ACFNO Officers

2019 ACFNO Officers

Runoff Voting is going on now!

Nominations now closed.

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 Ruth Varisco, CEPC, CCE

1st Vice President

Chef Ruth is a longtime member of the ACFNO, and has been the program manager of the Nunez Community College Culinary Arts Program in St. Bernard for almost 25 years.

Chef Mark Springfloat

2nd Vice President

Chef Tom Beckmann


Chef Mary P Bartholomew, PhD, CCE


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 T. Walden


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 Matthew Guillory

Membership Chair