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Published: Tuesday, 3/6/2001

Culinary pros welcome back Noel Cullen

Calling all chefs, cooks, and culinary professionals: If you missed meeting Dr. Noel Cullen, president of the American Culinary Federation, last year when he attended the Maumee Valley Chefs Association annual dinner, you will get another chance.

Dr. Cullen, associate professor at Boston University's school of hospitality administration, is returning to Toledo for the MVCA 23rd Annual Scholarship Dinner at 4 p.m. Sunday at Bayview Banquet Room, 4441 North Summit St. in Point Place.

Having such a prestigious culinary personality for the second time in Toledo continues to amaze ACF chapters in larger metropolitan areas including Detroit, according to local member Jerry Kraushaar. “We just asked him to come.”

Cullen: Heads federation. Cullen: Heads federation.
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Alfred Friedman, co-chairman of the annual dinner and a certified executive chef with the culinary program at Toledo Public Schools, ordered copies of Dr. Cullen's recently published Elegant Irish Cooking (Lebhar-Friedman Books, $35) for the event.

The cookbook is gorgeous with dreamy photographs of the Irish countryside, the food, and Irish chefs who contributed recipes to the book. “There are also traditional recipes made with modern flair using modern processes,” Dr. Cullen said in a phone interview. “Some recipes include foods that weren't grown in Ireland, such as kiwi in Kiwi and Gin Sauced Tenderloin of Veal with Asparagus Souffle.” That recipe comes from Chef Michael Clifford of Cork, Ireland.

Irish Cooking also examines the effects of war, plague, technology, and tourism on Irish cuisine.

You'll find game recipes such as pheasant, snipe, partridge, and wild duck and land game such as venison. Dr. Cullen will sign books at the dinner.

Dr. Cullen's main purpose for visiting Toledo is to “meet colleagues in the Maumee Valley Chefs Association and encourge them.” Last year, he traveled to 60 ACF chapters, logging about 150,000 miles.

The ACF is headquartered in St. Augustine, Fla. Dr. Cullen's term ends in July, when he becomes chairman of the board of directors. He also teaches food and beverage management and courses such as seafood and pastry at Boston University.

This year, the dinner menu at the event will feature gourmet grazing with the theme of The American Melting Pot. “Expect to see foods from regions such as the Midwest, Southeast, Southwest, and Northeast,” according to MVCA president Bob Greene, executive chef at Tamaron Country Club. “The center table will have hors d'oeuvres indigenous to all four regions. Even the desserts will be regional.” Chairman of the event is Gary Majewski, chef at Ellie's Deli in Point Place.

Four scholarship winners will be selected from culinary students in high school and college. The award for Chef of the Year, voted on by all past chefs of the year, will be announced and the honorary black toque is given, said Mr. Greene.

Members of the food service industry are invited. Tickets are $40. Reservations are limited. Call Mr. Greene at 474-5067 or Ed Grozdowski at 255-8000, extension 7350.

Watch for the new cooking segment on the Let's Eat, Toledo! television show called Celebrate Food with Kathie Smith (first airing at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow on cable channel WB5 and repeating at 7:30 p.m. Saturday on WNWO-TV, Channel 24). Each month, I will profile people who bring good taste to Toledo. In March, Joanne Weir, star of the public television cooking series Weir Cooking in the Wine Country, will share a recipe. Not only can you watch how she makes it, you'll also find the recipe on The Blade's Web site, toledoblade.com, beginning Thursday.

Kathie Smith is The Blade's food editor. E-mail her at food@theblade.com.



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