A Feast to Remember: Chef of the Year 2024

2023 & 2024 COY- 11- ACF Chefs Las Vegas - Chef of the Year 2024

🎉 It’s a wrap! Chef of the Year 2024 is officially in the books, and what a night it was! We had a blast celebrating our amazing members and supporters. Let’s take a fun look back at the highlights of this fantastic evening.

A Night of Awards and Celebrations

Before we get to the big one, the Chef of the Year Award, let’s talk about the other exciting honors handed out.

President’s Award

ACF Las Vegas President Lucio Arancibia kicked things off by presenting the President’s Award to Get Fresh and Las Vegas Food Project. These awesome organizations have been incredible supporters of ACF and our non-profit, Chefs for Kids.

Honoring the Heart of Chefs for Kids

Heikili Apao, President of Chefs for Kids, took a moment to recognize Lydia Brown and John Rees for their years of amazing service. Lydia has been our rock as Secretary on the Board of Directors, and John? He’s our superhero who always drives the ChefMobile to Cookin’ Up Breakfast events, no matter how early! Both are always there, cooking up a storm and even donating their skills for our live auction at the annual Dinner & Auction.

Associate of the Year

This year’s Associate of the Year Award went to… drumroll, please… ALL of our members, past and present! Yes, you heard that right. Thanks to everyone’s support, we’ve built fantastic partnerships and raised funds to support our chapter and Chefs for Kids. You all rock!

Student Culinarian of the Year

Next up, we celebrated Joseph Snyder, our Student Culinarian of the Year. Joseph is a rising star from UNLV’s College of Hospitality. He’s already had a hit special menu at a restaurant in Arvada, Colorado, and juggled work at Lake Las Vegas Resort with college events at the Liberace Mansion and Hospitality Hall Kitchen. With scholarships and awards from the Guy Fieri Foundation, Chefs for Kids, and UNLV, we can’t wait to see what he cooks up next!

The Grand Finale: Chef of the Year

And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for… Congratulations to Chef Darren Walters, our Chef of the Year! Darren, the Assistant Executive Chef at South Point Casino, Hotel & Spa, has turned the property into a culinary sensation over the past two decades. Not only has he wowed us with his culinary talents, but he’s also been a dedicated volunteer board member and Treasurer of ACF Las Vegas, and a generous contributor to Chefs for Kids. Chef Darren, you’re a true culinary hero!

Thank You to Our Amazing Supporters

This night wouldn’t have been possible without the help of so many wonderful folks. A huge thank you to our event sponsors: Hospitality Culinaire Inc./Jamba Juice, Nicholas & Company, and South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa.

Special Shoutouts:

  • Carlos Ice Carving Company for the jaw-dropping ice carving.
  • Chef Flemming of Chef Flemming’s BakeShop in Henderson for the scrumptious Strawberry Shortcake dessert.

And of course, thank you to all of our attendees for celebrating Chef Darren and all our honorees. It was fantastic to see so many talented culinarians coming together for a night of fun and recognition.

Enjoy some of the highlighted photos from the event below. Let’s keep cooking up success together!

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