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ACF Hosts a Celebrity Chef Who Hates the Idea of Celebrity Chefs

Marco Pierre White and Other Industry Experts at 2019 National Convention

Culinary professionals from across the U.S. will gather in Orlando, August 4-8, for industry heavy-hitters, suspense-filled culinary competitions and the latest innovations in the kitchen The American Culinary Federation (ACF), the premier professional association for chefs in North America, will host more than 1,000 chefs and culinary professionals during its ACF National Convention in Orlando, FL. The convention will feature five days of hands-on workshops; national and international competitions, including the 2019 American Culinary Classic; live demonstrations and educational seminars on the latest industry trends. Attendees will hear from featured presenters including famed chef, restaurateur and TV personality Marco Pierre White, and Food Network celebrity chef and “Ace of Cakes” Duff Goldman.

The 2019 ACF Convention schedule presents attendees with opportunities to observe acclaimed chefs in action during live demonstrations and international competitions, as well as learn a wide variety of new skills, including beekeeping, food and wine pairing and emerging global food trends. Convention-goers can explore burgeoning topics in food service, from immersive dining and culinary medicine to vegetables in desserts and cooking with cannabis, with chefs and food experts who represent a broad range of culinary careers.

This year’s Convention will also feature ACF’s first-ever Women’s Symposium, “United in Food: Women Leaders of Today and Tomorrow,” including panel discussions and keynote presentations from leading female voices in the culinary industry, including Stacy Carroll of The James Beard Foundation and Elle Simone Scott of SheChef and “America’s Test Kitchen.”

“Each year, our ACF National Convention is the go-to event for intel on cutting-edge industry trends, and this year’s event will be no different,” said ACF National President Stafford T. DeCambra, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC, Emeritus. “From cooking with cannabis to female chef leaders to the ‘Ace of Cakes’ and other celebrity chefs, this culinary show is four days of the topics all industry professionals are talking about.”

Educational Seminars and Demonstrations 

Attendees can choose from a diverse array of culinary subjects, from business development to the latest culinary menu trends and techniques.

Featured keynote speakers are listed below, and a full schedule can be found at www.acfchefs.org/convention.


Sunday, August 4 – Opening General Session 

Gale Gand, nationally acclaimed chef and recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year Award, will kick off the Convention by sharing important lessons she has learned during her more than 40 years in the food business, plus her favorite recipes.

Monday, August 5 – General Session 2

Rico Torres and Diego Galicia, co-owners of Mixtli in San Antonio, TX who were recognized by Food & Wine Magazine in 2017 as “Best New Chefs,” will explore the history of Mexican cuisine and the use of chili peppers in many applications.

Tuesday, August 6 – General Session 3

Ivan Orkin, widely recognized as the American authority on ramen, demonstrates the preparation of the Japanese dish dashi and shares his thoughts and philosophy on dashi’s various applications in Japanese and Western cuisines.

Tuesday, August 6, 4 – 5 p.m.  

Famed chef, restaurateur and TV personality, Marco Pierre White, is the Convention’s keynote speaker and will present a lively discussion followed by a Q&A session.

Wednesday, August 7 – General Session 4

Chef and restaurateur Michael Sohocki examines the regional and cultural identity of specialized ingredients and the ways in which modern access to all resources has impacted culinary identity.

Wednesday, August 7, 9:45-10:45 a.m. 

Chef Eduardo Garcia shares his inspiring story of returning to the kitchen after a life-changing accident that resulted in the amputation of half of his left arm.

Thursday, August 8 – Closing General Session

“Ace of Cakes” chef Duff Goldman shares his grandmother’s apple strudel recipe in a lively and entertaining demonstration full of heartfelt family tradition.


Featured events include:

Chefs Outreach to the Community, Sunday, August 4, 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Trade Show, Tuesday, August 6, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Women’s Symposium: United in Food, Thursday, August 8, 10:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.

The ACF National Convention will take place at the Orlando World Center Marriott. The convention is open to the public and on-site registration is available. Learn more at www.acfchefs.org/convention.

Follow convention happenings on Twitter, #ACFNatCon or on Facebook.

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