ACF Vice President Receives Prestigious Antonin Carême Medal

Harry Brockwell honored with recognition that also went to Julia Child.

 

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CALIF., November 26, 2007 – Harry Brockwell, vice president of the American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF), was honored as one of four 2007 recipients of the Antonin Carême Medal presented by the ACF San Francisco Chapter at a 38th-anniversary reception and dinner at The University Club in San Francisco on Nov. 5.

Brockwell, owner and executive chef of Oceanside Caterers in Westlake Village, Calif., accepted his medal along with fellow 2007 recipients Uwe Henze, president and managing partner of Gourmet Foods, Hayward, Calif.; Ed Kelly, president of Kelly Gourmet Foods and American Poultry, San Francisco; and Welter Leible, certified master chef and academic director of culinary arts at The Art Institute of Phoenix.

The Antonin Carême Medal program was founded by The Chefs Association of the Pacific Coast, Inc. (now the ACF San Francisco Chapter) in 1969. The purpose of the program is to honor those rare individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the culinary profession, particularly to education and the advancement of gastronomy and the culinary arts. Prospective recipients demonstrate unequaled culinary excellence along with the highest compassionate, humane qualities.

Of the 141 medals presented since the program’s inception, Brockwell’s medal is No. 138; the late Julia Child’s is No. 28. The medal bearing the likeness of Antonin Carême was designed by the late chef-artist Jean Joaquin.

“This is an awesome recognition for which I owe a multitude of thanks and appreciation for the contributions of so many,” Brockwell said.

Brockwell, whose cooking career spans more than four decades, is certified as an executive chef (CEC) by ACF and is also a member of ACF’s exclusive honor society, the American Academy of Chefs (AAC). As vice president of the St. Augustine, Fla.-based federation, Brockwell presides over the Western United States on ACF’s executive committee.

He is a member of many distinguished culinary associations, including ACF/Channel Islands Chefs Association, Caterina d’Medici Societie Gastronomique, Culinary Historians of Southern California, International Food Service Executives Association, Les Amis d’Escoffier Society, Les Toques Blanches, Professional Chefs Association and the Research Chefs Association. Brockwell is an official certification practical-skills evaluator for ACF, as well as an accrediting evaluator of postsecondary training programs.

The namesake of the Carême Medal, Marie Antoine (Antonin) Carême (17841833), was born in Paris at the height of the French Revolution. He is well known for greatly simplifying and codifying the style of cooking known as haute cuisine, the high art of French cooking that is central to France’s national cuisine. Known as “chef of kings and king of chefs,” Carême is often thought of as the first celebrity chef.

In his first major position, Carême worked as chef de cuisine to the French diplomat and gourmand Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord. Talleyrand actively encouraged Carême to produce a new, refined style of eating using fresh herbs and vegetables and simplified sauces with fewer ingredients. Carême is credited with  creating the standard chef’s hat, the toque; he classified all sauces into groups based on four mother sauces; and he is frequently credited with replacing the practice of service à la française (serving all dishes at once) with service à la russe (serving each dish in the order printed on the menu). Carême wrote several encyclopedic works on cookery, above all L’Art de la Cuisine Française, which included instructions for organizing kitchens.

According to Salvatore J. Campagna, CEC, HAAC, chair of marketing outreach for ACF’s Western region and former chair of the ACF San Francisco Chapter’s Antonin Carême Medal program, Brockwell is eminently deserving of the medal that honors Carême’s contributions to modern gastronomy.

“Chef Brockwell has, for many years, unselfishly devoted his time, energy and talent to improving the lives of all culinarians,” Campagna said. “As vice president of ACF, Chef Brockwell has done an outstanding job at communicating with all ACF chapters in the Western states, bringing them the latest information on educational and career-advancement opportunities. The Western regional conferences under his guidance have brought innovation, variety and the highest professional standards to these annual events.”

For more information on the Antonin Carême Medal program, visit www.sfchefs.org/careme.html.