Read About Our Members

Mark E. Atkins, CEC®

Mark Atkins

Executive chef at Kaiser Permanente, San Diego; Chefs de Cuisine Association of San Diego

My culinary journey and involvement with ACF began in 1983 when I interviewed with the Chefs de Cuisine Association of San Diego for their apprenticeship program. The chapter was a strong supporter of the program, and I was very impressed with the professionalism their members displayed.

One story I continue to share is about my time as an apprentice at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe located in Rancho Santa Fe, California. During my apprenticeship, I felt that the executive chef wasn’t sharing all the recipes with me, so I went to the apprenticeship chairman with my concern. He told me, “You are not here to learn recipes. You are here to become a chef—look, learn and listen. Being a chef isn’t about recipes. It’s about leadership, training, human resources, outcomes, numbers and most importantly, being a professional.” I still hold these words as a badge of honor.

At the end of my apprenticeship, I was awarded an Outstanding Apprenticeship Award. Since then, I have grown professionally with ACF, becoming a Certified Working Chef®, Certified Chef de Cuisine®, and now a Certified Executive Chef®. I consider myself a student of the trade, and continuing education is a huge part of my life. I have been working in the healthcare industry as a chef for the last twenty years and recently received my Certified Dietary Manager certification. Upholding the outstanding tradition of ACF is what I value most even after all this time.

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    Hello Folks,
    Pathfinder Ranch is currently looking for a U.S. friendly food service manager.  Account is located in Mountain Center (Idyllwild). Current manager is set to retire in April. Contact Chris Fife 951-659-2455 ext. 11
    Look at for job description.
    Thank you,
    Julie Moya | Healthcare Account Executive
    1283 Sherborn Street, Suite 102 | Corona, Ca. 92879

    O 951.582.8746 | M 562.572.1567 | F 951.582.8963

    Toll Free 800.888.3147 x 8746
    US Foods™



    Just Added:

    Southwestern College:

    I’m asking for your help to recruit a new instructor (baking/pastry) for our program.  Could you please tap your networks for suitable interested candidates?
    Below is the link to the job listing.


    Ellen Baum
    Culinary Arts Coordinator


    From David Chenelle:

    Looking for a good all-around cook that is skilled at line cooking breakfast and dinner plus needs to know catering production as well.
    Call me up at 619-248-0538.
    David C



    Welcome to the official website of the

    Chefs de Cuisine Association

    of San Diego, Inc.,

    A member of the American Culinary Federation


    The principal aims and objectives of the Association are:
    To promote, strengthen and develop those bonds of friendship which should exist among members of the profession.
    To study, discuss and protect its moral and legal interests, whenever it may be necessary.
    To foster educational programs, with lectures and demonstrations by culinarians and catering experts, thus keeping abreast of any new developments in food and service.


    With a mission to promote cuisine and offer professional educational opportunities for its member chefs, the Chefs de Cuisine Association of San Diego was founded in 1961, making it the oldest affiliate of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) in the San Diego region. The Chefs de Cuisine Association offers educational programs, competitions, and events for professional chefs and culinary students, and works with the national ACF to offer professional certification exams. The Chefs de Cuisine also supports an Explorer Post for youth aged 14-20 to explore culinary careers, the first such in the nation.



    Chef of the Year 2015

    Hello to all, and yes, it is that time of year to mark your calendar and call for RSVP for Chef of the Year 2015.
    Our very own Executive Chef Ricardo Vargas, of the Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad, is putting together a wonderful menu for the evening. A beautiful location in Carlsbad, you can see the ocean from the Ballroom ….
    The Hilton Garden Inn and Chef Ricardo have graciously offered a special rate for anyone wanting to stay the night. This way you can enjoy the evening and not worry about the drive home until the morning.
    Room booking: id=POG

    There will be our Chapter museum artifacts to show the grand history of our great Chefs Association. Also there will be a selection of silent auction items. Remember all proceeds go towards special events that our
    Chefs Association sponsors throughout the year ….
    Chef of the Year 2015
    Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad Beach
    RSVP: 619-425-9100 (there is a message machine, if I am not in at the time of your call) Also:

    February 22, 2015   $40.00

    Address: 6450 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad, CA. 92011
    (5 north to Carlsbad, Left on Poinsettia Lane, Right on Carlsbad Blvd, Hotel is on the right side) 760-476-4002

    Todd Bull - Chef of the Year Committee Chair




    Our own long-time member, Chef Joaquin Cueva, along with the Boys & Girls Club of Imperial Beach, prepared and served a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner for the people of Imperial Beac on Wednesday, the 26th. He had able assistance from the staff and volunteers of the Boys & Girls Club and from our Members Jaime Cueva and David Yee.

    See more photos on our General Meetings Photos page.


    Christmas pancake breakfast for the Boys and Girls club in Chula Vista and Imperial Beach.  Joaquin does it every year.  David Yee and Rick Santana helped him out this past Saturday, December 20th.

    Breakfast with Santa is a free event for the communities of Imperial Beach and Chula Vista. This is our 5th annual as a collaborative with both clubs in which this event originated in Imperial Beach and their community. Since Our merger with Chula Vista this event has been moved to our sister site. We have served more families every year. This year we plan to serve over 300 families with a pancake breakfast and visit with Santa. Our Boys & Girls Clubs Staff take charge in having booths full of games and candy! Our breakfast is cooked from our volunteer chefs and lead by Retired Navy Chef Joaquin Cueva. We thank all that are involved and those who have participated in recent years!