The American Culinary Federation (ACF)’s 2019 National Convention takes place August 4-8 in Orlando, Florida. It hosts more than 1,000 chefs and culinary professionals for five days of hands-workshops, national and international competitions, live demonstrations, and educational seminars on the latest industry trends.

“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,” says ACF National President Stafford T. DeCambra. “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.”

This year’s convention will feature such esteemed presenters as famed chef and TV personality Marco Pierre White and Food Network celebrity chef and “Ace of Cakes” Duff Goldman. Other speakers include:

  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 

Another key feature of the convention is ACF’s first-ever Women’s Symposium, “United in Food: Women Leaders of Today and Tomorrow.” Panel discussions and keynote presentations from leading female voices in the culinary industry will include such names as Stacy Carroll of The James Beard Foundation and Elle Simone Scott of SheChef and “America’s Test Kitchen.”