The American Culinary Federation (ACF) is a professional culinary organization with over 200 chapters and close to 20,000 members. It is the largest professional culinary organization in North America. It’s membership consists of chefs, other food industry professionals, food enthusiasts and certainly a food blogger or two.
One of the chapters in Southwest Florida is the ACF Caxambas Chapter of Naples and Marco Island, or ACF Naples Chefs (ACFNC). With the exception of most winter months, ACFNC holds a monthly chapter meeting. In July 2018, the monthly meeting was held at the Naples branch of Halperns’ Steak and Seafood.
Halperns’ story is very interesting as noted in The Atlanta Jewish Times. If you are not into links, the founder of the company, Howard Halpern started all of this in Atlanta in 1966. They provided produce to a newly found restaurant chain, Burger King. After realizing the low margin in produce, Howard started Buckhead Beef in 1983, and the company was bought by the food distribution conglomerate, Sysco, sixteen years later. Howard was into family-run food distribution, and started Halperns’ Steak and Seafood in 2005. The company has since been bought out by Gordon Food Service, a private concern, though still retains it’s original name.
Although not all inclusive, here were some of the offering to attendees.
- Landert Bread, an independent vendor, was the initial encounter for most attendees.
These included French baguettes, Andalusian flat bread and rustic crust breads. All of these were really great. A number of really good cookies, cupcakes and muffins were also available to be sampled.
- Panacea Oyster Co Op was also there, shucking and serving their delicious oysters. Halperns’ food offerings are greatly augmented by this company.
- There were wonderful cuts of meat on display from Halpern’s Black Diamond Program.
There were some wonderful hamburgers to be sampled called “CBS” burgers. These were a mixture of chuck, brisket and short rib and were quite good.
There was also a sampling of Halperns’ dry aged prime rib.
These were a melt in your mouth flavor explosion. Highly recommended.
As participants were socializing, there was more deliciousness to be had here.
- A most amazing duck breast was served from Jurgielewicz and Son, some of the best I have had. They are another company under the Halperns’ umbrella.
- In addition to oysters there was seafood including shrimp and some delicious cobia from another Halperns’ vendor, Cleanfish.
This was excellent, some of the best fish I have ever had. It tasted like it was just plucked out of the water. A friend I invited to this meeting doesn’t like fish, but loved this. I think that says it all.
As the meeting built up to a crescendo, there were a number of other foods to sample including Halperns’ mushroom offerings by Mycopia, including these beautiful Nameko mushrooms, Japan’s most popular cultivated mushroom.
This was another excellent meeting of ACF Naples Chefs highlighting great foods and camaraderie among members. From what was sampled here, if I was a commercial buyer I would definitely try out their product in real time.
That’s that for another post on Forks.
Halperns’ Steak and Seafood Naples Plant
3565 Plover Ave, Naples, FL