This weekend, restaurant professionals around the world are traveling to the Brooklyn Expo Center for one of the industry’s seminal events: StarChefs 12th Annual International Chefs Congress, October 22–24. The culinary symposium gathers 150 of the world’s most forward-thinking chefs, pastry chefs, bartenders, sommeliers, restaurateurs, and artisans to showcase dining trends. This year’s theme, “Cook Your Culture,” will frame the presentations and discussions that will take place during three days this fall.
“This year’s Congress theme, Cook Your Culture, is a natural response to the current political climate in America. This is the industry coming together and making a statement that cultural diversity is one of its greatest strengths,” says Will Blunt, managing editor of StarChefs.
“This year on the Main Stage you’re going to see Filipino kinilaw, eastern Carolina Tom Thumb—that’s a sausage stuffed into a pig’s appendix—and Ethiopian kitfo. We’re going to have doughnuts, giant cannolis you smash with a mallet, and we’ll also hit the heights of patisserie with French pastry legend Pierre Herme,” says Antoinette Bruno CEO/EIC of StarChefs.
Congress attendees will witness innovative cooking demos, like José Andrés’ main stage presentation, Immigrants Feed America. Some of the country’s best sommeliers will pair wines with Senagalese food during the 8th Annual Somm Slam. In workshops, attendees will learn how to master Puerto Rican mofongo with Jose Mendín (Pubbelly Group), and revisit French classics like quenelle de brochet with Justin Bogle & Daniel Rose (Le Coucou). During Bad Hombres y Mujeres Food Cart Day, lunchtime will consist of tacos, tostilocos, esquites, and horchata. In the business panel, “To Steal or Celebrate? Cultural Appropriation in Food,” a group of journalists, thinkers, and chefs will break uncomfortable ground and talk about who profits when cuisines go from “ethnic” to “on-trend.” See the full program here.