There’s no substitute for watching and learning from the masters, which is why the 2013 Chef to Chef Conference will feature more hands-on demo sessions than ever.
Robert Iannaccone’s “Chef to Chef” interview with Jerry Schreck in this month’s issue (“Straight Line to Success,” pg. 38) includes Robert’s poignant recollection of watching in wonderment as a young boy as his father, who immigrated to the U.S. from northern Italy in his late teens, rolled homemade pasta dough for Sunday dinners and around the holidays.
Iannaccone, who became Executive Chef at Brookside CC in Macungie, Pa., before he turned 30, credits this experience as the underlying inspiration for all that he’s gone on to already achieve in his own young career. “ ‘The Meal’ was always a huge deal in my house, and is probably what laid the foundation of my feeling so connected to food,” he said in another part of the interview that’s not included in the article.
In fact, Iannaccone now uses his father’s old pasta sheeter to make his own house-made, specialty doughs as part of creating unique menu items for Brookside’s membership, including the Shortrib and Gorgonzola Tortelloni that’s the featured recipe with this month’s article (for those of you who might not know, as I didn’t, tortelloni is the larger version of tortellini).
“The tortelloni recipe is based on taking something simple, like filled pasta, and taking it to the next level,” Iannaccone says. “The gorgonzola in the dough gives that familiar beef and blue-cheese flavor profile, just delivered in a different way.”
Iannaccone’s recollection of the value of his boyhood experiences, and how he’s not only carried on but added to what he observed by seeing his father demonstrate proven techniques, once again drives home how there’s no substitute for watching and learning from the masters. That’s a message we’ve also heard loud and clear from attendees of our Chef to Chef Conference, who have consistently rated demonstration sessions from previous conferences as their most preferred parts of the whole experience.
(And that’s saying something, because overall ratings have been resoundingly positive—while completing evaluations at the end of last year’s Conference in New Orleans, in fact, over 60% said on the spot that they planned to come to the next one, without knowing when or where it would be held, or having any details about the content or speaker lineup.)
In this issue (see pgs. 36-37) we’re announcing those details, for the 2013 Chef to Chef Conference in Denver—and as you can see, this Conference will emphasize hands-on demonstrations more than ever, presented by some of the industry’s most accomplished chefs for the full scope of club F&B segments, from fine dining to casual/contemporary to pastry, and even ice carving.
In addition to the early-bird discount and contest incentives for registering before 2012 ends (see details at www.CheftoChefConference.com), the added appeal of even more demos means it’s probably not a good idea to stand and observe, if you and others on your staff want to make sure you catch all the action in Denver. Space for the Conference is limited, and we have every expectation of selling out even more quickly than we did last year. Hope to see you there.