2009 Central Regional Conference
This year’s Central Regional conference was memorable with MORE networking, MORE educational programming and MORE professional development opportunities. A sincere “thank you” to ACF Chicago Chefs of Cuisine Inc. and Richard Naglich, CEC, chapter president.
The pre-conference sessions focused on Food Safety & Sanitation, reminding us that reputation is paramount in the food industry, coupled with leadership strategies that set a professional tone for the entire conference.
Day one began with the Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, sponsored by Pearson Education, and the ACF Student Team Regional Championship, sponsored by R.L. Schreiber, Inc. The depth of knowledge and skill of our up-and-coming chefs was impressive. The day was rounded out nicely with a very 21st-century session of Cooking and Baking with Healthy Oils and Proteins, sponsored by QUALISOY in partnership with The Soyfood Council.
Day two was hallmarked with food sessions and business sessions alike; Small Plates, Big Impressions, sponsored by Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America, dazzled us with an inspiring demonstration of the current trend of bite-sized and small plated desserts. Kathleen S. Bowen, president, Mind’s Eye Resource Management, charted a path through today’s U.S. and global investment markets. The special feature of the day was the General Session, sponsored by US Foodservice.
We wrapped up day three with sweet sessions on baking, sponsored by Clabber Girl Corporation, and Chocolate Bonbon Creations, sponsored by Barry Callebaut. The highlight of our final day was Food & Wine Pairing: The Food is Set, The Wine Isn’t! by renowned chef Charlie Trotter, HHOF. He focused on the concept of service and how chefs can push the envelope to astonish their guests through food and wine, and extraordinary pairings.
The Vice President’s Gala concluded the conference honoring award recipients and competition winners alike. Congratulations to all. Join me in wishing luck to our regional winners as they prepare to compete against their regional counterparts for national titles at our national convention in Orlando, Fla., July 11–14.
In closing, a heartfelt “thank you” to all of our sponsors and exhibitors. Without their support and participation, this conference would not have been possible.