Culinarian’s Code

As a proud member of the American Culinary Federation, I pledge to share my professional knowledge and skill with all culinarians. I will place honor, fairness, cooperation and consideration first when dealing with my colleagues. I will keep all comments professional and respectful when dealing with my colleagues. I will protect all members from the use of unfair means, unnecessary risks and unethical behavior when used against them for another’s personal gain. I will support the success, growth, and future of my colleagues and this great federation.


J. Martin Lowry, Executive Chef at Twin Hills Golf and Country Club, will be receiving the Springfield-Branson ACF Chapter Scholarship to attend the ACF National Show and Convention to be held in New Orleans this July. 

Robert Heald, chef at the Oasis Convention Center, will be receiving the Springfield-Branson ACF Chapter scholarship to attend Chef Connect Regional Conference in March 

National Culinary Review

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Message from the President

July 31, 2017

Greetings my fellow Culinarians. I hope this finds you all well.

The last month has been a whirlwind for the ACF. There are many exciting things to report from Cook, Craft and Create 2017 in Orlando FL. First of all, the National Chapter swore in our new Board of Directors, including new President Stafford DeCambra CEC,CCE,CCA,AAC . The ACF also honored the great works and foundation set by outgoing President Thomas Macrina CEC,CCA,AAC . It is an exciting time for the ACF, and I look forward to what the future holds. Cook, Craft, and Create had a variety of speakers and seminars. The Disney Coronado Resort did an excellent job taking care of all of us during the event. Jason Pooker and I look forward to sharing more with you all at the next ACF meeting in August.

On July 17, 2017 we held our 23rd Annual Springfield Branson Chefs Association Golf Tournament at Millwood Golf and Racquet Club. A special thank you to all that came out and volunteered their time to help take care of our 94 players. This would have not been possible without the hard work from Jason Pooker as our Golf Chairman. I would Also Like to Thank Chef Raymond CCC and his Twin Oaks staff along with Robert Heald for preparing our dinner that evening. While we don’t have all the financials back yet, the event looks to be a financial success. The Golf Tournament would have not been possible without the following Sponsors: SGC, Ben E. Keith, Sysco, US. Foods, Reinhart, Hiland Dairy, Ozarks Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Heart Of America, Arctic Food Equipment, Fellers Food Service Equipment, and Dubuque Coffee.

The next event we have is Taste and Trivia, coming up on Sept 23rd at the Oasis Hotel and Convention Center. We are still looking for chefs to participate. This is a co-hosted event with the Missouri Restaurant Association. Please see me with any questions you may have. We also need to find an establishment to host the 2018 Presidents Ball. Lastly, please start thinking about nominations for 2018-2019 Springfield Branson Chefs Association officers.

Contact (John Owens 417-862-0812)

Cheers, Chef Aaron Gregory CCC

Springfield Branson Chefs Association Chapter President


A Special Message from our President

Chefs Marcel Bonetti, CEC, AAC, and Steve Oshita

I, like so many other chefs throughout the country, was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Chef Bonetti. I had the honor of doing my apprenticeship under him starting in the early 90s and worked under him for several years . Chef Bonetti was instrumental in laying the ground work for professional kitchens, and his legacy can be seen throughout the Ozarks, and without exaggeration, the entire country.

Chef Bonetti started the Springfield/Branson Chefs’ Association in the 1980’s and was still an active member today. Chef worked tirelessly for The Springfield Branson ACF in establishing the highest levels of education and certifications for its membership. He himself had reached the level of Certified Executive Chef as well a membership with the American Academy of Chefs.

Chef Bonetti was instrumental in bringing the Culinary Arts department to Ozarks Technical College in the early 1990’s. Chef helped guide and proctor countless chefs to gain certification throughout the United States. As the President of the Springfield/Branson Chefs’ Association, I am afforded the opportunity of attending both regional and national conventions. Whenever I am introduced as being from Springfield Missouri, Chef Marcel Bonetti’s name is instantly attached with the Chapter. It was an honor to have worked under him and alongside him to learn the value of being a true professional. His work and legacy has touched anyone who has picked up a knife or worn a white chef’s jacket.

On behalf of the Springfield/Branson Chefs’ Association, I would like to give out our dearest condolences to Chef Bonetti’s family, friends and staff. He was always a true professional and role model to myself and countless others.

