by Diane VanDyke
Montgomery County Community College’s Director of the Culinary Arts Institute Christopher Allen Tanner, CEC, WCC, CHE, AAC was recently inducted into the American Academy of Chefs (AAC) — the honor society of the American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF).
Chef Tanner was one of only 16 AAC society members inducted at the 41st Annual Induction dinner on July 15 during the ACF National Convention in Orlando, Fla.
“Becoming a Fellow of the AAC has been a lifetime goal and dream of mine,” Chef Tanner said. “To accomplish this at this time in my life—when I have just started with MCCC to establish the new Culinary Arts Institute and when my wife and I are expecting our first child in January—is fantastic. Truly, I owe this honor to Chefs Fritz Sonnenschmidt, CMC, AAC, and Noble Masi, CMB, CEPC, AAC, for nominating me and guiding me in my career, along with my other mentor Thomas Recinella, CEC, AAC, all of my students and especially my wife for supporting me in all of my endeavors.”
AAC members represent the highest standards of culinary professionalism in the organization, society and industry. Out of more than 22,000 ACF members, approximately 850 members have been inducted into the Academy.
To become a Fellow, chefs must be nominated by two current AAC Fellows and meet several requirements. These include being ACF certified for two years; having a minimum of 15 years of culinary experience, with at least 10 years an executive chef at a full-service restaurant or at least five years for a culinary educator; being an ACF member for at least 10 consecutive years and attending at least four ACF conferences and/or national conventions. Additionally, applicants must fulfill at least 10 of 20 elective attainable goals.
Prior to his position as director of the College’s Culinary Arts program, Chef Tanner previously worked as a chef-instructor at Schenectady County Community College, N.Y., as executive chef/club manager at Winnisook Club, Big Indian, N.Y., and as executive chef/consultant at Merlin Hospitality, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He is a member of ACF Philadelphia Chapter.
Before moving to Pennsylvania, he served as president of ACF Capital District–Central New York. He has received numerous awards and recognitions, including ACF Capital District–Central New York’s 2010 Chef of the Year Award and its 2011 Chef Educator of the Year Award. He has also won more than 35 medals in culinary competitions. In addition, he serves as an ACF-approved culinary judge.
In his current position as director, Chef Tanner oversees all aspects of the College’s new Culinary Arts Institute. Slated to open in 2013, the Institute will be located in Towamencin Town Square, near the Lansdale exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The 15,000 square-foot facility will feature four state-of-the-art kitchens and equipment, three SMART classrooms, a retail café and bakeshop and a first floor patio for dining and grilling.