The new year is upon us, and now is the perfect time to start setting goals and planning your professional development for 2018! The American Culinary Federation’s 2018 events kick off with ChefConnect: Charlotte in North Carolina, Feb. 25-27, followed by ChefConnect: Newport Beach in California, March 18-20, and conclude with Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention & Show in New Orleans, July 15-19, 2018.
The theme for ACF’s 2018 events is “Be The Change…” Keynote speakers, presenters and chef demonstrations will guide you in the latest culinary techniques and trends, and inspire you to explore ways to #BeTheChange in your kitchen.
Make 2018 your best year yet professionally! Read on for the list of amazing keynote speakers. Then, visit our website to get the full schedule and register today to reserve your spot.
David Burke blurs the lines between chef, artist, entrepreneur and inventor as a world-renowned chef and one of the leading pioneers in American cooking today. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he has worked with legendary chefs in France and New York and distinguished himself on the world stage in culinary competition. His fascination with ingredients and the art of the meal has fueled a 30-year career marked by creativity, critical acclaim for his innovative restaurant concepts and the introduction of revolutionary products and cooking techniques.
Author of The Texas Food Bible, Chef Fearing is renowned for the “Elevated American Cuisine — Bold Flavors, No Borders” of his award-winning Fearing’s Restaurant in Dallas. Long known as the “Father of Southwestern Cuisine,” Fearing was the executive chef for 20 years at Dallas’ famed The Mansion on Turtle Creek. Fearing has spent his life cooking for people who love good food. At ChefConnect: Charlotte, Chef Fearing will present on the birth of Southwestern cuisine.
Meyer is the founding father of the new Nordic cuisine and a co-founder of Noma in Copenhagen, widely regarded the best restaurant in the world in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. From writing the manifesto for the Nordic food revolution to co-founding a truly innovative restaurant concept in Noma, Meyer has always been motivated by goals that stretch far beyond profit. He will share insights from his gastronomic, business and philanthropic journeys that will guide you in unfolding your potential.
ChefConnect: Newport Beach
Choi is considered a founder of the food truck movement. Born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in Los Angeles, Choi is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He resides in Los Angeles where he is the co-owner, co-founder and chef of Kogi BBQ, Chego!, A-Frame, Commissary, POT and LocoL. In 2017, LocoL received the first-ever LA Times Restaurant of the Year award, his cookbook/memoir “L.A. Son” was a New York Times bestseller, and most recently, he was included in the 2016 TIME 100 Most Influential People in the World list.
Chef Mehta is the chef/owner of three New York City restaurants, with a focus on sustainability. His presentation will emphasize creating a healthier environment by reducing negative human impact, showcasing a holistic approach to endure a secure footprint for the future and highlighting methods adopted at his restaurant Graffiti Earth and University of Massachusetts, Amherst, to create zero-waste by re-purposing.
Founder of the company The Sioux Chef, Chef Sherman is committed to revitalizing indigenous cuisine and will present on “The Evolution of Indigenous Food Systems of North America.” A caterer and food educator, Sherman has undertaken extensive independent research to uncover the foundations of indigenous food systems, beginning by looking at regional differences and diversity of foods throughout North America. These discoveries have made it possible to raise awareness of the history of indigenous food while making it more accessible to communities worldwide in a modern culinary context.
Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention & Show in New Orleans
Chef Chauhan is the executive chef and co-owner of Chauhan Ale & Masala House in Nashville, Tennessee. She a recipient of the 2012 James Beard Foundation Broadcast Media Award for her role as a judge on food Network’s “Chopped,” and sits on the show’s permanent panel of judges. She has also written her own cookbook, Flavors of My World. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Chauhan worked in some of the finest hotels in India before the start of her professional career in the States.
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. At Cook. Craft. Create., he will present Possibilities: The Life of a Chef, an entertaining and informative account of his journey from harvesting food from Louisiana’s swamp floor panty to serving five U.S. presidents, as well as Pope John Paul II.
Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto has created a bridge between the culinary traditions of his native Japan and the American palate, bringing intense excitement, exquisite technique and perfectly balanced flavors to thousands of diners throughout the world. He has garnered popular acclaim for his seamless integration of Western and Japanese ingredients. Beyond his culinary genius and the exquisite design of both his food and restaurants, Chef Morimoto’s business acumen has helped him succeed in a variety of other pursuits, from cookbook writing to the creation of signature products.
Leadership coach and speaker Ka’ala Souza’s major goal is assisting others in achieving theirs. Born and raised in Hawaii on the island of Oahu, Ka’ala brings a unique perspective to his work. His consulting and training focus includes leadership and management development, communication, building collaboration and customer service. Ka’ala connects with diverse audiences, makes them laugh, think, get motivated and grow. His vision is to increase the ALOHA in the world by living it first then passing it on.
Chefs from all fields including pastry, restaurants, research, corporate, education and more gather with their peers and suppliers at our regional ChefConnect conferences and national convention. ACF events are open to ACF members at a discounted rate. Non-members are invited to attend and will receive a one-year membership with the purchase of registration.
At ACF events, you’ll experience a range of professional development opportunities through informative seminars, forums, cutting-edge demonstrations, hands-on workshops and networking. Most of these functions are applicable towards continuing education hours to gain or renew certification.
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