Here are six ideas from this year’s conference that I think resonated with club chef attendees.
Last month, we wrapped up our tenth annual Chef to Chef Conference in Seattle—and it was awesome. There were 250 club chefs from across the country in attendance, along with some of the industry’s most forward-thinking sponsors. The idea-sharing and networking opportunities were better than they’ve ever been before. And nearly everyone walked away with actionable ideas they were eager to implement at their clubs as soon as they returned home.
If you weren’t able to attend, we hope you’ll join us in New Orleans for the 2019 Conference, March 10th through the 12th. (Keep an eye on www.CheftoChefConference.com for updates on the agenda, as well as registration information, later this summer.) I also wanted to share with you some ideas from this year’s conference that I think really resonated with attendees. (I’m certain there were others, but this page is only so long.)
- When in doubt, rosé. During the presentation on food and wine pairings, Master of Wine Martin Reyes said that when in doubt, rosé is a safe pairing pick.
- Raising the profile of pastry. Elena Clement, formerly Executive Pastry Chef, Chevy Chase (Md.) Club, shared a number of cool tricks for garnishing desserts. One such example was when she drizzled melted chocolate into cold water, to create swirls that added height and architecture to her dish.
- Give credit where credit is due. During one of the “Chef to Chef Live” breakout sessions (which provide especially free-wheeling exchanges of great ideas and solutions), one chef shared how he prints the name of the cook who created the dish on the menu. This not only gives the member a behind-the-scenes look at who does what in the kitchen, it also instills incentive and a sense of pride for the cooks whose specials make the cut.
- Oranges for mayonnaise. During his presentation on plant-forward cuisine, Brad Barnes, CMC, CCA, AAC, Director of Consulting and Industry Programs, The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, N.Y., roasted a couple of oranges and turned them into mayonnaise—seeds, skin and all.
- DIY dishes. Micheal Armes, Executive Chef of Hound Ears Club (Boone, N.C.), makes his own wood planks to elevate the look of his fish dishes.
- Beer dinners for wine drinkers. Greg Volle, Executive Chef of Country Club of Roswell (Ga.), offered some great ideas for how to sell beer dinners to members who tend to only drink wine. For example, he suggested that clubs partner with local breweries and feature their beers on the dinner and in the bar.
As we comb through the Seattle attendees’ conference evaluation surveys, analyze the results, and begin planning for 2019, we’ll undoubtedly find more ideas and suggestions that are always are a big part of what has made the Chef to Chef Conference a success, and that will help us put together an even more useful and relevant program for New Orleans.
In the meantime, we’ll look forward to continuing the conversation and sharing more ideas in the pages of this magazine, on our blog and through our social media channels, as well as in Club & Resort Business.