Chef of the Year

The “Chef of the Year” award is the most prestigious award a culinary professional can receive from The American Culinary Federation (ACF).  Chef of the Year is a top honor presented to an individual who has been nominated by their peers and voted by a membership ballot.

"CHEF OF THE YEAR" AWARD 2018

The WSCA presented the 2018 "Chef of the Year" award to Chef JJ Meland CEC, CCA, WCCE of Bates Technical College.

The Chef of the Year Award was given at the 2019 Presidents Awards Dinner at the Broadmoor Golf Club. For more info on the dinner, pictures and other rewards given, click here…

The culinary industry has been a part of Maynard (J.J.) Meland’s life since the beginning. He grew up in the kitchen, and since then has worked at many well-known hotels and restaurants including the Marriott, Coast Hotels & Resorts, Silver City Restaurant, and El Gaucho. He graduated from Western Culinary Institute, and has since then been expanding his education by becoming a Certified Executive Chef, Certified Culinary Administrator and a Worldchefs Certified Culinary Educator. Recently, he was honored with a National ACF Presidential Award and the 2018 Washington State Chef of the Year Award. J.J. serves on six different boards and is one of only eight members of the the National American Culinary Federation Certification Commission. Recently, he also became the National Chair of Written Exams for the A.C.F. He also serves on the Washington State Chef’s Association and is an active member in the community, working with Kitsap Community Agriculture Alliance and Kitsap Farmers Market Alliance. After eight years of teaching at Bates Technical College in Tacoma, he left to build his own restaurant, Maynard’s in Silverdale. With a market, restaurant, and cooking classes, J.J. plans on making Maynard’s Kitsap’s culinary destination.

"CHEF OF THE YEAR" AWARD 2017

The WSCA presented the 2017 "Chef of the Year" award to Chef Steven Schrader, CCA. Chef Steven Schrader works for the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort Leadership team as Director of Food & Beverage.

The Chef of the Year Award was given at the 2018 Presidents Awards Dinner at the Broadmoor Golf Club. For more info on the dinner, pictures and other rewards given, click here…

"CHEF OF THE YEAR" AWARD 2016

The WSCA presented the 2016 "Chef of the Year" award to Chef Tin Nguyen. Chef Tin Nguyen has more than 30 years experience in professional kitchens, and his awards include two American Culinary Federation Gold Medals. He holds a degree in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., and is a certified executive chef with the American Culinary Federation. Since 2008, Nguyen has overseen five restaurants and all the banquet services for the hotel and resort operations for the Clearwater Casino.

The Chef of the Year Award was given at the February 2017 Presidents Awards Dinner at the Hilton Seattle Airport and Conference Center. For more info on the dinner, pictures and other rewards given, click here…

"CHEF OF THE YEAR" AWARD 2015

The WSCA presented the 2015 "Chef of the Year" award to Brandon S. LaVielle, a Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC) and Co-Owner/Executive Chef for Lavish Roots Catering in Burien, WA. Chef LaVielle, who is also a member of the ACF Washington State Chefs Association board of directors, was presented Chef of the Year at the chapter’s President’s dinner awards ceremony held in February 2016 at the Sea-Tac Hilton Hotel and Conference Center, Sea-Tac, WA. “I am extremely humbled by this honor. There are many esteemed chefs that have received this award before me, including a few of my mentors, and I am truly speechless”, said the West Seattle native. LaVielle is one of the youngest chefs to win the coveted award. Tony Parker CEC, AAC and President of the Washington State Chefs Association had this to say about Chef LaVielle. “Every year I reflect on what chef has stepped up and made a difference for our chapter, young culinarians and our community. This year it was an easy decision for me. Chef LaVielle has distinguished himself as a true leader and champion for young culinarians in our field”. Chef LaVielle now turns his attention towards coaching his apprentice in the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Young Chef National Finals in Florida coming up in June. Chef LaVielle will compete, himself, in two categories in a world sanctioned competition in Bellingham, WA in May.

The Chef of the Year Award was given at the February 2016 Presidents Awards Dinner. For more info on the dinner, pictures and other rewards given, click here…

"CHEF OF THE YEAR" AWARD 2014

Tamas Ronyai, WSCA Board Member and Culinary Salon Co-Chair, has been named Chef of the Year for 2014. Tamas Ronyai is an Executive Chef Mirabella Seattle.

