Melissa Trimmer, Dawn Foods’ corporate executive chef and director of culinary & innovation studio, was recently honored with the esteemed American Culinary Federation (ACF) Pastry Chef of the Year Award 2022 by the Michigan Chefs de Cuisine chapter of ACF. The award recognizes her passion for the craft, accomplished reputation in the pastry field and dedication to educating others by sharing skills and knowledge.

Due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACF held its first Chef of the Year dinner in two years, honoring both 2022 and 2023 award recipients at the event on January 22, 2024.

Trimmer’s contributions extend beyond her culinary expertise. She actively engages with the baking industry by participating in various events aimed at fostering culinary education and promoting diversity. Among her upcoming events:

In March, she will serve as a judge for the Michigan state ProStart competition, an industry-backed culinary arts and restaurant management program for high school students that equips them with the skills necessary to thrive in the restaurant and foodservice industry.

In April, she will speak at the Women in Culinary Apprenticeship fundraising event hosted by the Detroit Institute of Gastronomy (DIG). The event aims to provide women interested in the culinary industry with opportunities to learn culinary arts through apprenticeship programs.

In June, she will serve as a judge for a SkillsUSA competition in Atlanta. SkillsUSA is a career and technical student organization that empowers students to become skilled professionals and responsible community leaders in various trade, technical, and skilled service occupations.

In July, she will participate in a community garden event in Ypsilanti, Michigan, called Growing Hope. The event is part of Growing Hope’s high school program, where she will train students from the Ypsilanti school district how to prepare healthy meals using ingredients at their disposal.