2019 ACF National Convention: Orlando


Orlando, FL | August 4th - 8th, 2019

The Orlando World Center Marriott hosted ACF National Convention: Orlando, August 4th – 8th, 2019. Chef's exploring new ideas and flavors, student's looking to gain experience, and foodservice professionals keeping atop the latest and greatest, found plenty of educational and networking opportunities for you.

Day 1 Recap

  • 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 at ACF National Convention: Dallas, July 19-23, 2020!
  • Rico Torres and Diego Galicia opened Monday morning with their talk on “Chiles of Mexico.”
  • 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.
  • Kristy Carlucci led a session on reasons for using vegetables in desserts and pastries.
  • Jacquy Pfeiffer gave an overview of pastry trends on the horizon.

Day 2 & 3 Recap

  • ACF National Competitions fired up, with Pastry Chef of the Year (sponsored by KitchenAid Commercial), Knowledge Bowl, Chef Educator of the Year demonstrations, Chef of the Year competition (sponsored by Centerline Brackets), and the American Culinary Classic.
  • Michael Sohocki spoke on “A Search for Meaning.”
  • Eduardo Garcia shared “Get Charged: Surviving and Finding Fresh Inspiration as A Chef.”
  • Charles Carroll, CEC, AAC, posted up for his second day of live podcasting with some of our celebrity chef guests.
  • Great panels inside inflatable learning pods! Topics included “Mind, Body, & Mental Wellness for Chefs,” “How to Hire, Train And Retain the Best Culinary Talent,” “Emerging & Alternative Culinary Career Pathways” and “The Future of Culinary Education.”
  • Impossible Burger sponsored a main stage session, with J. Michael Melton sharing with attendees how to enhance your menu and build your business with the company’s products.
  • Adam Kaye demonstrated how today’s scraps can become tomorrow’s delicious dish.
  • Jamie Simpson and Farmer Lee Jones took “Plant Forward” a step further and spoke on how chefs can run a “no-waste” kitchen using every part of the vegetable.

Day 4 Recap

  • Duff Goldman, “The Ace of Cakes,” shared his grandmother’s apple strudel recipe in a heartfelt and hilarious demonstration steeped in family tradition.
  • Jimmy Wessman demonstrated the benefits of beekeeping for chefs beyond harvesting affordable, local honey.
  • Costa Magoulas of Daytona State College took attendees on an in depth tour of the college’s state of the art Commercial Beer Brewing System and Brew Pub classroom.
  • Our inaugural women’s symposium, United in Food: Leaders of Today and Tomorrow.
  • Rocky Dunnam talked with attendees on how a culinary culture touches healthcare through its food and dining options in a presentation presented by ANFP.
  • Our President’s Gala was decked out for “White Hot Havana Nights,” with attendees dressed to impress in their best Cuban flair.