A Journey to the National ACF Competition
A letter from Chef Scott Scheible:
I would like to say thank you to the St. Louis Chefs de Cuisine and the St. Louis Chefs de Cuisine Educational Foundation for the support they gave to me for the Central Region Chef of the Year competition and the National Chef of the Year competition. It was an honor to represent these two outstanding organizations.
Luke Miller and I gave it everything we had. We let it all hang out there. It may have not turned out the exact way we wrote it up, or did it?
Whether it was 1st, 2nd, or last we achieved the most important goal. WE LEARNED, We made ourselves better cooks. We learned what it takes to prepare for a national competition. We elevated our discipline. We had fun doing it - well as much as you can. We represented our fine chapter that supported us in elevating our careers.
I've been with the chapter for 15 years. And without the chapter and the Chefs in it, I would not have the knowledge that I do today. I owe a big thanks the chapter and it's members and look forward to helping the chapter grow and give back, like previous Chefs have given of their time. A big thank you to Chef Brian Bernstein for going through hell with me. I could not have done it without you. Chef Aidan Murphy and Chef Dan Holtgrave - thank you always for the advice, critiques and knowledge. Chef Bob Colosimo, for the hard work and running a great tight ship.
Lastly, Chef Chris Desens for being such a great leader, not only in the Chapter but as a person.
My Thoughts Before the Competition
As we are just taking off from STL, I'm thinking - there we go, its time! It's time to go, to cook, and let go of everything that I've worked on relentlessly for months, nay, years! It's exciting, its peaceful to be in the kitchen. One more run. It's pure energy to say, leave it all out there. To pour everything into this 1 competition. To use every resource, to do the homework that gets us ready. The research, the practicing, the calls, the studying of when lamb is ready, aged enough or needs more time. This to me seems like the first timeI can say, every ounce of energy went into this. Well, maybe regionals too. But, hey this is it. The stage is set. It's not about a national stage, no different than any other one.
I say when you can look into someones eyes and see the passion, the focus, the scars, the sweat that someone poured into competition at any level, it's special.
Ive leaned so much from this one already, I can see it. This one left a permanent mark on me. Cooking its simple yet so challenging. Without the right tools and the right knowledge you're just a cook. To continue to pursue more knowledge or different skill sets, is joy. To continue to climb.
Why does that sauce taste like that? To caramelize the meat properly, to use the fond.Why roast meat on the bone? Why glaze vegetables at the last minute. It's all about the little things. Hey, what the crap is lacti ferment? Ahh, utilizing a different salt in a recipe. Wow. So simple.
And the support behind me, keeps me shooting higher and higher. Where is the end? Without the teamwork and friends helping on this, it certainly would not be this special. It's an event for all of us. We all got to learn on this. We all got a little better. The small circle.
The ones that love what we do.Its special, words cant describe all of it.Its a feeling, it's aiming to be the best me. Does not matter about the other competitors.