I love January. Not only is it my birthday month, but there’s this sense of calm that washes across the industry this time of year. You’ve all been hustling for the past two months trying to do more with less, and now you’re finally able to stop, catch your breath, get some sleep, see your families and start anew.
It feels good, doesn’t it?
But while you’re taking a much-needed minute to regroup, let’s talk about why, if you haven’t yet made plans to do so, you should make sure to attend the 2017 Chef to Chef Conference in Atlanta, March 5-7, 2017. Because registration is filling up fast—and I don’t want you to miss out.
1. Build your network; solve your problems. The life of a club chef can be lonely. You don’t share the same challenges as other chefs in other parts of the foodservice industry. Your challenges are unique and complicated, and our conference is geared specifically to those needs. What’s more, all of our presentations are from your peers.
A couple of weeks ago, a club chef e-mailed me to ask if I knew of other chefs from clubs similar to his who have difficulty balancing traditional and progressive menus. Members say they want new and modern, but then get angry when old and traditional are taken away.
I told him how some of the club chefs I know handle this exact same problem, then encouraged him to sign up for the Conference, so he could connect with those individuals himself. He did, and I’m certain he’ll gain valuable insights from his time there.
You’re not alone in your challenges. Come to the Conference and finds ways to overcome them.
2. Learn something new. The culinary world is constantly changing, so you must change with it. The agenda for the 2017 Conference features presentations and cooking demonstrations from hugely talented club chefs who will offer new ideas, techniques and maybe a trick or two that you can take back to your club and apply immediately. Check out the full lineup of who will be presenting in Atlanta, and all of the timely topics that they’ll address, on pages 24-25 of this issue.
3. Earn continuing-education credits. Attendees are eligible to earn continuing-education credits from both the American Culinary Federation as well as the Club Managers Association of America.
4. Meet with new suppliers. Our twelve Conference sponsors are industry experts and solution-providers who truly know what is happening in the world of food and beverage. And they have answers to your questions. Trust me: Discovering innovative products and services is necessary to stay relevant and competitive.
5. Position yourself as an expert. When you’re active in your industry, you can develop a reputation as an expert with your peers, your manager and your members. Those who are engaged over the long term are often asked to speak, participate in articles and to even blog. The 2017 Conference is a valuable opportunity to not only learn, but to share, too.
Ultimately, the value of the Chef to Chef Conference comes from the chef-to-chef connections that occur during our time together. Often, chefs cite the camaraderie and networking opportunities with other attendees as the most valuable parts of this event. Even for topics or areas that may not be on the agenda or mentioned in presentations, whenever two or more people begin to discuss challenges or ideas, the success of the event for those involved becomes irreplaceable.
I hope to see you there.