Resident Chris Cwierz was recently named 2014 American Culinary Federation (ACF) Western Region Pastry Chef of the Year. Cwierz received the award after winning a competition at the 2014 ACF Western Regional Conference in Oakland, Calif., March 2-5.

The ACF Pastry Chef of the Year award, established in 2004 and sponsored by Plugrá European-Style Butter, recognizes a pastry chef who has displayed a passion for the craft, has an accomplished reputation in the pastry field and has given back through the education of others by sharing his or her skills and knowledge. As this year’s regional winner, Cwierz will compete for the national title and $5,000 against his regional counterparts at the 2014 ACF National Convention in Kansas City, Mo., July 25-29.

Cwierz is a chef instructor/faculty development liaison at The Art Institute of Phoenix. Cwierz has an associate’s degree in baking and pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood, Pa., and a bachelor’s degree in hospitality business from University of Phoenix. He is working on his master’s in business from Argosy University in Phoenix. His experience includes The Pastry Shop in Tempe and executive pastry chef at The Wigwam in Litchfield Park. Cwierz won a bronze medal at the 2012 Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA), or the “culinary Olympics,” in Erfurt, Germany. In 2013, he was named ACF Chef’s Association of Arizona, Inc. Pastry Chef of the Year.

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