From Farm to Fork

By | December 27th, 2016

The Chef to Chef Conference is the ideal venue for your chef to gather a season’s worth of ideas in one place, at one time.

In reviewing the agenda for the upcoming 9th Annual Chef to Chef Conference in Atlanta, March 5-7, 2017, I came across the “farm to fork” term from one of our presenters (Andrea Griffith, Executive Chef of Pursell Farms in Sylacauga, Ala.)—and as a non-journalist, I couldn’t pass up the use of that phrase. Chef Andrea grows almost everything she plates, and will tell our attendees how she does it at the Conference. We have all heard about “farm to table” as a booming trend in our market, but she takes it a step further. This is fascinating stuff.

Tapping into trends and putting them to practical use is the sort of thing that has made our Chef to Chef Conference so vital and successful. I have spent most of my career in the bakery and foodservice markets, and I learned something along the way about club chefs: They are without question the most versatile, creative chefs in any of the foodservice sectors.

And as such, they are busier than most other chefs. They not only have to do fine dining, but also casual, fast-casual, events, catering, and banquet/weddings. This requires a large dose of flexibility as well as creativity, and that is where the Chef to Chef Conference comes in. It is the only conference devoted exclusively to the needs of the club chef, and the entire program is conducted by club chefs themselves.

Here are some other tastes of what club chefs will learn in Atlanta next spring:
Club Food Matters: Building on a Culture of Culinary Excellence—Edward Leonard, a Certified Master Chef (one of only 34 in the club industry) from The Polo Club of Boca Raton (Fla.), will explain his philosophy of “sensible creativity” that ensures an extraordinary dining experience for his members.
Creating Everyday Condiments, Sauces and Beverage from your Harvest—This is the source of the “farm to fork” term I mentioned previously. In the age of “natural” and “organic,” how exciting is it to be making condiments from your own garden? Chef Andrea Griffith will show the attending chefs just how to do it.
Doing More with Less; Running Multiple Concepts Off One Line—Chef JohnMichael Lynch, Executive Chef of Interlachen Country Club in Edina, Minn., will explain how clubs with a small kitchen footprint can do almost anything with good planning and management.
Managing and Training to a Standard that Transmits to the Other Departments—Most clubs have to work with seasonal wait staff, and Executive Chef Brian Beland of the Country Club of Detroit in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., has a formula and method for training staff that ensures first-class service every day, every time.

There will be much more from many other leading club chefs, as the full agenda in this issue shows. And we will also have fresh versions of always-popular sessions such as “Chef to Chef Live” and the General Managers’ panel. We’ll also have a must-hear keynote address, on “Shaping Your Personal Future: Characteristics and Traits of Successful Hospitality Leaders,” presented by Michael Leemhuis, CCM, CCE, PGA, President of the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Fla., the largest operation in our industry.

Most forward-thinking clubs have budgeted for their chef to experiment and seek ideas outside the club. The Chef to Chef Conference is the ideal venue for your chef to gather a season’s worth of ideas in one place, at one time, that will help make your club’s food-and-beverage operation your members’ dining spot of choice, and not of necessity.

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