View Tamas Ronyai’s Member Spotlight bio.

The Chef of the Year Award was given at the February 2015 Presidents Awards Dinner. For more info on the dinner, pictures and other rewards given, click here…

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“CHEF OF THE YEAR” AWARD 2013

Michael Baldwin CEC, AAC, CCE, WSCA Competition Chair, has been named Chef of the Year for 2013. Michael Baldwin is a Chef Instructor for Bellingham Technical College Culinary Arts Department. Michael is also the Membership Chair and Education Chair for the WSCA.

View Michael Baldwins Member Spotlight bio.

The Chef of the Year Award was given at the February 2014 Presidents Awards Dinner. For more info on the dinner, pictures and other rewards given, click here…

“CHEF OF THE YEAR” AWARD 2012

Jeff Pratt, WSCA Treasurer, has been named Chef of the Year for 2012. Jeff Pratt is the Chef and Culinary Skills Training Program Manager at Tacoma Goodwill Industries. Jeff is also the Apprentice Chair for the WSCA.

View Jeff Pratts Member Spotlight bio.

The Chef of the Year Award was given at the March 2013 Presidents Awards Dinner. For more info on the dinner, pictures and other rewards given, click here…

“CHEF OF THE YEAR” AWARD 2011

Mark Linden CEC AAC, WSCA President for 2012-2013, was named Chef of the Year for 2011. Mark Linden is the Executive Chef at Exeter House. Mark has held many WSCA offices and developed the ACF certification program for the state of Alaska.

View Mark Lindens Member Spotlight bio.

The Chef of the Year Award was given at the March 2012 Presidents Awards Dinner. For more info on the dinner, pictures and other rewards given, click here…

“CHEF OF THE YEAR” AWARD 2010

Dan Lewark CEC, AAC, CCA, past WSCA Vice President, has been named Chef of the Year for 2010. Dan is an Executive Chef at Sand Point Country Club. He has been an ACF mentor to many aspiring chefs, an Approved Certification Evaluator (ACE) and past WSCA Competition Chair.

View Dan Lewarks Member Spotlight bio.

The Chef of the Year Award was given at the March 2011 Presidents Awards Dinner. For more info on the dinner, pictures and other rewards given, click here…

“CHEF OF THE YEAR” AWARD 2009

Tony Parker CEC, AAC, ACE, WSCA President, has been named Chef of the Year for 2009. Tony is an Executive Chef, General Manager & Master Ice Sculptor. Tony is the past WSCA Fundraising Chair Person and was the WSCA Certification Chairperson for 5 years.

View Tony Parkers Member Spotlight bio.

The Chef of the Year Award was given at the March 2010 Presidents Awards Dinner. For more info on the dinner, pictures and other rewards given, click here…

“CHEF OF THE YEAR” AWARD 2007

Janet Waters was named Chef of the Year leaving her literally speechless, and later e-mailing us what an honor it is to be a part of our association in being chosen Chef of the Year.

Janet Waters was the Sargeant in Arms for the WSCA for over 3 years and is now the WSCA Secretary. As the Baking and Pastry Arts Instructor at Lake Washington Technical College, Janet is a Nationally Certified Working Pastry Chef.

View Janet Waters Member Spotlight bio.

“CHEF OF THE YEAR” AWARD 2006

At the 2007 Presidents’ Award Dinner, Chef Gary Fuller CEC, CCE, AAC was named “Chef of the Year of the Washington State Chefs’ Association for 2006?.

Chef Fuller is the instructor at West Sound Technical Skills center in Bremerton. Gary serves on the ACF Foundation Commission Accreditation Commission and has been a board member of our association for the past 6 years currently in charge of the finance committee. He has been active in Skills USA for over 16 years and his program at West Sound Skills center was one of the first on the west coast to receive the prestigious ACF national accreditation.

“CHEF OF THE YEAR” AWARD 2005

Steve Lammers has received the prestigious “Chef of the year” award for 2005 from the Washington State Chefs’ Association, an affiliate chapter of the American Culinary Federation. Steve Lammers has been a Chef Instructor at Olympic College in Bremerton, WA for the past 27 years.

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