The best chef in the nation for 2014 is Timothy Prefontaine, a 2000 Culinary Arts graduate of N.H. Community Technical College in Berlin, now White Mountains Community College. Prefontaine, executive chef at the Fort Worth Club, Fort Worth, Texas, received the title of 2014 U.S. A.’s Chef of the Year and $5,000, after winning a national competition, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions, during the 2014 American Culinary Federation (ACF) National Convention in Kansas City in July.
“Earning the title of U.S.A.’s Chef of the Year is a true honor,” said Prefontaine, a New Hampshire native. “It was a challenging and rewarding experience, none of which would have been possible without the support and commitment of my wife Alma Prefontaine, my family, The Fort Worth Club management and culinary team, and my two great apprentices, Maddie Cutts and Juan Guevara. I am proud to be affiliated with an organization of such professionals.”
Prefontaine’s culinary arts associate degree has served him well and taken him a long way in the professional world of culinary arts. Former professor Kurt Hohmeister agrees. “It’s great to see one of our graduates experience that kind of success. Tim was an individual who stood out among the other students. He was passionate about rock and roll and food. I’m glad he chose the latter as his career!” says Hohmeister.
Prefontaine, ACF Central Region Chef of the Year, competed against three other chefs for the award. National competitors competed and won their regional titles for a spot to compete for the national award. Chefs had 1 hour to prepare, cook and present four different show plates utilizing quail, and 1 hour to cook and present plates to the judges for tasting. A panel of distinguished judges evaluated organization, cooking skills, culinary techniques and taste to determine the winner. Prefontaine chose to prepare four individual starters for his presentation.
Prefontaine is an ACF-certified Executive Chef® (CEC). His experience includes sous chef at The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, and executive sous chef at River Oaks Country Club, Houston. Prefontaine has competed in more than 20 state, national and international culinary competitions. He was a member of 2008 ACF Culinary Regional Team USA, which received first place out of 62 teams in the regional category at the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung, commonly referred to as the “culinary Olympics,” in Erfurt, Germany, and was a member of 2012 ACF Culinary Team USA that placed third overall at the 2010 Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg. He serves as a team coach for 2016 ACF Culinary Team USA, and is an ACF national member.
The award, created in 1963, acknowledges ACF member Walter Roth, AAC®, for his tireless efforts to promote and elevate the culinary profession. The award has grown in prestige, and today is the highest honor annually bestowed by ACF. It recognizes an outstanding chef who works and cooks in a full-service dining facility. This person demonstrates the highest standard of culinary skills, advances the cuisine of America and gives back to the