most well known for his work, The Physiology of Taste, published in 1825, and the book has not been out of print since. The most noted English translation was done by M. F. K. Fisher, food writer and critic in 1949 and is held in… Continue reading

A Warm and Icy month at The Culinary

As the truck rolls up to the campus at the University of South Carolina, you can feel the excitement in the air, well, in between the rain drops. Seventeen blocks of ice are delivered to the Horseshoe as the Culinary students begin to gather with a mix of chainsaw heaven and fear painted across their faces. Chef Jeff Quasha, Banquet Chef from Ruth’s Chris and our instructor for advanced Garde Manager, goes over the safety instructions and ice carving advice. Students from USC begin to stop by to see what is happening which is the perfect end to a class full of sausage stuffing, pate confusion, and more hors d’oeuvres then you can shake a gherkin at.

Rotation 22 now begins their last class of advanced baking and pastry with Chef George Bozko, from the Embassy Suites hotel. One student was heard to say as they were tasting chocolate caramel sauce, sabayon sauce, and pastry cream, “Wow this is really great —I am going to need to run an extra ½ mile a day.” In this world of fantastic frozen pre-made desserts, I believe it is important to maintain at least one in-house dessert selection, or we may lose the… Continue reading

Business Sense

I know we have all been made aware of the “greening” of the restaurant industry and society in general. I am also aware of all the excuses for not implementing any of the ideas; “It costs too much…”, “We’re too etc, etc… I know the excuses, because I, too, have used them. The truth of the matter, however, is that this is neither some passing fad, nor does it have to be a burden to you and your staff. Just a few new ideas, implemented as new standing procedures, will really begin to have a positive effect on your current costs. In the next few newsletters, we’ll easy ideas to start this very day, and let you know what our hospitality association is working on for state “green” certifications.

One of the fastest, easiest things to do is to stop using disposables for employee meals and drink. A few plastic cups that are washed at the end of the shift will save you hundreds of dollars at the end of the year; the McCutchen House switched to re-usable plates and cups from the Styrofoam, and our paper expenses have already dropped two to three hundred dollars a month! Now I… Continue reading

A BRIEF HISTORY OF….. Fernand Point

The French restaurateur Fernand Point (1897-1955) was the father of modern French cuisine and considered by many to be one of the greatest chefs ever.

His restaurant “La Pyramide” was located near Lyon, France in a small town. From this remote location he earned the three star Michelin Award and trained a generation of French Master chefs including Paul Bocuse and Alain Chapel . Point opened his restaurant shortly after World War I and pioneered many of the aspects of nouvelle cuisine.

As a small boy, he was introduced to cooking by his mother and grandmother, both cordons bleus cooks at his father`s restaurant. Cordon bleus originally referred to an award given to women chefs .Point moved to Lyon in 1922 to pursue his culinary endeavors. He built on the foundations of la grande cuisine and was the culinary and cultural intermediary between Escoffier and nouvelle cuisine. He would often work from five o`clock am until 11 o’clock hand.

Married in 1930, his wife Mary-Louise became an intricate part of the restaurant. She was in charge of service and attended to most all details associated with the business. This allowed Point time to concentrate even more on his remarkable cuisine… Continue reading

The Culinary Institute at Carolina Big Trouble at The Culinary

Of course it is the kind of trouble everyone in foodservice wants to have: too many customers. We began a new class in January with 20 students, with more on the waiting list then we have ever had. When you have that many students and one Chef/ instructor all in a kitchen designed for 12, you can imagine the kind of territorial battle for working space that will happen. Even with the redesigned kitchen classroom and the new stainless steel from floor to ceiling we have out grown our space. The silver lining in all this, even with all the uncertainty in the finance world, the culinary arts are as strong as ever. As a side note, the next class beginning in July is already full and the next class beginning January 2010 is filling quickly.

We welcome Chef Dave Grillo as a new instructor in the Soup, Stocks, and Sauce class. Dave stirred things right in with rewriting the syllabus with more focus on classic sauces and knife skills. I notice some students already complaining about the cooks’ callous from holding their Chef’s knife correctly, go figure. We also have the pleasure of welcoming back Chef Ed Chinners CEC,… Continue reading

Halogen lamps

Food for Thought

Halogen lamps are the latest innovation to simplify the cooking process. These lamps provide heat that bakes broils, browns, roasts and grills. Halogen ovens are now available with 240-volt electrical power receptacles or counter top receptacles. The 240-volt ovens cook up to eight times faster than conventional ovens.

October 3rd meeting Conquest Brewery

November 7th meeting TBD

November 20 Saluda Shoals Chairman's lighting

December 4th Sunday Holiday Party

January 29 President's Award Dinner