Our Chapter Members in the News!

Chef William Racin, CEPC Promoted to Midwest Counselor Culinaire

Congratulations to our chapter Vice President, Chef William Racin, CEPC who was promoted within the Chaine des Rotisseurs from a Chef Rotisseur to the Midwest Counselor Culinare. With this new role, he will oversee the Midwest Regional young chefs competition to prepare young culinarians for nation competition.  Congratulations, Chef. 

Congrats to the WCCC Culinary Knowledge Bowl Team!

Congratulations to the Knowledge Bowl Team from Westmoreland County Community College for becoming 2018 Northeast Region Champs of the Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl! 


This year's team consists of Craig Stahl, Erin Bertuzzi, and Amanda Shriner. Way to go!

Congrats to WCCC for being named the #1 Culinary Program in the State!

Congratulations to Cindy Komarinski on her recent accomplishments!

Congratulaions to ACFLHC Board Member Dr. Cindy A. Komarinski, MBA, CCC, CCE, PhD for recently earning her PhD!


On January 17, 2015, Cindy was also inducted as chair of the American Culinary Federation National Apprenticeship Committee. She will serve as chair for a two year term and lead the committee to provide oversight and promote awareness of Culinary and Baking/Pastry apprenticeship throughout the United States. Additionally, the committee is responsible for reviewing and updating operations of apprenticeship and maintain compliance with the US Department of Labor as well as review initial and renewal applications to grant recognition status to apprenticeship programs.

ACFLHC Represented well at the Chef Connect Conference in Baltimore

Congratulations to Bob Forquer, CEC®, AAC® for reciving his second ACF President's Medallion! His first one came in 2010. In 1991, Jack Braun, CEC®, AAC®, HOF, then national president, introduced the presentation of ACF President's Medallions as tokens of appreciation, and to honor those who contribute significantly to the culinary profession.

The WCCC Knowledge Bowl Team earned a Silver Medal after five rounds of play! Congratulations!

Congratulations to Our Very Own Tammy Fuchs who was named 2013 ACF Northeast Pastry Chef of the Year!

We are excited to announce that Tammy Fuchs, CEPC, has been named the Northeast Region ACF Pastry Chef of the Year! Tammy will be moving on to compete for the National Pastry Chef of the Year at the National Conference in Las Vegas in July. 


Here is a little bit of background on Chef Fuchs:

Chef Tammy Fuchs began her career as a pastry chef at Christopher’s Sweet Shop in Murrysville, Pennsylvania as a wedding and specialty cake decorator. This experience then led her to the Rolling Rock Club in 1997 as Pastry Assistant. Eight years into her tenure at Rolling Rock she earned the title of Certified Executive Pasty Chef, which she still holds today.


Tammy’s education includes an Associate’s Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts from the Westmoreland County Community College. She has completed continuing education classes in Artisan Bread Baking at the Culinary Institute of America in March of 2005. In May 2007, she finished an Introduction to Sugar class with the esteemed Ewald Notter and in 2011 she completed a full week Gelato Immersion class at Carpigiani University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


Her professional career outside of Rolling Rock Club includes part-time instructing of Baking and Pastry Arts classes at Westmoreland County Community College. She also teaches private baking classes for various local ladies groups.


Chef Tammy has won two bronze and one silver medal in ACF “Pastry Show Piece” competitions. In 2009, she was presented with the President’s Award from WCCC. She was also named “Chef of the Year” from the Laurel Highlands Chapter of the ACF in 2010.


Tammy’s favorite work includes making ice creams, sorbets, handmade artisan chocolates as well as Gingerbread Design. She is the loving wife of Mike Fuchs and the caring mother of three-year old daughter Avery.

Congratulations to ACFLHC Member Robert Forquer who Received the Chef’s Achievement Award at the Northeast Regional Conference!

Robert Forquer, CEC®, AAC®, of Johnstown, Pa., retired, received the Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award from the American Culinary Federation (ACF) during general session for the 2013 ACF Northeast Regional Conference, held at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y., March 17–20.

The Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award recognizes a chef who has generously shared his knowledge with others throughout the years and continues to be a source of information and guidance for other culinarians. Forquer is a candidate for the national award that will be presented during the 2013 ACF National Convention in Las Vegas, July 21–25.


“Being chosen for this prestigious award, in name of famed chef Hermann G. Rusch is truly an honor,” said Forquer. “It is meaningful to me that I am worthy of such a distinction.”


