Chef Thrash

Congrats To The 2022 ACF Chef Professionalism Award Winners

Meet the chefs behind the award.

It’s official. Michael Thrash, CEC, CCA, CCE, AAC, is the national winner of the 2022 Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award presented by Minor’s and the American Culinary Federation. “It’s a career-spanning award which is really, really great,“ says Thrash. “The 16 hour days and years of working the line, this recognition makes it all worth it.” 

Minor’s has been the proud sponsor of the ACF for over 50 years and the Dr. LJ Minor Chef Professionalism award for over 30 years. The award honors active, working chefs and recognizes the ACF chef who best exemplifies the highest standard of professionalism through certification, continuing education and training, culinary competitions and community involvement. It honors culinarians who help elevate the status of chefs and cooks in the United States, like Thrash.

“Just like Dr. L.J. Minor did, and the ACF does, we’re fighting for the identity of an American chef. We’re still such a young country compared to the rest of the world, but we truly do have incredible American food identities from a regional perspective,” says Thrash. “To be an ambassador and earn the well-deserved respect as an American chef is something that motivates me. And I want to express that same passion and fundamentals to the young chefs so we can keep progressing our identities and reputation on the world stage.”

As a Corporate Executive Chef for J.R. Simplot Company and chef instructor, Thrash is on the frontlines mentoring the future chefs of America. “I have culinary students from 18-65 years old. I truly love it. Not only is it reteaching myself, it keeps my hand on the knife. It’s setting up, and preparing, the industry that I love,” says Thrash. “It’s bringing people up the right way to wear the jacket that I wear. I truly love my identity as a chef.” 

Alongside Thrash are the three 2022 Regional Winners: Derek Ivancic (Northeast), Frank Turchan (Central), and Greg Sever (Western). “I’m very honored to share this stage with these three other professionals. It’s phenomenal,” expresses Thrash. “We’re from different parts of the country and representing different regions, but at the core, we’re here for the same reason: we’re here to progress, to be great chefs and to continue learning, but at the end of the day we’re here to feed people. It is a noble thing.”