Bon Appetit,

Chef Aaron Gregory, CCC
President, Springfield/Branson Chefs’ Association



Greene County Health Department Offers

“Special Processing” Seminar – Register Online

This seminar will guide your facility with a step-by-step guide for writing and implementing a food safety management system based on the seven principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system. Click here to view the flyer




Talent sought for TV’s “Kids Baking Championship”

From Jillian Dank, Casting Associate:

We are currently casting children ages 8-13 for Season 3 of “Kids Baking Championship.”

We’re seeking talented kids with the ability to bake a variety of different dishes, from scratch. Contestants will be selected to appear on the show to participate in a series of baking challenges. Ultimately, one winner will be awarded a grand prize!

We are trying to get the word out to as many as possible about this awesome opportunity for talented kid bakers so if you know of anyone who loves to bake (and is between the ages of 8-13) please SPREAD THE WORD!

To apply, parents can visit:




Vito’s Kitchen wins distinction at Taste of the Ozarks

Please join us as we congratulate Chef Vito Palmietto of Vito’s Kitchen, who prepared the Best Appetizer at this year’s Taste of the Ozarks benefit for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks.

Chef Vito prepared an Andouille, Shrimp, and Crawfish Cheesecake



Chef Robert Stricklin, CEC, published in Sizzle Magazine’s Spring 2016 issue

Kicking off Sizzle Magazine’s new department feature, Regional American Cuisine, Chef Robert Stricklin, CEC, of the Keeter Center and the College of the Ozarks has been published as the author of an article detailing the history and contemporary execution of cuisine native to the Ozarks. For the full article, recipes, and photos, click and follow this link “The Ozarks High South Cuisine.”




College of the Ozarks culinary apprenticeship program receives certification

The year-old culinary apprenticeship program at College of the Ozarks has been granted certification from the American Culinary Federation (ACF), per their announcement in January 2016. The certification comes after a visit by ACF chefs, Sept. 29-Oct. 1. The culinary arts and hotel restaurant management programs at College of the Ozarks hosted Chef Robert Cawley, CEC, CEPC, AAC and Chef Daniel Pliska, CEC, AAC. The ACF Chef Apprenticeship Committee voted to certify the C of O program in January of 2016.

“New programs are granted accreditation for one, three, or five years – typically new programs are given one year with a follow-up inspection afterward,” said The Keeter Center Executive Chef Robert Stricklin, CEC, AAC. “C of O received a 5-year accreditation.” C of O has the third culinary apprenticeship in the state of Missouri, and 42 programs exist nationwide.

Four C of O students are in the program: senior Maalek Getchell, culinary arts and business administration major; junior Rebecca Harris, culinary arts major; freshman Jeremy Hagler, culinary arts major; and freshman Holly Bennett, culinary arts major. “Each semester we anticipate one or two additional apprentices,” Stricklin said. “The low number is partially due to the additional time and skill commitments needed from the students.”

The visiting ACF chefs reflected on the strengths of the College’s culinary program, noting the depth and dedication to the program from the faculty, staff, and students. They made mention of how the agricultural departments blended perfectly with the kitchen and of the well-written and detailed handbook that is provided for students.

“The chef evaluators were very impressed with our college and our program, as well as the operational aspects of The Keeter Center,” Stricklin said. “We are proud to receive this recognition for the 1-year-old program,” Stricklin said. “Upon graduation, the apprentice can test out as a certified sous chef (CSC), a process which would normally take graduates three to four years to complete post-graduation.”

Stricklin and Assistant Professor of Hotel and Restaurant Management Lamae Koogler oversee the ACF program at College of the Ozarks.


Awards presented at President’s Ball

The Springfield/Branson Chefs Association held it’s bi-annual President’s Ball on January 11, 2016 at Metropolitan Farmer. Chef Wes Johnson delighted over 100 guests with a remarkable meal in five courses, and the ACF chapter’s board of directors swore in new officers and presented awards and recognitions of service to several area chefs and community partners. The most prestigious awards were presented to SGC as Vendor of the Year, to Aaron Gregory, CCC as Chef of the Year, and Robert Heald received the chapter’s Professionalism Award. Congratulations to all award winners, and many, many thanks to all who made this event so special, and who keep our community the wonderful place it is today. aaron and robert 2014-15 awards


Local chefs provide new stove for Springfield Community Center

August 25, 2015

Originally appears at

The Springfield Community Center, an Ozarks Food Harvest After-School Food Program site, received a generous donation of a new commercial-grade stove from a local executive chefs’ group.

