Champ Chefs Calls it a Day
November 8th, 2016
Pre-Note: Maurice sadly passed away November 5, shortly after this article was released.
Former Culinary Team Canada Manager (1988-1992) Maurice O’Flynn has championed the recording of all world class culinary competitions since 1954. A seemingly arduous task considering that over thirty years of information was not digitized until the mid 90’s. His website is, by any other level of accomplishment, simply teeming with history and archival footage of culinary trends and classical styles of presentation. To the elder chefs of yesterday, it’s a recollection of where Canada started on the internal culinary scene and where it ended up, and continues to trend today.
The following is the final hurrah and reflection on what made his work appreciated and respected.
My odyssey has finally come to an end.
When I commenced to build the Champchefs Archive, I had no concept where it would lead me.
One thing was clear; among the chefs associations of the world there was no comprehensive publically recorded history. Perhaps the Swiss and the VKD have a substantial library of their many achievements.
The Champchefs Editorial commenced in 2008 although I do recall launching the edition a year earlier in 2007 without an editorial (I was a shy boy!). The Archives growth was incremental; one idea leading to another until if built its content to today’s variety of choices.
In the earlier years, I found the mission challenging also exciting; delving back 60 years and reviewing the achievements of previous great chefs from yesteryear. However, encroaching time dims the headlights of perception also awareness causing tasks that were once straightforward to become tedious. Therefor this will be my final editorial and I will close the book on Champchefs further growth.
I have given serious consideration to transferring operational ownership to WACS with guarantees that would retain existing content. I have decided not to. I believe that the Champchefs Archive should stand-alone. I will ensure that the website will be funded for future years as will my son Ryan
I am greatly appreciative for the Communications Award that was presented to me at the WACS Congress in Seoul, South Korea four years ago. I accepted as a token from the many chefs who have spent their time visiting the site.
Along the way I have encountered many special people on the electronic highway. Their knowledge has assisted me immensely. To single out two among many I must thank Dr. Rick Stephen, WACS Director for Asia and Chef Hubert Schmieder of Lafayette, America. While Hubert is closer to 100 than I am he still has a memory like a magnet that captures the past in its grasp and loses not a detail; also I must not forget my long-suffering Webmaster Chris Poirier who has led me by the hands through the maze of the IT world. In my defense I must state that the are some 730 teams in the Archive and I posted each and every one (nothing to sniff at). Chris had the ability to grasp my concepts and place them as images onto a screen without losing the message.
The edition of the Archive that has given me the most pleasure is “Retrospectives”. In the section, I have tried to delve into the past for older stories while still keeping some current events in focus.
I must select three of my favorites from way back when. These stories are almost Chef Folk law; have a look for them in the Retrospectives index. Let’s start with ‘Zeppelin Meir’ the Chef of the German Zeppelin, the Hindenburg, that crashed in New Jersey, USA.
Then perhaps we can review a story of my friend Hubert Schmieder that commenced in Stuttgart during the WW 2 and continues today in America. Search for Stuttgart.
Finally back here in Canada we pick up the career of Canada’s first Executive African American Executive Chef, George Braxton.( That story is not complete as it takes money to pursue in-depth research).
The timing of this editorial is great as it has permitted me to include the results of the 2016 IKA from Erfurt as well as the recent results of the Global Chefs Completions from Thessaloniki. Visit the Home Page for links.
There are still many stories out there that remain untold. Surely there are chefs willing and able to pick up where I have left off. A companion edition for the Champchefs Archive?
In Wales, the Land of my Fathers we do not say farewell, rather we say: “when you return again to Wales we will have a welcome for you in the hillsides and in the vales”.
So be it.
Manager Canadian National Team 1992, Frankfurt.
IKA Culinary Champions.