ACFNO Officers

ACFNO Officers

Now accepting nominations for the 2019 officers!

Coming Soon - Voting for the 2019 officers (12/14-12/28).

Chef Leon West

Chapter President

Leon West is a graduate of the Massachusetts Vocational and Technical School’s culinary arts program. He received his on the job training with the Sheraton Hotel in Boston. Chef West was certified on July 14, 1970, by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association.

Chef West began his career with ARAMARK in 1978. After only five years, he accepted the position of Executive Chef of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans where his career has progressed over the years. Chef Leon currently sells his famous seasonings at stores across Louisiana as well as online.

Chef T L Walden

Vice President

After receiving culinary training as a food service specialist for the U.S. military, Chef TL Walden has remained in the food service industry for decades. Having previously served as chief food service director in Atlanta and New Orleans for the U.S. government, as Chef Rep for the Sara Lee Corporation, and Command foodservice specialist Louisiana for joint military service, Chef Walden is presently retired. An ACF member for over 25 years, Chef T was named as ACFNO Chef of the Year in 2008, has served as ACFNO treasurer, and is currently in his third term as Sergeant at Arms.

Chef Damian J. Thomas


Chef Damian J. Thomas, ACFNO Chairman of the Board, has over 30 years of food service experience. A native New Orleanian with great ties to the city which he loves, Chef Damian has been an American Culinary Federation member for the past 24 years, and in addition to his current position, has served as chapter president.

Chef Eric J Mark


Chef Ruth Varisco


Chef Ricardo J Fredricks

Board Member

Prior to joining the University of New Orleans, Chef Fredricks was a Chef/Instructor for the Culinary Apprentice Program at Delgado College. He has a M.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin – Stout, Bachelors from the University of New Orleans, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, and is certified by the American Culinary Federation as a Certified Culinary Educator and Chef de Cuisine.

Chef Fredricks’ hospitality industry career included working for hotels, restaurants and resorts. Chef Fredricks is a member of the International Food Executives, the Research Chef’s Association, the Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) and the American Culinary Foundation.

Chef Mary P Bartholomew

Board Member

Mary P. Bartholomew, PhD, has been involved in a combination of business and education adventures for many years.  She has taught in many different grade levels, to include middle school, high school and college, as well as owning her own catering business and selling wholesale food to restaurants. Her first teaching experience was at a vocational high school in Laurel, MS, where she taught Commercial Foods to high school students using industry specific equipment.  Dr. Bartholomew is certified by the American Culinary Federation as Certified Culinary Educator (CCE) and is an approved certification evaluator; she is certified by the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute as a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE); and she is certified by the National Restaurant Association as a Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) , as well as a ServSafe instructor and proctor.

Chef Frank Sclafani

Membership Chair