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American Culinary Federation Announces Keynote Speakers for 2018 Professional Development Events

Renowned industry professionals will offer insights and inspiration to attendees in Charlotte, Newport Beach and New Orleans


ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA., January 22, 2018—The American Culinary Federation (ACF), the leading membership organization for chefs and culinary professionals in North America, today announced the keynote speakers for its 2018 schedule of professional development events.


Acclaimed culinarians, including Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Los Angeles restaurateur and food truck maven Roy Choi, will share insights and personal experiences around the theme “Be the Change…,” an invitation for attendees to explore ways to lead positive change in their kitchens and beyond.

The 2018 events kick off with ChefConnect: Charlotte in North Carolina, Feb. 25-27, followed by ChefConnect: Newport Beach in California, March 18-20. The schedule culminates with Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention & Show, which will be hosted in New Orleans, July 15-19.

In addition to the keynote speakers, each event includes educational seminars, culinary demonstrations and hands-on workshops on a wide variety of topics and techniques. An industry expo, a career fair and other networking opportunities are also offered.

“The American Culinary Federation is proud to present this exciting roster of speakers as a resource to our members this year,” said ACF National President Stafford T. DeCambra, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC. “Professional development for chefs is often a solitary pursuit, and these events offer an invaluable opportunity for industry professionals to gather together to network, acquire new skills, stay up to date on the latest trends and position themselves for success for years to come.”

The 2018 keynote speakers are:

ChefConnect: Charlotte
o    David Burke, executive chef and consulting partner at ESquared Hospitality

o    Dean Fearing, chef/owner of Fearing’s Restaurant and author of The Texas Food Bible

o    Claus Meyer, co-founder of Noma and founder of the New Nordic Cuisine movement and the Melting Pot Foundation

ChefConnect: Newport Beach
o    Roy Choi, chef/co-founder of L.A. restaurants Kogi BBQ, Chego!, A-Frame, Commissary, POT and LocoL

o    Jehangir Mehta, executive chef/owner of New York restaurants Graffiti, Graffiti Earth and Me & You

o    Sean Sherman, food educator and founder of The Sioux Chef

Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention & Show in New Orleans
Maneet Chauhan, executive chef/co-owner of Chauhan Ale & Masala House and judge on Food Network’s “Chopped”
John Folse, CEC, AAC, HOF, HBOT, owner/executive chef of Chef John Folse & Company
Masaharu Morimoto, chef/owner of Morimoto Restaurants
Ka’ala Souza, leadership coach and speaker
For more information on the speakers, visit the We Are Chef blog. For the full 2018 event schedules and to learn how to register, visit Nonmembers are welcome to attend, and will receive a year of ACF membership as part of their event registration.

Follow the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #ChefConnect and #CookCraftCreate.

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