Here’s what you missed at ACF National Convention: Orlando Day 1


It’s finally here! ACF National Convention 2019 officially kicked off on Sunday and we’re so excited to finally get this party — that we’ve been working on for over a year — started!

All week we’ll be sharing up-to-the-minute photos and videos on our Instagram story and feed, live videos of main stage speakers and competitions on Facebook and thought-provoking quotes from our presenters on Twitter. But we thought we’d also compile a round-up of each day’s events here on We Are Chefs, too. Check back every day (and make sure you subscribe to our We Are Chefs email newsletter — the form is at the bottom of this post!) so you don’t miss a minute of the action.

A reminder: You can Tweet us your questions for your favorite main stage speakers using the hashtag #acfnatcon! For Tuesday, you have a chance to ask your burning questions of Ivan Orkin and Marco Pierre White. They might answer them live on Facebook, and you can see all their full talks with access to Conference On-Demand!

  • On Sunday afternoon, Gale Gand, 2019 American Academy of Chefs Celebrated Chef, got us off to a great start with “Lessons I’ve Learned & My New Favorite Recipe.” Gand revealed some of the most important lessons she’s learned over her 40 years in the food business and made some delicious-looking chocolate mousse.
  • We made a huge announcement about the ACF’s 2020 competitions! Next year, the four regional competitions will be held at one time, in one place, with everyone there to watch the chefs compete. And that place is ACF National Convention: Dallas, July 19-23, 2020! Each region will have one full day to compete, all of the competitors in the exact same kitchens, competing side-by-side. At the end of each day, the winners will be announced and will advance to the national tier. Winners will be determined based on point totals from the previous four days.
  • Rico Torres and Diego Galicia opened Monday morning with their talk on “Chiles of Mexico.” The chefs discussed using Mexican chiles from fresh to dry, their flavors and their many culinary applications and took questions from the audience.
  • Jody Eddy took a deep dive into the steps it takes for chefs to break into writing cookbooks and developing a sellable concept for television.
  • Russell Scott, CMC and Olivier Andreini, CMC, Emeritus, demonstrated and discussed the classic Swiss dish, veal Zurichoise, in a talk sponsored by Libbey.
  • In “Eating is an Adventure,” chef, author and restaurateur Edward Lee shared his insight on the changing landscape of food in America, gathered in his research for his James Beard Award-winning book, and how the new immigrant cuisines and cultures are driving that change.
  • Vincenzo D’Antonio demonstrated how versatile European canned tomatoes are from rigatoni alla buttera sauced with tomatoes, bacon and egg yolks, to zesty elicoidali alla puttanesca, both featuring Red Gold From Europe tomatoes.
  • Kristy Carlucci led a session on reasons for using vegetables in desserts and pastries, as well as the possibilities for the future.
  • Jacquy Pfeiffer gave an overview of pastry trends on the horizon, as well as how to best understand customers’ ever-changing needs, and how to best translate this information into pastry sales for your establishment.
  • The Benefits of Waste Reduction and How to Achieve Them,” sponsored by Minor’s and led by Kathryn Fenner, taught attendees the value of food waste reduction and how to build your menu around this important goal.
  • Our pirate-themed welcome reception (complete with Jack Sparrow), sponsored by BelGioioso Cheese, Inc., Boar’s Head Brand, Boiron Americas, Cargill Protein, Clemens Food Group, ANICAV – the Italian Association of Canned Vegetable Industries, Savencia Cheese USA and Smithfield Culinary, closed Day 1 with action stations manned by Jason Hall, CMC, Helmut Holzer, CMC, Lawrence McFadden, CMC, Shawn Loving, CMC, J.Kevin Walker, CMC, and ACF’s newest Certified Master Chef and Timothy Bucci, CMC, as well as St. Louis Community College, Institute for Culinary Arts – Nebraska and ACF Central Florida.
  • Marco Pierre White stopped by the VIP lounge to sign a few books for thrilled attendees!

Psst: If this is all giving you serious #FOMO, you can register right now for our 2020 events in Nashville, Seattle and Dallas — at the best price ever. PLUS, register for any 2020 conference by August 30 and you’ll receive a free VIP upgrade ($129 value) to that event!

Click here to see all of our coverage on ACF National Convention: Orlando.

[blog_subscription_form title=”Subscribe to We Are Chefs via email”]