Since 2010, the American Culinary Federation’s Springfield-Branson Chefs’ Association has volunteered at the Springfield Community Center to provide area children with lunch or dinner meals that are typically served at restaurants like Leong’s, Fire & Ice, Twin Oaks Country Club, Cook’s Kettle at Victory Mission, Nakato Japanese Steakhouse as well as demonstrations from food vendors, such as Sysco.

“The chefs provide more than just food and meals at the After-School Food Program,” said Calvin Allen, director of the Springfield Community Center. “They develop relationships and create bonds, providing a complete educational experience for the children.”

The center’s old stove was not operating properly and was in bad repair. Allen was concerned the stove was prohibiting the chefs’ ability to adequately prepare quality meals and provide the kind of educational enrichment training needed for children in the program. So he reached out to Aaron Gregory, executive chef at Fire & Ice restaurant and treasurer of the Springfield-Branson Chefs’ Association for help. Fortunately, the local group offered to purchase a new stove for the center.

Chefs Association Stove“We at the chefs’ association know how hard it is to try to cook using unreliable equipment,” said Gregory. “We collect funds throughout the year to help our community with these kinds of needs.”

Chef Gregory said that the experiences he has had over the four years he has spent volunteering with the center’s After-School Food Program have been amazing.

“The kids are excited when we come in to teach them how to cook and we as chefs get excited to teach these classes and show the kids how science, math and nutrition are important elements in the culinary world. We love being able give back and open kids’ minds to new experiences.”

Allen said the center is grateful to have the new stove to continue the work that began when The Food Bank started the feeding program in 1998.

“The new stove will allow the center to provide cooking classes again, which was one of our most popular programs,” said Allen. “We are blessed to have the executive chefs volunteer at the community center to help kids reach their full potential.”

The Springfield Community Center is a member agency of Ozarks Food Harvest that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner meals for nearly 100 children annually and provides food assistance for approximately 35 families each week.


Flavor and Flair 2015

Many thanks to all who helped make Flavor and Flair possible, and to all the guests – we hope you had a wonderful evening! Thanks to your support, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra and the Springfield/Branson Chefs Association can continue to fund their various programs, including those which assist student educational efforts and feeding underprivileged children. Our hats are off to you.

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Business Spotlight: Food for Thought
A food scientist and marketer always are thinking about solutions for industry problems

Eric Olson

Imagine browning ground chuck in 8 minutes in the microwave. Or preparing smoked meats without setting aside hours to man a smoker.

The chefs and food scientists at The Turover Straus Group Inc. are working to bring these culinary options to market.

To read more, head on over to the Springfield Business Journal by clicking this sentence.  Reprinted with permission.



Chef Adam DeBacker Asked To Appear at ACF National Convention

Adam Truffles at NDSC Convention

We are very excited to report that ACF Jr. Culinarian Adam DeBacker has been asked by the ACF to have a display table and tasting during one of the education breaks at Nationals! On Sunday July 27, from 10:15 to 10:45 during the coffee break, he will have a sampling of truffles and display in the same area as the book signing and sausage sampling. Please let his fellow chapter members know how appreciative we are of this opportunity! Your devotion and mentoring has paid off in ways that you can never imagine!

2019 National Events

The American Culinary Federation (ACF), the leading membership organization for chefs and culinary professionals in North America, will host three professional development events in 2019: ChefConnect Atlantic City, February 24‐26 at Caesars and Bally’s in Atlantic City, NJ; ChefConnect Minneapolis, March 31-April 2; and
ACF National Convention & Show, August 4-8, 2019 in Orlando at the World Center Marriot.  Each event includes educational seminars, culinary demonstrations, hands-on workshops, industry exhibits, a career fair and networking opportunities. By attending these events, culinary professionals gather actionable insights to bring home to their classrooms, employees,and kitchens and earn continuing education hours to acquire and maintain ACF certifications.The American Culinary Federation is currently seeking culinary influencers and industry leaders to present educational sessions, demonstrations, and hands-on workshops at all three events. Topics can range from innovative trends and techniques to skills development, baking and pastry, health and wellness, culinary management, educator development and more. For more information, visit .
Detailed event schedules and registration information is available at
Discounted rates are available prior to early registration deadlines.