You may be familiar with some of the professional associations that offer networking, professional development, mentoring and scholarships, and have you heard of The Chefs de Cuisine Association of America?
Hermann Reiner, a restaurant and hotel industry veteran, became the president of The Chefs de Cuisine Association of America in 2017 just in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Association with the mission to enhance the prestige of the culinary profession by raising the standards of professional knowledge, skill and service of the profession. The national organization includes Executive Chefs, Chefs, Sous Chefs and Pastry Chefs.
A native of Austria, Reiner had a 22-year career with Hilton International Hotels, with HI properties in Düsseldorf, Caracas, London, Tehran, and Vienna before moving to New York. He also worked for more than 13 years with Inhilco, Inc., a subsidiary of Hilton International as Executive Chef for the former world-renowned restaurants Windows on the World and as Director of Operation for all 12 restaurants at the former World Trade Center. Additionally, he was Food and Beverage Director for the Shanghai Hilton, Area Food and Beverage Director of Hilton for the New German States, and Corporate Food and Beverage Director for Medallions Hotel in the USA and for Hampshire Hotels based in New York City.
He was the co-author for the food portion with Kevin Zraly covering the wine section of the Wine and Food Book of Windows on the World published in 1986 by Sterling, for the 10th Anniversary of the famous restaurant.
Reiner is the proprietor of VISTA-Hospitality International, LLC, an international executive search and recruitment company for the hospitality industry placing top talent and executives worldwide.
How long have you been a member of Chefs De Cuisine Association of America/New York?
I’ve been a member since 1978. My Executive Chef at Windows on the World asked me to join.
How many professionals are affiliated with the Association?
Over 1,000 professionals from the Tri-state, across the country and Europe.
What aspect of the Association do you enjoy the most?
I like the networking and the professional camaraderie.
How has being involved with the Association impacted your life?
I’ve enjoyed the great professional network, that provides networking on local, domestic and international levels. I also feel that mentoring the next generation is very important, that is truly an important aspect of being a member of the Association. Through my business in recruitment and executive search, I help our members and scholarship recipients.
You help train professionals for competition, tell us about that aspect.
I’ve won awards including gold medals at the Internationale Kochkunstaustellung – IKA in Frankfurt, Germany, at the Wiener Internationale Kochkunstaustellung, Vienna, Austria and at the Salon Culinaire Mundial, Basel, Switzerland and First Place in 1982 at the Annual Salon of Culinary Arts, NYC. I bring a keen sense of the techniques, determination, talent and presentation needed for professional competition and share that with our members. The Association provides financial support for professionals to participate in competitions.
What is your mission for the Association?
The Chefs de Cuisine Association of America Scholarship Fund supports our local culinary institutions of higher learning such as The New York City College of Technology Hospitality Management Department, encouraging them to progress and hone their skills in their chosen profession.
We are presently enhancing our scholarship program by filing for a 501-C3 tax-exempt status, so donations will become fully tax deductible.
Modernizing the CDCA for the 21st century, establishing a broad digital presence, bringing the membership across the U.S. and global membership.
Tell us about the programs and opportunities for members? –Networking with professionals, education, mentoring, giving back and scholarships, industry events.
Now all our board meetings and membership meetings are virtual on Zoom. We provide professional education opportunities and most recently hosted Siegfried Kröpfl, Austria’s only vegan gourmet chef, teacher and restaurant consultant. He works together with the Vegan Association Austria and worked as executive-chef for various high-class hotels and restaurants in Vienna, among others for Tiergarten Schönbrunn, Restaurant Kuchlmasterei im 3. Bezirk, Hotel Bristol and Hotel Melia. For him, vegan cuisine not only means cooking without animal products, but also developing more awareness for local, organic and sustainable food production.
We give scholarships and sponsorship to the New York City College of Technology – Department of Hospitality Management students in Brooklyn. We hold annual membership events. We offer assistance with resume writing, job search and support for culinary team domestic and international competition.
For more information about the Chefs De Cuisine Association of America, visit their website.