LAS VEGAS, July 22 (UPI) -- How many times have you made reservations, enjoyed a sumptuous four-course meal, and never given a second thought to the fine art that has gone into preparing the wonderful feast made for your dining enjoyment? Not to mention the hours of labor, sweat and tears that has accompanied its success.
While good dining is slowly making its way into American culture, Americans, for the most part, continue to enjoy their love affair with cholesterol-heavy, greasy fast foods.
Magnets for heart attacks and clogged arteries retain top standing in the United States. Hamburgers, pizzas, nachos and other junk foods that help one lose the never-ending battle of the bulge, continues to dominate the food industry.
Indeed, it seems that some Americans regard eating to be more of a necessity, rather than one of the finer pleasures of life, which is what eating is all about. Or rather should be.
Several American chefs think there might just be a slight change in American eating trends, amid hopes that their fellow citizens are beginning to see the positive aspects of good, healthy dining.
"Americans are more perceptive than they have ever been before," Charles Carroll, Executive Chef at the River Oaks Country Club in Houston, Texas, told United Press International.
"In the 1960s, food did not preoccupy the American public," said Chef Ferdinand Metz, the keynote speaker at Monday's general session of the American Culinary Federation's annual convention in Las Vegas. "That is changing," said Metz, "and the ACF will be there to help push the trend."
Carroll believes "this is an exciting time to be a chef." He sees change coming. "Look at the popularity of cooking shows on television, such as Emeril's," said Carroll, referring to Emeril Lagasse -- the Vegas-based chef who features on the Food Network and Good Morning America.
Carroll, Metz and another 2,500 or so of the country's leading chefs are in Las Vegas attending the ACF's annual convention.
The goal of the federation is "to make a positive difference for culinarians internationally through education, apprenticeship and certification, while creating a fraternal bond of respect and integrity among culinarians everywhere," according to a report distributed at the convention.
Certification is a major issue with the ACF, who would like to see more chefs around the country become certified.
"Think about it. Manicurists and hair dressers are certified, but the people who prepare your food, are not," said Kara Rogers, a public relations specialist with Lord, Sullivan and Yoder, a public relations firm based in Columbus, Ohio, and with whom the ACF has contracted to assist them in getting their culinary message across.
Indeed, change may well be on the way, at least in Las Vegas, which boasts at least two five-star restaurants featuring celebrity chefs such as Wolfgang Puck and Lagasse.