Edward Leonard, CMC

Edward G. Leonard, CMC. GMC, FSP, AAC Chef is the new director of culinary Operations and executive chef of culinary operations at The Polo Club in Boca Raton. He brings his passion for all things culinary and international reputation for building a culture of excellence everywhere he goes by providing diverse quality cuisine.

His last position was as director of culinary Operations and executive chef of culinary operations at Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro Georgia. A lifestyle resort and club property with 10,000 acres, six golf courses, five clubhouse, ten restaurants and banquet operations where he led a culinary team of over 70 chefs and cooks.

Prior to Reynolds he was the Vice president & Corporate Chef of culinary education, restaurants and hospitality for the Le Cordon Bleu Schools in North America he traveled all over the USA and Europe inspiring and sharing his passion for the craft of cookery overseeing 16 colleges and over 100 kitchens .

One of the highlights of Chefs career was when he was the Executive Chef/Director of Food & Beverage of The Westchester Country Club for 8 years where he took the club from 14th to the 12th top ranked platinum club in the United States and received accolades for his culinary programs in 10 different venues. Chef had a extern culinary student program having over 150 students work and train in his kitchens along with a two year accredited apprentice program which has 8 graduates who are all presently executive chefs.

He is one of only 72 Certified Master Chefs in the United States earning his masters in cookery at the Culinary Institute of America and passing an exam that over 64% have failed. He is a member of the World Master Chef Society along with being a certified WACS master chef. In the past three years under his tutelage Chef Leonard has trained 5 chefs for the master chef exam who have passed this prestigious pinnacle.

He received a full doctorate in culinary arts from Johnson and Wales University for his impact and contribution to the craft and profession.

In 2010 he was the first ever American chef to serve as that keynote speaker at Nanning, China’s festival of chefs with over 1300 chefs from all over Asia. In 2013 he visited China twice as an honored guest and chef to receive initiation into the Chinese International chefs association the first American chef to receive such an honor while also being a guest lecturer on Western cuisine. He then went to Beijing and took a gold medal in the first ever Beijing international cookery cup with chefs from Le Cordon Bleu. In 2013 he was invited by the Galaxy group in Macau as celebrity guest chef hosting a an American BBQ for the Hong Kong
and American Embassy along with a private wine dinner and up close and personal cooking class.

November of 2013 he bought a team of chefs to Dubai for the world hospitality cup and took second places with a gold medal out of 15 global national teams.

Chef Leonard has extensive diverse experience as an educator, speaker, manager, leader, cook, restaurant owner, and executive chef in all aspects if the industry. Chef Leonard has a reputation as an incredible speaker and motivator with great passion and a display of leadership that is rare.

Publications Accomplished author of seven culinary books including you eat with your eyes, endorsed by Chef Martin Yan and Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten.

•Taste and Tales of a Chef. Prentice Hall May 2004

•Guide to Culinary Competitions, Cooking to Win. Wiley and Sons, June 2005

•Cooking with Americas Championship Team. Feeding Frenzy, Inc, January 2005

•Private Club Cuisine. Wiley and Sons, March 2006

•You Eat with Your Eyes. LTD, Inc., September 2008 & 2012

•Cooking with Americas Championship Team II; LTD, Inc 2009

•The Essential Book of Modern Buffets, Wiley and Sons, 2011

Chef as he is called by those who know him was the team chef and leader of the ACF Culinary Team USA from 1998 to 2008 leading a team of chefs from America that cook on a international stage every four years in Germany called the culinary Olympics.

His team in 2004 finished with one of only four gold medals earned out of 32 national teams from around the globe in the hot kitchen winning the hot food championship the first USA team to do so since 1988 and finishing third overall in the world. He lead the national team to 3 Golds and one silver and his regional team to the world championship in 2008 out of 50 teams at the largest culinary event held in Erfurt Germany.

In his 10 years of leadership “CULINARY TEAM USA” has won 5 championships and over 34 gold medals in the international arena. Chef has won over 50 gold medals in competitions and having gold in every category including pastry and centerpiece work.


State University Distinguished Visiting Chef Medal and diploma from the International Chinese Cuisine Chefs Huaxi China 2012
YiYin Award Beijing China 2012
2010 keynote speaker at Nanning, China’s festival of chefs o Inducted into the Cordon D’OR culinary hall of fame
Winner of Two Cordon D’ OR awards for “You Eat with Your Eyes”
Presented three culinary awards for his books Cooking with America’s team and Private club cuisine cooking with a master chef
Over 50 gold medals in cookery from the USA and Globally
Sante magazine culinarian of the year 2008
Honorary member Dubai Chefs Association
Chefs award for professional global contribution Singapore Chefs Association
Gold medal award from the Gourmet Summit in Singapore for best chef and leader in culinary arts o Keynote Speaker Café educational conference 2009
Keynote speaker CMAA convention 2007, 2010
Inducted into the Antonin Careme Society at a private diner in San Francisco 2006
Twice featured chef at the James beard house New York for a Dinner with the masters and a double gold medal winners wine and food tasting dinner
Crystal Chef Award Van Heche Restaurant Company Holland
Honorary Doctorate from Johnson and Wales University
The American Academy of chefs Chairs award
General John D. McLaughlin AAC educational award
Chefs Professionalism Award o Inducted into the World Master Chef Societies
Food network three times featured in their competition series with Culinary team USA and becoming a master chef
Johnson & Wales University –Commencement speaker
Culinary Institute of America – Commencement Speaker 1996 and 2003
Atlantic Academy College – Commencement Speaker
Johnson & Wales University – Distinguished Visiting Chef
Institute of Art – Master Chef Series Visiting Chef
Culinary Institute of America, Guest Chef
Nichols State University distinguished chef

He is one of the top chefs in the country and a leader for the industry and is invited to speak all over the world in regards to the profession and American cuisine.

He was the featured speaker in Ireland for the 2004 World Association of Cooks Congress, in New Zealand 2006 and again in Dubai 2008 and a speaker at the World Gourmet Summit in Singapore in the April of 2003, 2005 while also judging the Taste of Asia competition.

His presence was so well received he returned to the Gourmet Summit in Singapore April of 2007 to partake in a gourmet Foie Gras Dinner and to cook and give presentations to the Singapore chefs and culinary students on cuisine in America with his hot seminar called making food dance

Education Masters in Cookery, ACFEI/Culinary Institute of America Honorary Doctorate in culinary arts, Johnson and Wales University Rhode Island, Honorary Doctorate in hospitality management, International Facility Management Association Degree Culinary Arts Le Cordon Bleu, Pasadena CA Thamside Business School, London, England, Degree Sales & Marketing Public Relations and Public Speaking and Crisis Control MGMT, FleishmanHillard, NY Culinary Apprenticeship; France, Italy and London England


Regional Italian cooking Training in Parma, Rome, Florence, Venice, Trenitino & Umbra Van Heche Restaurant Group, Holland Trust House Forte, London, England Ceres Restaurants, Paris, France Café Royal, London England Valencia, Spain Grosvenor House London England Polo Lounge in Westbury Hotel, NY