Please view bios for ACF Columbus Chapter officers of the 2017-2020 election cycle


Matt Smith CEC

Executive Chef Matt Smith, CEC is excited to be bringing his culinary creations and experience to the guests at the beautiful Sheraton Columbus at Capitol Square. Most recently with the Westin Columbus, and Hyatt Hotels and Resorts for 10 years, additionally in few other fine establishments before that. Formally trained at Hocking College in southern Ohio, he has been lead on his culinary journey by some extremely talented Chef’s. With compassion for service, desire to learn, and a lot of long hours he is no stranger to what it takes to deliver more than what the customer is asking for. Keeping a keen eye on trends in the industry, he applies these to all the aspects of his operation.  With strong ties in the community through his work with the American Culinary Federation, other local Chef’s, and farmers, he finds himself consistently striving to bring fresh, seasonal, local, and organic menu components to his tables in Plaza Restaurant and Wine Bar. He has built a team of proven Chef’s, complimented by an award winning banquet staff; the Sheraton can offer a truly memorable dining experience for any occasion.

Having the opportunity to work in Savannah for two years, has given him a unique advantage to put a southern flair on his dishes. Serving as the Secondary Education / Vocational Chair on the local American Culinary Federations Chapter board, he strives to bring insight and tools for success to the youth looking for careers in the industry. As of recent he has opened the door into education even farther filling the shoes of an adjunct instructor for culinary arts at Hocking College. Crediting the experiences in life, and the people that challenged him with their expertise, and techniques rounds out what he brings to the downtown Columbus property. He is supported by his wife Jessi, son Korgan, and daughter Kilynn who know firsthand the kind of passion, and dedication that is needed to delight each of his guests with unexpected flavor combinations, and quality seasonal local ingredients.

Chef’s team was awarded the Golden Spoon for best appetizers served at the fund raiser for the Children’s Hunger Alliance in May of 2015. Chef Smith is a Certified Executive Chef (CEC) and met all the standards in place for the experienced and educated status per the American Culinary Federation guidelines. Smith was host to the esteemed American Academy of Chefs Regional dinner, a truly amazing evening with 9 course meal served to some of the North Americas Midwestern regions finest Chefs. In August Smith was honored to receive the ACF’s National Presidents Medallion. Closing out a stellar 2015 Smith was humbled to BE recognized as Columbus’s 2015 Chef of the Year.

Chef Smith is comfortable in all areas of the kitchen, however, he truly enjoys being able to see the steps of service from interaction with the client and development of menu proposals, then into the delivery of a tasting with the guests to explore the flavor profiles, the advance planning, communication, and preparations that come prior to the events, finally the execution of a successful event. Being able to poke his head in through the ballroom doors and seeing a room full of “smiling faces and empty plates” is really what brings him back to work the next day to make new memories and menus.


James Taylor CEC, AAC, MBA


A high energy training and general management professional who utilizes strong interpersonal communication and leadership skills to work effectively with and through others. A creative, multi-disciplined individual with extensive experience in program creation and implementation. Strong organizational skills and extensive corporate responsibilities.


Current Chair of the Hospitality Department and Sport & Exercise Studies since March 26, 2012.

Professor at Columbus State Community College 1990 to present.           

Participates in the instructional presentations and delivers, the planning and designing of instructional programs, instructional evaluation and assessment, student advising, professional development and service to the department, division and college.   Assumes a participative role in supporting and promoting the mission, goals and objectives of Columbus State Community College by performing the duties and responsibilities of the position as directed by the leadership of the department, division and college.

  • Maintain all Programmatic Accreditation with the American Culinary Federation (ACF) & Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Management. (ACPHA) The Baking and Pastry Arts program was successful in obtaining it initial Accreditation.

  • Teach assigned courses

  • Maintain Instructional materials and laboratory facilities

  • Maintain course descriptions, course outline and syllabi

  • Created new courses and recommends modifications to the curriculum

  • Maintain curriculum

  • Create and be responsible for all budgets

  • Hire faculty and staff

Director of Banquet & Catering Division of Sanese Services, In. 1988-1990

Executive Chef at Jai Lai Restaurant  1986-1988

Executive Chef at Mario’s Restaurant  1984-1986

Held other Executive Chef and Managements Positions  1960-1984


Master of Business Administration, Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio 2005

Bachelor of Science/Business Administration, Franklin University, Columbus. Ohio  1999

Associate Degree/Hospitality Management, Columbus State Community College, Columbus, Ohio  1992

