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The 31st Annual American Culinary Federation Professional Chefs Hot Food Competition – February 13, 2023

February 13

Monday, February 13th, the most popular local chef’s event and tasting in the area will be revived after a two year hiatus!

The American Culinary Federation’s Flint/ Saginaw Valley Chapter has been associated with Zehnder’s Snowfest from the very first year. Going back some 30 years, the final event of Zehnder’s Snowfest was the ACF Professional Chef’s Hot Food Competition and Tasting always held at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth. Our chapter’s founders, Executive Chef John Zehnder and “Dixie” Dave Minar wanted to host the event to showcase local talent and give back to the community topped with a donation to a local charity.

Every year had a theme the chefs would incorporate into their dishes and edible table displays. The themes of the past range from “Pirates of the Caribbean”,  “The Super Bowl”, “The Wild Wild West”, “Sweet Home Chicago”, “Viva Las Vegas”, “Paris in the Moonlight”, “Tour of the Southwest” and everything in between.

Much has changed in recent times. The COVID pandemic caused the cancellation of this event for the past two years. Chef Zehnder has also retired after 40 plus years of service and is no longer running the event. We have had many inquiries over the past couple years and we have been thinking of ways to reimagine this event. After much thought and planning, we are reviving the competition as a new event separate from Snowfest.

We proudly invite you to the 31st Annual American Culinary Federation Flint/ Saginaw Valley Chapter’s Professional Chef’s Hot Food Competition and Tasting on Monday, February 13th 2023 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth. The theme is “Love is in the Air” – a Culinary Tribute to Romance. Up to 22 local chefs will be competing for cash and trophies in four categories.

Past participants have been many chefs from Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, The Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn, Redwood Lodge in Flint, The Saginaw Country Club, Mott Community College and it is open to any chef, cook, or baker from an ACF House in the area. Current entries for this year include many of these along with The Bread Gal, Old Town Junction, Venture Culinary, Prost and the Detroit Gun Club. Past judges have included radio personalities Johnny Burke and Art Lewis along with TV personality Mark Torregrosa.

The “Love is in the Air” themed categories are:

• A Tour of Venice – Italian Cuisine
• Barcelona Delicacies – Spanish Cuisine
• Strolling Through Marseille – French Cuisine
• Sweet Endings – Pastry and Chocolate.

There is also a “Best of Show” category for best table display and a “People’s Choice” category that every ticket holder gets to participate in. The entertainment for the evening features Frankenmuth’s own Jeff Grainger performing as Frank Sinatra with a three piece band. There will also be three “Grand Buffet” tables featuring delicacies from French, Spanish and Italian cuisine. Other attractions are a Sweet Endings dessert table and cash bars located throughout the venue. Proceeds from this event benefit the Great Lakes Bay Region Chapter of Families against Narcotics.

Tickets are $40 each and available to purchase on the Flint/ Saginaw Valley American Culinary Federation Chapter website at www.acf-flint-saginaw.org/purchase-tickets.

We would love to see you there!


February 13
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Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth
730 S. Main Street
Frankenmuth, MI 48734 United States
View Venue Website