Upcoming Events

Red River Chapter Meeting

Monday, March 2, 2020

ACF Chef Competition

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Red River Chapter Meeting

Monday, April 6, 2020

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The History of the Texas Chefs Association

The formation of what we now know as the Texas Chefs Association came about due to the lack in the number of trained cooks and chefs to fill positions in clubs and restaurants. This was a factor recognized by the Texas Hotel Association, which contacted chefs in member cities across the state and encouraged them to collectively help find a solution to this problem.   By May, 1958, the Texas Hotel Association, (THA) had already set actions in motion to bring this about; making time available for chefs to organize, providing sites for meetings, legal counsel, and initial funds to get them started. A similar chefs association existed in Texas; the Chefs de Cuisine Association (CCA). Why form a new association when one already existed? Well, it seems when CCA formed and wrote their bylaws, many omissions and mistakes occurred. The officers deemed it more constructive to abandon the original association and start anew. This provided the perfect opportunity to do so. Most all CCA members signed on as charter members of what would come to be known as the Texas Hotel & Club Chefs Association.
Scott Hardy, President of the Hotel Association and Claude W. Hall, President of the Chefs de Cuisine Association contacted chefs across the state. Through letters and phone calls the first informal meeting took place in May followed by the first official meeting, July 3, 1958. Claude W. Hall presided over the meeting.   THA agreed to provide open access to its on-staff legal team to help this new organization formulate a Constitution and Bylaws. THA encouraged the clubs to allow chefs time to attend meetings and to pay their dues. In turn, the chefs were asked to form an Advisory Committee and meet with the Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical College along with THA’s Vocational Advisory Committee in an attempt to set up a training program for chefs and bakers at the college. Several of the hotels served as training sites, alternating between 3 months of classes and 3 months of on site training. This system was working but it was felt any additional fine-tuning would have to come from experienced chefs, some of who were asked to be guest instructors at the college.

From the very beginning, the goal was to apply for membership with the American Culinary Federation (ACF), the largest national professional culinary organization in the country at this time. As soon as the required 25 members were signed on an application for membership was submitted.   By 1963, the ACF was dire straits financially and required a complete makeover if it was to survive. Chapters had fallen away to just a handful. Just when there seemed to be little hope, newly elected President Willy Rossel, collected all the holdings and records and took them to his work site in Dallas, where with the approval of his employer, conducted all ACF business, eliminating overhead. A less costly monthly publication was implemented and he asked each chef member to donate $25.each to put the association back on track. Texas chefs responded as did others around the country and within a couple of years the ACF’s existence was assured.   ACF also recognized a need to train much-needed chefs and bakers. They looked to the program set up by the new Texas chapter and asked Willy Rossel to form a committee to initiate an Apprenticeship Program to be run by ACF. The original program was tweaked and completed by 1967, when Chef Rossel, then Chairman of the American Culinary Federation Educational Institute (ACFEI) presented the first Apprenticeship Manual for the 3-year program. Within a few years, the program was being successfully run in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston with over140 Apprentices enrolled, in fact, Dallas graduated the very first Apprentice in the U.S. Hundreds of well-trained chefs and bakers graduated from this program over the next 20 years. When culinary schools began to pop up in every major city the program’s enrollment began to dwindle, to the point that in2004, upon graduating its last Apprentice, TCA closed its Apprenticeship Program. 
In 1963 The THCCA changed its name to the Texas Chefs Association. Years later as separation from TH&MA was made; TCA being grateful for all the help given to them in its early stages or organization.   One way through which TCA raised the image of culinarians and heightened the general public’s perception of the industry was through Culinary Shows each year. A culinary show in one of the 3 major cities was considered a state event with volunteers coming from far and wide. Today, TCA is still doing the same, in conjunction with the Texas Restaurant Association as part of the Southwest EXPO. Many TCA sub-chapters hold 1 or 2 culinary competitions each year. 

Although membership in the beginning was restricted to just club and hotel chefs, as years went on the association realized a need to add categories, to be more  

encompassing within the culinary field and to stay in sync with ACF. First a Junior category, then Allied and Associates and finally two TCA-only categories of TCA Chef and TCA Junior were added as membership options. The title of Honorary Member was bestowed upon those few who had retired and served their chapter and the association in an exemplary manner.   When Certification was introduced by ACF, Texas Chefs were quick to apply and set up mentoring programs to help others work through the process. Educational seminars and ACF Approved culinary competitions are ways TCA helps members to acquire education points towards certification.   In the early days the cities/areas of Dallas, San Antonio and Houston had representatives who met annually at the convention to tend to the associations business,but as the membership grew they saw a need to form a structure comprised of chapters both within and outside these areas. Instead of one representative from a section each chapter elected a Director to sit on the Board of Directors and vote on its behalf. Thus, the organization morphed to what we have today – 14 sub chapters ranging from Midland to Beaumont and South to Corpus Christi. The Winter Board Meeting and the Annual TCA Convention, the Semi Annual Brochure, Chef Connect and the TCA website work to congeal the various chapters into one association dedicated to the furthering of the culinary profession. 

Our Sponsors

A Pursuit Of Culinary Excellence

The Texas Chefs Association (TCA) is a chapter of the American Culinary Federation.  The TCA is comprised of 14 dynamic chapters operating in cities across Texas.  Our association provides members with timely seminars, networking tools, and professional advancement opportunities to help them further their goals within the food service industry.

Texas Chefs Association

1415 S. Voss, Ste. 110 #397

Houston, TX 77057