The original 24 delegates who formed the Canadian Federation of Chefs de Cuisine
The Hotel MacDonald, Edmonton, Alberta, April 22nd and 23rd 1963. (Two delegates are missing from the photograph)
A Salesman's Initiative:
In the late 1950's and very early 1960's there was a special person who was a promoter. He was an advocate for building closer relations between professional chefs in Western Canada. He was not even a chef himself. We refer to 'Old Tom Bennett' who was for many years the Knorr Suisse representative for all of Western Canada.
Tom would continually tell the Chefs that they should get together and form an association to improve their image and that of the industry. Finally, the chefs listened and with his help, a few chefs got together for a meeting. They were mostly Railway Hotel Chefs because in those days they all had access to 'Railway Passes'. Also as they represented large hotels they were able to get 'Special Room Rates' of $5 a night per room. Also 'Meal Rates' when they met on their properties.
The 2nd Annual Convention of the CFCC
The Royal Alexandra Hotel, Winnipeg. April 20th and 21st 1964.
The National Executive. Front row seated Left- Right: Nick Marchak, The Fort Garry Hotel; Wally Shaw, Vancouver; Tony Didier, The Royal York Hotel; Angelo Casagrande, The Chateau Laurier Hotel; Don Cutler, The Royal Alexandra Hotel; Einar Nielsen, The Palliser Hotel; Tony Casagrande, The Bessborough Hotel.
The 1st meeting of the CFCC was almost exclusively representative of Western Canada with Angelo Casagrande and Henry Bachman out of Canadian National Hotels in Halifax and Ottawa. These were the only delegates from east of Winnipeg.
By the 2nd year, strong inroads were made gaining members in Eastern Canada. In one short year the Federation saw growth from the original 24 members to close to 70 in 1964.
List of Registered Delegates attending the 2nd Annual Convention of the CFCC
Held at the Royal Alexandra Hotel, Winnipeg. April 20-21, 1964
The 5th Annual Convention.
The Nova Scotian Hotel, Halifax May 1967
Seated L-R: Mike Kedziora, Captain Armed Forces; Martin Elgeti, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Edmonton; Angelo Casagrande, Chateau Laurier,Ottawa; Willie Schmidts, Hotel Macdonald, Edmonton; Don Cutler, Royal Alexandra Hotel, Winnipeg.
Standing L-R: Tony Casagrade, Bessborough Hotel, Saskatoon; Dominic Rubinato, Ports of Call Hotel, Toronto; Dick Middleton, Halifax College; Henri Douget, Hotel Vancouver; Herb Mueller.
These early scions of our trade knew how to plan and hatch dastardly plots. Having time on their hands and with Don Cutler as their starting quarterback they conceived a game plan to host the World Association of Chefs Societies Bi-Annual Congress.
This dream was somewhat of a stretch as the World Congress had never previously been held outside of Europe. Undaunted this intrepid band took off to Budapest to attend the 1970 Congress. Here they invited the World Chefs to gather in Banff, Alberta in 1974.
Now these trailblazers did not come empty handed. They carried enough 'White Stetsons" to gift each of the voting delegates one hat apiece. They did not stop at that. They also promised that a Stetson would be given to each and
every delegate who attended Canada's First International Conference in Banff.
Of course, the rest is history and over 700 chefs enjoyed their Western Hospitality.
Delegates attending the CFCC 12th Convention
Banff, Alberta September 1974