The American Culinary Federation is the professional organization of chefs, cooks, bakers and pastry chefs. The local chapter has 90 members and includes chefs from the Tri-City, Thumb and Flint areas. The ACF raises funds for childhood nutrition education, charities that provide food for children and give culinary school scholarships for local students. All this in addition to providing further culinary education for members.
The American Culinary Federation Professional Chefs’ Hot Food Competition & Tasting is the finale event of Zehnder’s Snowfest. It is always held on the Monday following Snowfest weekend. Proceeds support the Saginaw East Side Soup Kitchen “After School Meal Program”. This is the 29th year of the Hot Food competition.
Each year, 18 -22 of the best chefs in the area compete for trophies, cash and bragging rights. Don’t go out to eat on January 27th – all the area chefs are competing at Zehnder’s! Additionally, high school culinary arts students from the Tuscola Tech Center in Caro and Saginaw Career Center assist with the Grand Buffet Tables.
This year’s theme is: A Culinary Salute to Caribbean Cuisine – “Pirates in Paradise”.
Once the chefs select an item, they must prepare 400 sample-sized portions of their original recipe for the paid guests and four full-sized plates that will be judged. These judged plates look like something on “Iron Chef”. The event is like being a part of the Food Network competitions you see on TV. If you like trying new foods and are a Food Network “food junkie”, this event is a MUST SEE! Dress for the evening is casual, although some folks do dress up or dress based on the evening’s theme.
Guests enter the dining rooms at 6 p.m. and can taste all of the chef’s original recipes plus the Grand Buffet tables prepared by culinary students. It’s pretty much a walk-around event with very limited seating. We want everyone to experience all the chef’s wonderful recipes.
Paid guests vote on the “People’s Choice Award” – selecting the chef they feel has the best tasting and most original food.
Tickets are only $30 per person. Call Zehnder’s Guest Services at (989) 652-0450 for tickets.