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

2017 Chef Challenge Judges

Chef Alex DarvishiChef Alex Darvishi, CEC, AAC
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 Daniel G. Hugelier, CMC
Chef Daniel Hugelier was certified as a Master Chef in 1988 and went on to be a three-time member of the only culinary team in history to win the prestigious Hot food Gold Medal three consecutive times. He has also coached for National Team USA, was Manager of the 1992 Michigan Culinary team for Germany and has consulted for many other international events.

Chef Hugelier served as professor of Culinary Arts at Schoolcraft College in Michigan for 22 years. His responsibilities centered around the New Vista-Tech centre’ American Harvest restaurant where he taught students in advanced skills-based cooking. He believes that teaching and training are the most rewarding elements of developing our profession. He is recipient of the NISOD and Trends awards for teaching excellence.

His background in cooking spans a career of 49 years. The London Chop House, Detroit Athletic Club and The Grand Plaza Hotel are establishments he has worked in. He was twice a member of the USA national Ice carving team for Japan. He contributes as a judge for food and Ice competitions with the goal of encouraging others to develop their skills. Chef Dan currently is Advisor and culinary coach for Team USA, culinary Olympic Team for Luxembourg and The German IKA-Hoga competition in 2016.

Judge Chef McCallisterChef Jim McCallister, CEC AAC
Chef Jim McCallister joined Milliken in 1986 as executive chef of the Spartanburg Guest House. Over the years, he has built a terrific team in the kitchen, which delivers outstanding flavors to the table, on a daily basis.

Chef McCallister has a B.A. from the SUNY at Buffalo and a Masters degree in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management from the University of South Carolina. He received his culinary education serving an ACF apprenticeship at Kiawah Island.

Chef McCallister has distinguished himself in numerous regional, national, and international culinary competitions, including the 1996, 2000, & 2008 Culinary Olympics. He is a member of the American Culinary Federation, the American Academy of Chefs, and an ACF approved Culinary Judge.

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.

Alan J Neace SR, MS, CEC, AACAlan J Neace SR, MS, CEC, AAC
Chef Neace is currently the Executive Chef and Associate Dean at the esteemed Midwest Culinary Institute of Cincinnati State College, Cincinnati Ohio where he oversees all Hospitality/Culinary/Pastry and Baking/Brewing/Dietetic academic programs and ancillary business operations which include three restaurants. MCI is where he has been employed for approximately twelve years now. Previously he has worked as the Executive Chef for Hilton Hotels and for the prestigious Coldstream Country in Ohio.

Neace acquired a Bachelors degree in Business Management at Franklin University and a Master’s degree in Executive Leadership & Organizational Change at Northern Kentucky University. A staunch competitor since 1991, Neace has successfully competed across the United States, South America, and Europe garnering over 30 individual and team medals. As a competition veteran, he is now the senior coach and manager of the student culinary team at MCI.

Chef Neace is a member of Chaine de Rotisseurs, American Culinary Federation, American Academy of Chefs and World Master Chefs Society as well as certified executive chef and a certified international culinary judge by the World Association of Chefs (WACS).

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