The Culinary & Hospitality Education Foundation of Southwest Florida (CHEF) Board President Taryn Cafiero announced that, “due to the amazing commitment of CHEF Board Members, generous community support and donations, the organization’s signature fundraising event...

read more
Judges Announced for CHEF Showdown

Judges Announced for CHEF Showdown

This epicurean extravaganza features a Culinary CHEF Showdown between CHEF’s 2020 honoree, Chef Asif Syed of 21 Spices by Chef Asif, challenging Aielli Restaurant Group Corporate Chef, Jason Goddard, to create a delicious appetizer from mystery basket ingredients in...

read more



The 2020 event honored 21 Spices by Chef Asif owner, Chef Asif Syed, challenged by Aielli Restaurant Group’s Corporate Executive Chef Jason Goddard. The two competed in a culinary duel CHEF Showdown to create the most delicious appetizer dish in :30 using mystery basket ingredients, judged by four culinary and hospitality industry experts at Grey Oaks Country Club in Naples. Three past CHEF scholarship recipients spoke at the event about how much the scholarships helped them advance their education and careers in culinary arts and hospitality. A lively silent and live auction, ticket sales to the Gourmet Wine Dinner, along with sponsorships and donations, raised the most amount so far for CHEF since its inception, $120,000.


CHEF Honored Country Club Chefs event recognized ACF Naples Chapter past-president and CHEF Board member, Executive Chef Ralph Feraco of Kensington Golf and Country Club, where the event was held in Naples. The event featured some of Southwest Florida’s most accomplished private club chefs and their best bites, paired with wines from The Naples Wine Collection.


Honored Crave Culinaire Catering owner and CHEF Board member, Chef Brian Roland, held at the Trianon Hotel, Bonita Springs.


Showcased the talents of local culinary students by partnering with “Stay in May” in support of special themed events held annually at Venue Naples in partnership with the Collier County Public Schools and F.G.C.U.


Provided funding for Lorenzo Walker’s culinary teams to go to State competition. Their student who won first place in culinary subsequently went on to the national competition in Kentucky.


Provided funding for culinary teams from Estero High School and Lorenzo Walker Vocational Technical School to participate in the Florida State High School Culinary Competition in Orlando.


Organized and worked together collaboratively on an Area Celebration of Culinary and Hospitality Arts Excellence with the Caxambas Chapter of the American Culinary Federation.


Established agreements with the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, and Florida Gulf Coast University authorizing them to receive, manage and administer contributions from us and award scholarships on our behalf.


Provided china, flatware and glassware for the Culinary Arts Programs at the two new Collier County High Schools, Golden Gate High School and Palmetto Ridge High School. Also contributed cookbooks to these two schools.