ACF Regional and National Competitions in 2020
In 2019, the American Culinary Federation introduced a new dynamic structure for both regional and national culinary competitions in order to make sure the competitions are fair and accessible.
What is the new format?
All regional competitions will take place at ACF’s National Convention on July 19-23, 2020, in Dallas, Texas. Each region will be assigned one day during which the competitors from that region will all compete. At the end of the day, the highest- scoring competitor from each category will be announced as regional winners. After all four regions have competed, the competitors and teams with the highest overall scores will be our national winners, announced at the President’s Gala on Thursday night.
What are the benefits of ACF's new competition format?
- It’s a Package Deal: With the new format comes new perks. The application fee for individual competitors includes one ticket to the ACF Welcome Reception, 1 Education Badge, the full amount of CEHs from the entire convention and 1 ticket to the President’s Gala — a total value of over $700. Student team fees include enough of these items for all five team members and one coach.
- Cook Once, Travel Once: The ability to plan in advance to compete one time in one location is a significant benefit to competitors who must allocate time, resources and funds in order to participate.
- Same Kitchens, Same Judges: In 2020, the ACF will show case 10 brand new competition kitchens. The kitchens, generously supplied by our national sponsor, Southbend, will allow competing chefs to cook with consistent, state-of-the-art equipment. In addition, the same set of judges will evaluate the competitors.
- Affordable and Accessible: By removing the requirement to compete both regionally and nationally, the ACF is working to ensure that the competitions are accessible to all chefs.
What is staying the same?
- The Student Team State Competitions will remain the same. Refer to your Competition Manual for more information about Student Team State Competitions.
See acfchefs.org/awards for 2020 application fee information.
When are the applications due?
In order to compete at ACF National Convention in July, all individual competitor applications and fees must be submitted by November 1.
Student Teams will be notified by December 1 if a state competition will be required. All state competitions must be completed by March 1.
Why has the ACF changed the competition format?
While many longtime members of the ACF have enjoyed the past format of competitions, it became increasingly clear that a large number of potential competitors could not afford the costs associated with competition at both regional and national levels. In addition, some regions and states hosted widely-supported competitions with high caliber coaching, premium kitchen equipment and sponsors while other regions were not as fortunate. The net result has been fewer competitors, competitions that did not meet ACF standards and a diminishing of our prestigious brand.
By moving to a 4-day competition, every region will be showcased, with one full day of competition and an opportunity to take home the national award during the ACF President’s Gala.
Apply to compete by November 1, 2019