The five New Hampshire chapters of the American Culinary Federation, a national organization of chefs, bakers and cooks, have joined together to form the New Hampshire Culinary Hospitality Educational Foundation Inc. (NHCHEF Inc.) The foundation was formed to improve and enhance the availability of culinary arts education through competitions and other events for students and working professionals.

The foundation will provide scholarships and other financial assistance to individuals, culinary arts programs and organizations within the state of New Hampshire and surrounding areas. The foundation raises financial support through donations and events such as their annual Culinary Classic Competition held each October at the Center of New Hampshire in conjunction with the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Exposition. Each year, any ACF member or group may submit requests for financial assistance for educational purposes. Beginning in January 2002, the foundation's board of directors  meet quarterly to consider those requests and distribute funds according to merit, need and availability.

"As professional chefs and educators, our mission is to provide all people aspiring to work in the hospitality industry unique hands on experiences," said Ron Boucher, a NHLRA member and owner of Ron's Landing in Hampton. "Either through our culinary competition where local chefs come to compete and learn through the critiques of certified ACF judges or other opportunities made available through our scholarships, it is our hope that we can truly benefit individuals in the hospitality industry. "

The foundation's board of directors is comprised of ACF leaders, representatives of the hospitality industry and culinary arts educators. Barbara Sanders, a retired culinary educator now serving as a consultant and member of the American Academy of Chefs, serves as the chair. The board's president is Keith Klawes, the culinary director at Nashua High School and president of his local ACF chapter. Serving in the capacity of vice president, Len Martin is the past state director of the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA) and instructor at Region 9 Vocational Culinary Arts Program in Wolfeboro. Perrin Long, an assistant professor and chair of the culinary art program at Southern New Hampshire University and a member of the American Academy of Chefs, is the board's treasurer. The secretary is Ron Boucher, also a member of the American Academy of Chefs.

The foundation is currently working with the NH Junior/Apprentice culinary teams from the Balsams Hotel, New Hampshire Community Technical College in Berlin, and Southern New Hampshire University to hold the second annual Future Chefs fundraiser to be held at the Mount Washington Hotel in April of 2002. Proceeds from the event will help fund future scholarships and regional competitions held each year by the ACF.


To learn how you can become involved and/or make a charitable contribution to NHCHEF Inc., please contact Perrin H. Long, CEC, at 603.629.4611, by email at nhacfcompetitions@yahoo.com or by mail at NHCHEF Inc. PMB 200, 1500A Lafayette Road, Portsmouth, NH 03801-5918.