Certified Master Chef J. Kevin Walker, one of the best in his field, is humble and grounded while continually striving to learn and improve.
J. Kevin Walker, CMC, is Executive Chef of Ansley Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga. Even though he started cooking in Mom and Pop operations at the age of 15, Walker considers his professional culinary career to have started when he began working at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix at age 20. From there he attended The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Walker served as the Executive Chef of the Lafayette Club in Minnesota, and at Greenville (S.C.) Country Club. From there he became the Executive Chef of Cherokee Town & Country Club in Atlanta in 2002 until October 2011, where he helped the club build an outstanding culinary program. In 2002 Walker achieved the Certified Master Chef (CMC) designation, the highest level of certification a chef can achieve. With 73 CMCs in the U.S., it is a designation that represents the pinnacle of professionalism and skill.
In 2011 Walker moved to Indian Wells, Calif., to be the Executive Chef of the exclusive Vintage Club for 3 years. He and his wife realized they missed being close to family and they moved back east where he became Director of Clubhouse Operations at Grandfather Golf and Country Club in Linville, N.C.
Throughout his career, Walker has won numerous national culinary awards. He was named National Chef of the Year in 2007 as well as the Chef of the Year award from ACF Greater Atlanta Chapter Inc., where he is currently a member. In 2008, Walker was inducted into the American Academy of Chefs® (AAC®), the honor society of ACF. He received the American Culinary Federation’s Presidential Award in 2009 and was awarded AAC’s Chef Good Taste Award for furthering the culinary industry and upholding the traditions of classical cuisine in 2011.
Walker has trained many talented young chefs to become successful Executive Chefs at many top-tier clubs around the country. He has also been an accomplished coach and manager; he coached Daniel Gorman at the Chaine des Rotisseurs Young Chefs Competition in Turkey. He was also named 2016 manager of ACF Culinary Youth Team USA, the official youth team representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions. Walker is an ACF-approved competition judge and was a founding member of ACF Professional Chefs Association of Houston. He has competed in more than 10 culinary competitions since 1993 and has won several gold medals.