Chef Christopher Neary

Dear ACF Members:

The American Culinary Federation, our members and the culinary community have lost of one of our finest leaders.

Chef Christopher J. Neary, CEC, CCA, AAC, current ACF Northeast Region Vice President, passed away on December 9, 2018.

Chef Neary spent his whole culinary career on Long Island. For the past 40 years he was in private a la carte restaurants, multi-unit chain restaurants, fresh seafood wholesale and retail and was most recently a member of the J. Kings Culinary Team.

A member of the American Culinary Federation since 1993 and the ACFLI since 1995, Chef Neary has been on the Board of Directors since 2000 and served three terms as President of the Long Island Chapter. He served proudly as a Certified Executive Chef and was a dedicated professional, greatly respected by the surrounding communities and industry leaders. In addition to his accomplished career, Chef Neary was continuously involved in local charity events, assisting to raise culinary scholarship funds. Chef also dedicated his time to mentoring young culinarians whom he held in high regard as the future of his profession. In 2003, this hard work led him to receive his chapter’s Chef Professionalism Award for his dedication to many students and his craft.

Over the years, Chef Neary was the culinary force behind some of Long Island’s finest restaurants, receiving top reviews from the New York Times and Newsday. In 2004, he was awarded the American Culinary Federation Long Island’s top honor: Chef of the Year. More recently, Chef Neary was honored with the Presidential Medallions from Chef John Kinsella CMC, AAC and Chef Michael Ty, CEC, AAC.

He continued to keep on the cutting edge of his profession by attending both regional and national American Culinary Federation educational conferences each year.

In July 2008 he was inducted into the American Academy of Chefs, the prestigious Honor Society of the American Culinary Federation, an accomplishment he was most proud of.

“Chef Neary was not only a friend, fellow board member and longtime member of the ACF family, he was also an inspiration to me personally and to the larger culinary community. His generosity of spirit came through in so many different ways — through his public service, his commitment to his craft and most especially, in his love and devotion to his family,” says ACF Board President Stafford DeCambra, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC. “Here at the ACF, we will miss Chef Neary personally — he was such a kind man — but I will also miss his cheerful emails. They came once or twice a week, usually with an uplifting message or small joke. One that he sent us all in October seems particularly apt today: ‘Look for something positive in every day, even if some days you have to look a little harder.'”

Please join us in honoring and remembering our friend and colleague Chef Christopher J. Neary.

Visitation will be Wednesday, December 12, 7-9 PM and Thursday, December 13, 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM at Perry Funeral Home, 118 Union Avenue, Lynbrook, New York. Funeral Mass will be Friday, December 14 at 9:45 AM at St. Raymond’s R C. Church, East Rockaway, New York. Private cremation will follow.

Rather than donations to a single charity, Chef Neary’s family is encouraging chefs to continue to support charities of their choice.

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