Hotel, Motel, & Restaurant Supply Show of the Southeast Hotel, Motel, & Restaurant Supply Show of the Southeast Hotel, Motel, & Restaurant Supply Show of the Southeast Hotel, Motel, & Restaurant Supply Show of the Southeast

2019 Chef Challenge Judges

Chef Alex DarvishiChef Alex Darvishi, CEC, AAC, CMC
Chef Darvishi is currently the Executive Chef at the prestigious Houston Country Club in Houston, Texas where he has been employed for approximately eight years now. He has worked at several other first class restaurants, hotels and clubs around the country. Before moving to Houston, he worked at the Athletic Club of Columbus, St. Clair Country Club, La Bonne Auberge and Opryland Hotel.

In 2012 Chef Darvishi was the team manager for the gold medal winning Youth Culinary Team USA which represented the United States at the international Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany. He is also the recipient of a myriad of awards including the ACF National "Chef Professionalism" Award, Academy of Chefs 'Good taste' award, and multiple gold medals in the prestigious 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004 (including a perfect score) Culinary Olympics in Germany. He was a member of the U.S. Culinary Team at the World Cup Championships in 1990 where he also won two gold medals. He has also received 30 other gold medals at both the national and state levels hot food competitions.

Chef Darvishi is a member of Chaine de Rotisseurs, James Beard Foundation, American Culinary Federation, American Academy of Chefs and Association of Culinary Professionals as well as certified executive chef and a certified international culinary judge by the World Association of Chefs (WACS).

Judge Chef HugelierChef Stafford T. Decambra CEC, CCE, CCA, WCMC, AAC
After graduating with from The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, N.Y., in 1978, DeCambra, CEC, CCE, CCA, WCMC, AAC worked in several foodservice capacities in Hawaii, his home state, from the Cruise Line Industry to the continental United States.
He recently retired and is serving as a Global Culinary Consultant. In 2005 DeCambra was inducted into the Epicurean World Master Chefs Society and in 2013 he received his Master Chef Certification from the World Association of Chef's & Cook's Society, an honor he says is a dream come true.

He is the past National Chairman of the American Academy of Chefs, the honor society of the American Culinary Federation and currently serves the National President of the American Culinary Federation.

Chef DeCambra also served on American Culinary Federation National Culinary Team USA as the 2016 ACF National Youth Team Manager. His most recent position he served as the Corporate Executive Chef for Poarch Creek Indians where Chef DeCambra oversaw all Culinary Operations for 3 different properties to include Creek Casino-Tallapoosa, Wind Creek Casino & Hotel-Atmore and the newly built Wind Creek Casino Creek-Wetumpka generating over $40 million a year in Food revenue.

Chef Roland E. SchaefferChef Roland E. Schaeffer, CEC, AAC, HOF
Chef Schaeffer has been a Senior Experimental Chef for Heinz U.S.A., a division of the H. J. Heinz Company for the last 22 years. He is also a Certified Executive Chef. Prior to joining Heinz in 1978, Schaeffer was Executive Chef at the Lakeview Inn and Country Club Resort in Morgantown, W. Va. He also served as chef at the Bel Air Country Club in California; Chaparral Club, Dallas, Texas; and the Sheraton Blackstone Hotel, Chicago, Illinois.

In 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000 Chef Schaeffer competed as a member, team advisor, culinary judge and apprentice team coach of the U. S. Culinary Olympic Team, which participates in the International Culinary Competition held every four years in Germany. He received three gold medals and an honorary diploma at this most prestigious culinary competition in the world. He is a member of the American Academy of Chefs, has been Chef de Cuisine of the most leading gourmet and food societies across the United States and is an Honorary Member and Ambassador of the Chefs and Cooks Association of Pittsburgh, a chapter of ACF. In 1979, the local organization named him "Chef of the Year"

At the ACF's 1991 National Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii, Chef Schaeffer was named both Chef Professionalism Award Winner and National Chef of the Year. This is the first time one individual has garnered the federation's top two annual recognition's in a single year. In 1994, Chef Schaeffer received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Culinary Arts from the Johnson and Wales University. In 1998, he was the recipient of the American Academy of Chefs chairman's medal and in 2000, he was inducted into the (AAC) Hall of Fame for the lifelong dedication to the advancement of the culinary profession.

Chef Roland E. SchaefferChef James McCallister, CEC, AAC
Chef James McCallister received his culinary education through an apprenticeship at Kiawah Island in conjunction with the American Culinary Federation. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Masters in Hotel, Restaurant, & Tourism Management from the University of South Carolina.

Chef McCallister worked at the Atlanta Hilton and Towers at Nikolais’ Roof as Saucier. He took the position of Executive Chef with Milliken at their corporate Guest House in 1986 where he remained until leaving in 2017.

Chef McCallister has competed in over 30 culinary competitions, local, regional, national, and international including the Culinary Olympics in 1996, 2000, and 2008. He was a member of the 1996 Culinary Team USA. Chef McCallister is a Certified Executive Chef, a member of the honor society of the American Academy of Chefs, and is a Certified Culinary Judge. His love of food comes from being raised in a family of great cooks.


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