The American Culinary Federation (ACF) National President Rene J. Marquis, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC, the first former military chef to serve in this leadership role, held his first Town Hall for ACF members where he announced plans to revitalize culinary competitions, showcase ACF Chefs and bolster certification and educational programming. Chef Marquis highlighted these goals to members following his first 60 days in office. 

ACF National President Hosts Inaugural Town Hall Meeting

“In my new role as president, I plan to champion culinary education, certifications and accreditations, ensuring that aspiring and young chefs have access to the knowledge, resources and mentorship they need to succeed,” Chef Marquis said. “In addition, I vow to work with our Board of Directors with integrity, transparency, compassion, an open ear and a deep love for the culinary arts. My main mission is to strengthen the future of the organization and its reputation as the standard of excellence for the culinary industry for what will be 95 years next year.”  

And/Or: “By embracing collaboration, supporting one another and nurturing the next generation of chefs, we will continue to elevate our craft and leave an indelible mark on the culinary landscape.” 


During the Town Hall, Chef Marquis said he plans to re-introduce regional ACF qualifying competitions as well as bring back ACF national competitions to the trade show floor during convention in order to revive excitement for one of the Federation’s strongest programs. He also said he plans to support the many ACF chapters that serve as the core of the Federation as well as local communities through the Chef & Child Initiative and other ACF programs for veterans and those in need. He also plans to continue to promote diversity and inclusion within the culinary industry, creating a space where every chef feels valued and empowered to contribute.  


“I look forward to working with President Marquis and our board of directors on our strategic vision for the future growth of ACF,” said Christopher Tanner, CEC, CCE, AAC, who was named ACF’s new executive director in September. “Together, through transparency and collaboration, we will work to find ways to add value to members, value to sponsors, and excitement for prospective new members in all segments of our industry.”

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Chef Marquis is a native of Maine and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York, in 1992. He worked at the Broadmoor Hotel before joining the U.S. Army in 1993. Throughout his 21-year military career, Chef Marquis was a team member and captain of the U.S. Army Culinary Arts Team (USACAT) and competed in the IKA Culinary Olympics in Germany as well as in several World Cups. He also served as business manager for ACF’s Culinary Team USA when they competed at the World Cup in 2018 and the IKA Culinary Olympics in February 2020, and he served as a judge for the World Cup in November 2022. Chef Marquis, who has appeared on “Dinner Boot Camp” and Alton Brown’s “Cutthroat Kitchen,” is also an approved ACF competition judge and certification evaluator, and he has been the recipient of Presidential Medallions and numerous ACF awards. Chef Marquis currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the ACF Tampa Bay Chapter and is a corporate executive chef for Land O’Lakes.