“IN PURSUIT OF CULINARY EXCELLENCE” was the 1988 Culinary New England Teams tag line that we took with us to Frankfurt, Germany 25 years ago.
Message from Walter Zuromski, CEC, CCE
President / Culinary Director – Chef Services Group, Inc.
Team Member 1988 NE Culinary Team
Those who know me are aware that I am very passionate about food. This page is a tribute to the 1988 New England Culinary Olympic Team and a review of one of my career highlights – 25 years ago. My experience with several members of this team changed me professionally and made me a better chef. I believe that each member can say they learned from each other and continue to do so as evidenced at a recent get together in Vero Beach, Florida. Through the organizational efforts of Chef Joe Faria from Quail Valley Golf and River Club the team reunited for a charity dinner fundraiser. I am proud of our work together and honored to say that I was a part of this recent event. I hope that you enjoy the story of our team.
The American Culinary Federation (ACF) has sent many teams to the world culinary event that has come to be known as the Culinary Olympics (not connection with the International Olympic Games). Much like “Iron Chef on Steroids” this event, at the end of the day, is a food show with many levels of competition. Our team history revolves around change and the vision of several chefs who determined that we did not need to be on the ACF National Team to represent the United States in this renowned competition. New England could send it’s own team to Frankfurt, Germany and represent the U.S. regionally. This was the first time since the U.S. had been involved with this competition that a distinct region of the country was represented by it’s own team.
The 1988 New England Culinary Team traveled to Frankfurt as representatives of the New England Chapters of the ACF. That five-day event featured over 1,000 daily chef competitors. The New England Team brought home a total of 21 medals from the Culinary Olympics: 18 gold, two silver and one bronze. Every member of the team brought home gold including eight perfect scores. These results set our team apart as the number one regional team in the world.
“So, it has been 25 years since that date in October 1988. History will show that few ACF teams have achieved such success. This team represented, in many respects, a groundbreaking level of change for the ACF as they supported (not financially) the ability of a group of members to come together independently, learn and grow and succeed at the highest professional level.”
The New England Chapters of the ACF formed an alliance of members and corporate sponsors to raise the funds necessary to support a team that was selected through a process of competition and review of their background. This team of very strong chefs demonstrated their culinary skills and in the process formed some very deep personal friendships and has remained in touch over a period of nearly three decades.
On January 13th, 2014 – Joe Faria, Executive Chef from Quail Valley Golf and River Club reached out to members of this team to participate in a fundraising event to benefit the children of Indian River County, Florida. Chef Joe had a vision and felt that bringing this team together would present an opportunity to offer a great event for his club.
The event on January 13th was meant to celebrate the reunion of The 1988 New England Team and raise funds for a worthy cause. The sold-out dinner was a great success and the get together of this team was an epic collaboration. The net result was the collaborative work of five chefs Joe Faria, Michael Beriau, Charles Carroll, Paul Sorgule and Walter Zuromski – all former members of this historic culinary team.