Nestlé Professional and the American Culinary Federation recently honored Dominick Laudia, CEC, AAC, executive chef at Boca Grove Golf and Tennis Club, Boca Raton, Florida, with the national Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award. Sponsored by Minor’s®, the award was presented during the Chef Professionalism Dinner at the ACF National Convention & Show held in Phoenix, Arizona, July 15-19.
“This award means a great deal to me in that is was created to recognize the professional status of Executive Chef,” said Chef Laudia. Indeed, Minor’s first sponsored this award in 1990 to commemorate the recognition by the Department of Labor that Executive Chefs belong in the Professional, Technical, and Managerial Occupations category in the Dictionary of Official Titles. It is named in honor of Dr. L.J. Minor, founder of Minor’s, who helped champion the change in categorization.
Chef Laudia is the 27th chef to join the ranks of outstanding chefs receiving this prestigious award.
Having started his career in high school, Chef Laudia, is quick to credit his mentor, the late Chef Emerson “Chuck” Lehner, for encouraging him to explore the professional opportunities of food service. Chef Laudia did so, working his way up through the kitchen, and honing his skills via ACF certification. “The certificate opened many doors for me, for which I am very grateful,” he said.
In addition to training future culinarians in his kitchens, Chef Laudia serves as a member of the Community Academy Advisory Board at the Culinary Academy of West Boca Raton Community High School, Boca Raton. He has been involved with the high school as a mentor and coach for competition teams for over 12 years.
He is currently serving his third term as chapter president of ACF Palm Beach County Chefs Association. He was named chapter Chef of the Year in 2001 and 2012, and received the chapter Professional Chef of the Year Award in 2014.