Decker Named To A. C. F. Culinary National Team U. S. A.

St. Augustine, Fla., Oct. 15, 2007-Certified master pastry chef Joseph Decker, chef-instructor at Schoolcraft College, Livonia, Mich., has been named to the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Culinary National Team USA, the official representative culinary team for the United States in major national and international culinary competitions.

One of only 13 ACF certified master pastry chefs (CMPC) in North America, Decker has a strong culinary-competition background, which will serve ACF Culinary National Team USA well when it competes at the International Culinary Exhibition (IKA) International Culinary Art Competition-more commonly know as the "culinary Olympics"-in Erfurt, Germany, in October 2008. Decker competed in the 1995 Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie World Pastry Cup in Lyon, France, in which the United States team placed third, he was on the gold-medal Michigan Regional team at the 1992 IKA in Frankfurt, Germany, and also received a gold medal in pasty at the culinary competition held at the 1991 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show´┐Ż, Chicago.

A member of ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association, Decker is a chef-instructor at Schoolcraft College, Livonia, Mich. His previous employment includes serving as director of research and development for Awrey's Bakeries, Inc., Livonia, Mich., from 1987 to 2001; executive pastry chef at Sweet Endings Pastry Shop in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; and pastry chef at Golden Mushroom Restaurant in Southfield, Mich.

"Joe joining ACF Culinary Team USA is a major plus for our team, as he brings a sense of maturity and a classical background that will be the foundation for a modern approach," said certified master chef and ACF Culinary National Team USA manager Edward Leonard, CMC, AAC. "He has the hunger to be the best and to help win a championship. He knows that silver and a low gold is not good enough, and that the team's purpose is to do its best, give everything and be the top team.

"Change is always a tough choice for a team leader, especially when talented chefs have had some measure of success from being on the team. Making a change and naming a new person to the team can be a risk. Sometimes, though, the change can be a plus-it can create new energy and give the team a new focus, as the person coming in will have a different set of eyes. I believe Joe will do this for us, as well as being a great addition in other ways."

ACF Culinary National Team USA is a top contender on the world culinary stage, recently placing fifth overall and winning two gold medals at the EXPOGAST 2006 Culinary World Cup international culinary competition in Luxembourg, November 2006. Additionally, the team took home two gold medals at the Salon Culinaire Mondial in Basel, Switzerland, in 2005, which is held every six years.

The team's history at IKA is long and distinguished. When Americans began competing as an official team in 1956, they were clearly the underdogs. However, American cookery soon established itself as world-class cuisine. The 1960 team captured the first world championship honor for the United States, and ACF Culinary Team USA repeated the distinction in 1980, 1984 and 1988 by taking the prestigious hot-food competition all three times and establishing a new world record for the most consecutive gold-medal wins. The team's most recent IKA win came in 2004, when the team took home the gold medal in hot-food cooking, reestablishing ACF Culinary National Team USA as the leader in international cooking.

Members of ACF Culinary National Team USA are: Edward Leonard, certified master chef (CMC), American Academy of Chefs (AAC), ACF Culinary National Team USA manager and executive chef at Westchester Country Club, Rye, N.Y.; Joachi


Dan Macdonald
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