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Chef Speranza Named 2011 ACF Rochester Chef of the Year

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Oct 10, 2011

After competing with other Rochester, New York-area chefs in an American Culinary Federation (ACF) cook-off, Chef Mike Speranza, CEC, was awarded the top honor of 2011 ACF Rochester Chef of the Year.

Mike’s cook-off dish was Pan-Seared Duck Breast, with Sofrito Demi-Glace, served with an Olive Oil and Black Pepper Roesti Potato and Wilted Greens.

With a busy schedule working for our company and as his local public school system’s ambassador to the national Chefs Move to Schools program, one might think Mike has little time for competitive cooking.

However, he tells us they keep him on his toes and expose him to great ideas from fellow culinary colleagues. “Cooking competitions are like running a marathon in a shopping center—with a sharp knife,” he says of the challenge. “You’d better stay alert.”

In his acceptance speech, Mike used his signature sense of humor to articulate how exacting his profession’s standards are, and what an honor it is to win. 

“How many chefs does it take to change a light bulb?” he asked the crowd. “Five. One to actually change the bulb and four to say how it could have been done better! So to be recognized by this group of chefs is very humbling. It means so much to me."

In his speech, Mike also thanked Custom Culinary, Inc. and his mentor, Chef Greg Broman.