Melody Money; C.E.C.
American Culinary Federation, Pikes Peak Chapter Chef of the Year 2009/2010
Joel 2:26 - And you shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that has dealt wondrously with you: and My people shall never be ashamed.
Melody Money, C.E.C. has a motto: It doesn't have to be "camp food!" in response to the often times negative comments about "camp food" that she hears about. But it wasn't always so - she considers cooking to be her spiritual gift rather than a natural born talent. It wasn't until after she accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior as an adult in 1994 that the Lord began to put a passion for cooking in her heart. She enrolled in the culinary arts program at Indian River State College in Vero Beach, Florida, where she eagerly absorbed everything she could and became involved with the A.C.F.; the American Culinary Federation, in their apprenticeship program. As part of this program she worked in a number of area restaurants and clubs to gain practical experience in all areas of Food Service. As her skills developed, she went on staff at the Grand Harbor golf & yachting community in Vero Beach, working all the various stations in the kitchens before assuming the Garde Manger and Banquet Chef positions depending on the need of the day.
During this time of learning a new profession, the Lord was also training Melody and her husband, Larry (QRC Executive Director) up in ministry as they served with the youth ministry at their home church, First Church of God in Vero Beach. This was the time, under the mentorship of a wonderful pastoral staff, that the Lord began laying the calling on their hearts to go into full time ministry, using the gifts and talents He had blessed them with. After 6 years of investigating, searching, applying and interviewing, the Lord opened the doors for them to come to Quaker Ridge Camp in early spring of 2000.
Melody's love of cooking and drive for new ideas and techniques has made her a lifetime student of the culinary arts. In 2002 she was introduced to the ancient art of Thai fruit and vegetable carving by Chef Ray Duey, C.E.C. and immediately took to this unique and beautiful food art. Under Chef Duey's mentorship, Melody's skill was honed and led to a bronze medal and a gold medal in A.C.F. Centerpiece/Showpiece competitions. And always being up for a challenge, she once prepared, cooked and served an entire Christmas dinner with a turkey and all the trimmings with nothing more to cook over than a campfire.
Considering herself a dedicated lifetime student of the culinary arts, Melody also has a passion to teach. She volunteers her time to the U.S. Military, teaching on-going education classes to the Culinary Specialists at Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs. She is also involved with the A.C.F.'s joint venture with the U.S. Navy's "Adopt a Ship" program where she spends time aboard American war ships working with the galley crews teaching basic and advanced culinary skills and helping them prepare for A.C.F. certification. Her most memorable trip was a 2 week stint on the U.S.S. Boxer in the Persian Gulf in 2007; living, eating, teaching, sleeping and socializing with some of America's finest in a combat setting during war time.
Also in 2007, after years of hard work, study and practical experience, Melody attained her American Culinary Federation "Certified Executive Chef" certification; only the second female to achieve this honor in her region. As a member of the Pikes Peak Chapter of the A.C.F., she has served as board Sgt. at Arms, Secretary, Vice President, President and Chairman. Her diligent involvement with the A.C.F. has seen her judging various culinary competitions, teaching at area high schools and colleges, giving demonstrations at public events, chairing and co-chairing community outreach events, etc. She has also been featured in local television segments and newspaper articles and local and national trade magazines and has had a handful of articles published in national trade magazines as well being a featured "role model" in Focus on the Family's "Brio" magazine.
More recently, Melody was honored to be named the American Culinary Federation, Pikes Peak Chapter "Chef of the Year" for 2009/2010.
But even in light of all that the Lord has blessed her with, her first and true devotion is to serve Him here at Quaker Ridge Camp where she delights in serving our guests anything but what some might consider "camp food".