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The first day of Cook. Craft. Create.

ACF National Convention & Show 2018

  • We explored plant-forward cuisines and the management of evolving foodservice needs with Tulane University's Chef Leah Sarris.
  • Attendees took walking tours around the Big Easy, exploring the city's extensive food history and craft beer scene.
  • The Masquerade Welcome Reception was a hit! 

The Masquerade Welcome Reception was a hit! Masked revelers took to the red carpet in some amazing accoutrements. Sponsored by: Boar's Head Brand, Natural Tableware, Smithfield, Sterling Silver Premium Meats, Inc., Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin

 

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Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention & Show 2018 Day 2. Check out the video to see some of our favorite moments.

  • Possibilities: The Life of a Chef
    From humble beginnings in a trapper's cabin in rural St James Parish, Louisiana, Chef John Folse has emerged as one of the nation's leading culinary entrepreneurs. He has taken his famous "Taste of Louisiana" around the world: from London to Hong Kong, and from Moscow to the Vatican. This Cajun man's journey from harvesting food from Louisiana's swamp floor panty to serving five US presidents as well as Pope John Paul II will not only be informative but entertaining as well. Presented by: John D Folse, CEC, AAC, HOF, HBOT, CEO/Owner/Executive Chef, Chef John Folse & Company
  • Culinary Medicine: Where Health Meets Food
    In this interactive tasting, we will introduce the concept of culinary medicine, or preventing and treating disease through food. Attendees will learn about innovative programming happening throughout the US in the medical field and in communities teaching people that food can be both delicious and nourishing. We will also explore culinary nutrition tenets and investigate your role as a chef and food service operator in this growing movement. Presented by: Leah Sarris, Program Director/Executive Chef, Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine
 Culinary Medicine: Where Health Meets Food

Culinary Medicine: Where Health Meets Food

 The "gold standard" chicken salad, vs. the "healthy" with apples & cranberries

The "gold standard" chicken salad, vs. the "healthy" with apples & cranberries

  • We learned how Tabasco has spiced up the last 150 years with sound environmental practices, artisanal manufacturing processes and a passion for the food industry.
  • The Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award was chosen by the ACF membership for the first time since the award's inception.
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 Chef John D. Folse talked on "Possibilities: The Life of a Chef" during the opening general session

Chef John D. Folse talked on "Possibilities: The Life of a Chef" during the opening general session

 The Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award Dinner Menu

The Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award Dinner Menu

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Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention & Show 2018 Day 3 was Aloha Tuesday, so most attendees skipped the chef coats in favor of leis and Hawaiian shirts. Check out the video below to see some of our favorite moments.

  • Student Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year and Student Team Edible Cold Platter Prep competitions were going all day.
  • The ACF Tradeshow showed off the best of the culinary world, with sponsors and exhibitors sharing the latest innovations food, equipment and services.
  • So many demos and workshops! From "Balancing Your Plate With Asian Flavors" with Chef Jason Licker and Chef R. Andrew Chlebana's "Jazzed-Up Tarts," to "Finding Time for You: Health, Fitness and Your Future" from Eric the Trainer and Chef Charles Carroll and "Wisconsin Cheddar & Kentucky Bourbon - A Love Story" with Peter Leuer of Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and the Society of Wine Educators' Jane Nickles, there was something for everybody yesterday.

Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention & Show 2018 Day 4. Check out the video below to see some of our favorite moments.

  • Student Team Edible Cold Platter Presentation, Student Team Hot Food and USA Chef of the Year competitions went on throughout the day.
  • The ACF Tradeshow wrapped up its second day of featuring the latest innovations in food, equipment and services. We tasted so many samples.
  • Chef Maneet Chauhan of Chopped gave the day's keynote address on "How Ethnic Food Found Its Place in American Cuisine." Check out our live-streamed videos of all the keynote addresses on the ACF Facebook page
 Chef Maneet Chauhan of Chopped

Chef Maneet Chauhan of Chopped

 Blackbean cakes with kale and aioli

Blackbean cakes with kale and aioli

  • Workshops and demos! There was "Canadian Cuisine: From Coast to Coast" with Peter Dewar of the Canadian Culinary Federation; a pastry certification seminar with Chef John C. Schopp; "Leading The Next Generation" by Chef Gerald Ford; "Five Questions You Should Answer Before you Retire" from financial advisor Adam Kirby of Wells Fargo Advisors; "The Art of Chocolate" with Pastry Chef Jacquelyn Lopez and more.
  • The inaugural Certified Master Chef Dine-Around had a group of eight CMCs sharing bites of amazing dishes, experiences, ideas and wisdom with an intimate group of attendees.
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 Tiramisu, strawberry shortcake, black forest cherry cake, mango panna cotta, keylime

Tiramisu, strawberry shortcake, black forest cherry cake, mango panna cotta, keylime

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 Silken corn polenta, southern greens, sweet & hot corn relish, tobacco shallots

Silken corn polenta, southern greens, sweet & hot corn relish, tobacco shallots

The inaugural ACF Certified Master Chef® Dine Around took place Wednesday, July 18 during Cook. Craft. Create. A group of CMC®s prepared pan-seared duck breast, beluga lentil and mushroom salad, summer corn puree with avocado crema, beef goulash with dumplings and honey thyme waffle with foie gras-cognac ice cream and MORE!

To do all that, they needed some help. That's where I come in.

Registered convention attendees were able to sign up to stage during the event. Each CMC® will choose one professional and one student to assist him. I applied and was selected by the TWO above CMCs to work on their menus. It was quite an honor!

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Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention & Show 2018 went out with a bang. Check out the video below to see some of our favorite moments.

  • The last round of workshops and demos was a huge one! Chef Stefan Ryll talked "The Future of Culinary Education Online"; CMCs Russell Scott and Helmut Holzer shared "The History and Flavors of Goulash"; Chef Shaun O'Neale demonstrated "The Modern American Table" with some squid ink and lobster ravioli; photographer Susan Bourgoin gave a packed seminar on using food photography to increase your bottom line; Chef Amy L. Queret-Mitchell shared her wisdom on "What Excellent Educators do Exceptionally" and so much more.
  • There were book signings and pop-up tastings everywhere.
  • Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto gave the closing keynote address on "Sushi A to Z," deconstructing a huge tuna on stage before an amazed crowd. Check out our live-streamed videos of all the keynote addresses on the ACF Facebook page
  • The President's Grand Ball was an 'ohana-style dinner to remember. There were dancers, award presentations (we'll share all those in next week's issue of The Culinary Insider) and, of course, fabulous food. 
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That's it for this year's Convention! I had a blast! Hope to see you in Orlando in 2019!