Chefs and foodservice professionals across North America are traveling to Las Vegas July 21–25 for the 2013 American Culinary Federation (ACF) National Convention held at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. More than 1,000 foodservice professionals will participate in five days of culinary education featuring live cooking demos, competitions for ACF’s national awards, a two-day trade show, and seminars focused on the latest foodservice trends.
July 21, 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m., ACF chefs will volunteer in the Las Vegas community for the fourth annual Chefs Outreach to the Community Day. Each year, chefs volunteer in the convention’s host city to teach healthy cooking to kids and their families. This year’s event will take place at the Andre Agassi Clubhouse of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas. Families are invited to attend this free event to learn how to create healthy meals that are delicious and fun through interactive cooking demonstrations. Kids will go home with a bag of healthy food items and activities.
Educational Seminars and Convention Speakers
This year’s team of speakers and presenters will discuss ways to incorporate sustainability and healthy cooking techniques into foodservice programs, new pastry techniques and menu trends. July 22, keynote speaker Ming Tsai, executive chef and owner, Blue Ginger, Wellesley, Mass., and Emmy winning host of PBS- TV’s “Simply Ming” will talk to attendees on the healthy influences of Asian cooking. Opening the educational seminar series is Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, owners, Border Grill, Los Angeles, discussing how to incorporate sustainability into restaurant offerings. Casey Shiller, CEPC, Food Network’s two-time “Cupcake Wars” winner and executive pastry chef, Jilly’s Cupcake Bar & Cafe, St. Louis, will demonstrate a classic French dessert. Closing the education program July 25 is Rich Rosendale, CMC, 2013 U.S. competitor at the Bocuse d’Or. He will discuss his approach to international competition and demonstrate garnishes he created for the Bocuse d’Or.
Each year ACF chefs and culinary students compete for regional awards for an opportunity to vie for national awards during the ACF National Convention. Regional chef and student winners will compete during the convention for U.S.A’s Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Chef Educator of the Year, and Student Chef of the Year. Four student teams and a U.S. military team will compete for Student Team National Championship, and four student teams will compete in the Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, a “Jeopardy-“style culinary competition, for the national title. This year’s additional competition, the ACF National Championship Collegiate Dining Challenge, features chef teams from six universities battling for the title of best college dining program in the U.S.
The two-day tradeshow features the latest products and services from national, regional, and local exhibitors. A variety of product is on hand, from culinary education materials, chef apparel and boutique items to major foodservice brands. Attendees have the opportunity to see and taste products while meeting industry representatives. The trade show is open July 23, 12:30-5 p.m. and July 24, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. On July 24 at 11 a.m. a recipe competition, Flavors of the Mediterranean—A Minute Rice Competition, will take place on the trade show floor. The winner will receive $1,500 and best Minute Rice recipe bragging rights.
Open to the Public
The national convention is open to chefs and foodservice professionals. Ticket prices vary and can be purchased on-site.