During the 2014 American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) National Conference, Nestlé Professional and the ACF honored Chef Michael Garbin, Executive Chef of the Union League Club of Chicago, 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 conference.
Chef Garbin is the 25th chef to join the ranks of outstanding chefs who have received this prestigious award over the past two-and-half decades. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Garbin simply loves to cook. His career started as a dishwasher where, one night, a shorthanded cook needed help. That night, he jumped right in and never looked back.
An active member of the ACF, Garbin serves as the organization’s Central Region Ace Trainer, working to establish standards for practical exam evaluation at all levels of ACF certification. He keeps his own culinary skills up to date by taking advantage of ACF continuing education programs. For the past 22 years, Garbin has inspired a team of 50 at the Union League Club. He shares his knowledge and emerging culinary trends with his team, and together they create menus, try new recipes, and build success together.
Chef Garbin is a natural leader and mentor, opening his kitchen to anyone who wants to learn more about cooking and culinary arts. He’s worked with the U.S. Army, local public schools, students looking for internships, and work programs. One of his young culinarians went on to become a Michelin-starred chef and a Top Five finalist on the television reality show “Top Chef.”
Garbin is also full of generosity. When there is a need he can help fill, he is quick to help. His Union League Club supports three foundations serving children’s educational needs.
The chef’s view of winning this award really sums up his life’s work: “Of all the different recognitions I’ve received in the past, receiving the Chef Professionalism Award is truly the pinnacle of my career.” Congratulations Chef Garbin—and enjoy your success.