Education Foundation, Inc

​​​​​​Association of San Diego

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History of the ACF


The American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF), a professional, organization for chefs and cooks, was founded in 1929 in New York City by three chefs’ organizations: the Société Culinaire Philanthropique, the Vatel Club and the Chefs de Cuisine Association of America. Since our inception, little has changed in our principal goals. We are an organization based on promoting the professional image of American chefs worldwide through education of culinarians at all levels.

The American Culinary Federation

In 1976, ACF forever changed the culinary industry by elevating the position of the executive chef from domestic service status to the professional category in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Dictionary of Official Titles. Since this change, the culinary industry and our organization have grown tremendously. Today, ACF is the largest professional chefs organization in North America. We are made up of more than 20,000 members who belong to more than 200 chapters in four regions across the United States.

The National American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF), ACF’s educational arm, is a nonprofit and is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service with a 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. Donations to the ACFEF are tax deductible – please consult your tax advisor for further guidance. Entities under the ACFEF include apprenticeship, programmatic accreditation, American Academy of Chefs, Chef & Child Foundation, Senior Chefs and ACF Culinary Team USA.

ACF is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation designed to enhance professional growth for all current and future chefs and pastry chefs. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef & Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and combat childhood obesity.

The ACF offers culinary competitions, certification, a national apprenticeship program, regional and national events, publications and much more to help foster the growth of professional chefs and the foodservice industry. If you are not part of our organization, we invite you to join us and gain access to the best culinary resources available.


The ACF is the oldest and largest chef organization in America. Our local chapter has been around since 1961. Originally we were members of the Los Angeles Chefs de Cuisine Chapter. At the urging of their President in late 1959 we finally had enough members to create our own chapter. By 1961 we became established as a Chefs de Cuisine Chapter and went on to host the National convention at the now Hilton Mission Bay Hotel in 1965 where a historic event took place. WACCS and the ACF decided to work together as one in representing Chefs worldwide and being the authority of cooking. We are focused on education and development of our members at all times and at all stages of their careers. We know what is important, and we will be here for the next generation of chefs and the next! We also stand tall within the San Diego community for our charitable acts.