Forquer, an ACF-Certified Executive Chef® (CEC®) for 20 years, was born, raised and became a professional chef in Johnstown. His foodservice career began in 1967 as a dishwasher and sandwich maker at the Holiday Inn. Forquer then obtained a position at Sunnehanna Country Club, Johnstown, as a prep cook and worked his way up to executive chef. During his 34-year career at the club, Forquer mentored and trained numerous apprentices. Through his work as a mentor, he decided to become a chef educator. In 2005, Forquer became a culinary-arts instructor at Commonwealth Technical Institute at the Hiram G. Andrews Center in Johnstown, until he formally retired, December 2012. In 2002, he was inducted into the American Academy of Chefs®, an honor society for chefs, and received a President’s Medallion in 2010. Forquer is chapter president for ACF Conemaugh Valley Culinary Association.

Chapter Well Represented at the 2013 ACF National Convention!

Numerous Laurel Highlands Chapter members that were finalists for various competitions and awards at the ACF National Convention. Many of our members traveled to Las Vegas to attend workshops, meetings, and provide support for the finalists. This showing was a testimony of how talented and dedicated the members of the ACF Laurel Highlands Chapter are. 


The Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl was held on July 23. The four team finalists were Westmoreland County Community College, Kendall College, Guilford Technical Community College, and Lake Washington Institute of Technology. After four years of capturing the regional win, Westmoreland County Community College secured the national title! Team members received a gold medal, which was based on points earned during the best two rounds of play. Kendall College also earned gold and Lake Washington procured a bronze. It seems fitting that our chapter members brought home the national title of this competition. Baron Galand was one of nine original members that started the American Culinary Federation Laurel Highlands Chapter thirty-seven years ago. Congratulations to all team members and coaches!


The ACF Pastry Chef of the Year Competition was held on July 24. Tammy Fuchs contended against three other regional finalists. The finished products had to include a showpiece (pictured above), a butter cookie, and a cold-plated dessert. Participants had two and a half hours to cook and ten minutes to plate. Chef Tammy did not win this competition but her artistry and knowledge of pastry was apparent throughout the challenge. Congratulations on her great accomplishment!


Robert Forquer, a longtime supporter of the Laurel Highlands Chapter, was nominated for the Hermann G. Rush Chef's Achievement Award. The award honors chefs who have demonstrated a high level of commitment to the ACF and to the advancement of the culinary profession. We are proud that Chef Forquer was nominated for this prestigious award. He currently serves as president for the Conemaugh Valley Culinary Association.

Congrats to Shawn Culp for being named to the 2016 US Culinary Olympic Team!

WCCC Alumnus, Shawn Culp, CEC, an ACF-Certified Executive Chef from Pittsburgh, is a culinary arts instructor at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He is a seasoned competitor with more than twelve years of competition experience. He has received several medals in ACF-sanctioned competitions and was awarded a Culinary Oscar at The Greenbrier Resort, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. He was a member of 2012 ACF Culinary Regional Team USA, which earned a silver medal and placed fourth overall at the 2012 Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA). He is a member of ACF Pittsburgh Chapter.

WCCC Programs Retain Their Exemplary Status!

The WCCC AAS Degree in Culinary Arts: Apprenticeship & Non Apprenticeship Option, AAS Degree in Baking andPastry: Apprenticeship and Non Apprenticeship Option and AAS Degree in Restaurant Culinary Management programs have been identified as "Exemplary" by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission (ACFEFAC).


To qualify as an Exemplary Program, upon renewal application of ACFEF Accreditation, a program must have been in full compliance with ACFEF Standards during the last visiting renewal team report. Those programs receive a grant of accreditation and the Exemplary status for seven (7) years.

The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation's (ACFEF) National Apprenticeship Committee met on January 24, 2014 and approved your renewal request for recognition. The Committee has given a Grant of Recognition for seven (7) years, not to exceed December 31, 2020, for the following programs: Apprenticeship Program – Cook and Pastry Cook.

Congratulations to Isaac Ortiz and Dakota Bowers for being named Stage Scholarship Recipients!

Isaac Ortiz, Pastry Apprentice from Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Dakota Bowers, Culinary Apprentice, also from Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, each were awarded a scholarship and a chance to stage at Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. They were both nominated for the award by Chef Brent Wertz, CEC, AAC. The scholarship comes from the RFEC, or Resort Food Executive Committee, which was founded in 1974. Download the following document to see some of their work!

RFEC Stage Scholarship 2013.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1'017.3 KB]

How To Find Us:

American Culinary Federation

Laurel Highlands Chapter

145 Pavilion Lane
Youngwood, PA 15697


Phone: 724-925-5980

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