 American Culinary Federation Educational Foundation

  • Accreditation site evaluator, Chef Team Member, Educator Team Member

  • Trained staff evaluators 1997

  • Chaired numerous accreditation teams

Accrediting Commission Institutions, Colleges and Schools 1996

  • Trained by commission which accredits all culinary programs

High School Diploma, West High School, Columbus, Ohio  1971


  • 1984 Joined ACF

  • 1988 Certified as Executive Chef

  • 1991 ACF Columbus Chapter Chef of the Year

  • 1991-1994 Chaired and participated in several Chapter Fundraising Events

(Big Brothers-Big Sisters, Chef & Child, Aids Service Connection, Chamber of Commerce); continue on committees

  • Offices held for ACF Columbus Chapter

     Treasurer: 1987-1991

     President: 1996-2000 & 2006-2010

     Chairman of Board: 1997-2000 & Since 2010

  • Chairman of Northeast Regional Conferences: 1992 & 1996

  • ACF National Seal of Approval Chair: 1997-1999 & 2005-2015

  • ACF Columbus Chapter Chef of the Year 2002

  • Baron Galand Knowledge Bowl Coach since 1997

  • 1994 Inducted into the American Academy of Chefs

  • Chair of American Academy of Chefs Publicity & Editor of Magazine


  • Chair of American Academy of Chefs Education & Scholarship Committee


  • Recipient of National Presidential Medallions: 1996,2005, 2015

  • Recipient of American Academy of chefs General John D. McLaughlin Professionalism Award 2005

  • Attended ALL Regional and National Conventions since 1987

  • Northeast Regional Vice President of ACF: 2001-2005

BOD Liaison for Educational Services, Accreditation Commission, & Budget

Committee: 2001-2005

  • ACF Lead Practical Test Evaluator since 2004

  • American Culinary Federation National Treasurer: 2009-2013

  • American Culinary Federation National Secretary: 2013-2015

  • Business Manager for Team USA 2015

  • Current National Chair of the Baron Galand Knowledge Bowl Task Force

  • Current National Chair of the Internal Audit Committee


Thomas Hunt CEC, AAC

Thomas P. Hunt, CEC, AAC, I am an instructor at the Columbus Culinary Institute at Bradford School. I have been a dedicated member of the American Culinary Federation for over 25 years, in which I am indebted to this wonderful organization. I have been on the ACF Columbus Chapter Board; I have held positions on the ACF Columbus Board since 2006, from Public Relations, Fundraising and most recently, Secretary for the past 4 years. Fundraising was a very good experience and also very rewarding to me. Every year with the ACF Children’s Hunger Alliance we grew in monetary numbers and I was very proud of our members who helped us achieve our goals. I have been auctioned off at the ACF Children’s Hunger Alliance for the past 8 years and also have added the Columbus Culinary Institute Hot Food Team to the auctions to help pay back what this wonderful organization has given to them for the past 5 years.

Below is a list of my past achievements:

  • Associate of Applied Business in Culinary Arts from Hocking College, 1987

  • Certified Executive Chef, 2010

  • American Academy of Chefs, 2014

  • Executive Chef at Mohican Resort, 1997-2000

  • Executive Chef at Radisson Hotel, Toledo, 2000-2001

  • Executive Chef at Ravenswood Castle 2001-2003

  • Executive Chef & General Manager for The Sandstone Restaurant and Spotted Owl Café, 2003-2006

  • Adjunct Chef Instructor at Hocking College, 2002-2005

  • Executive Chef, Food and Beverage Director at The Inn at Honey Run, 2006-2009

  • Chef Instructor at Columbus Culinary Institute at Bradford School, 2009-Present

  • Attended the ACF Regional Conferences for the past 10 years

  • Attended the ACF National Conventions for the past 4 years

  • ACF Columbus Chef of the Year, 2011

  • ACF Columbus Presidents Award, 2008

  • ACF National Presidents Medallion under Michael Ty

  • Mentor to several Culinary Students

  • ACF Certification Evaluator

  • FCCLA, ProStart Judge

  • ACF Columbus Chamber of Commerce Clambake Volunteer Managing Chef for the past 12 years

  • Ohio Association of Career Colleges Certificate of Recognition as a Master Teacher for the Columbus Culinary Institute at Bradford School

  • Coach for a very successful ACF Hot Food Team representing the Columbus Culinary Institute at Bradford School for the past 5 years

Two years ago was one of my most rewarding experiences with ACF I was inducted into the American Academy of Chefs, when I was filling out the criteria for this I was amazed at what I have actually accomplished. You don’t realize what achievements you have done until you put it all on paper. I am currently running for the Vice President of the ACF Columbus Chapter and I feel that I am an excellent candidate for this position because I believe in the growth of our chapter. I think that Chef Barry Young has put the Columbus Chapter in an outstanding direction to keep continuing success. I have a good solid and professional relationship with Chef David Wolf in which I feel we would make a wonderful team. We have the same vision to go forward and continue to have the Columbus Chapter help the members in it grow and be more professional.