The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) hosted their annual conference in New York this past weekend. Each year, the conference brings together culinary professionals from across the globe to meet, network and learn the latest trends and developments happening in the culinary community and industry. Starting last Thursday and running through Monday, the conference was an incredible series of classes, seminars and lectures. Held in a different city each year, this year brought thousands of professionals to New York City to share their passion for food in the culinary capital of America. This year, ICE was a sponsor of the conference. From volunteering to teaching classes, our students, alumni and staff participated in all aspects.
The theme of this year’s conference was The Fashion of Food — Where Food, Fashion and Media Connect. Speakers such as Grant Achatz, Dan Barber, Melissa Clark, Amanda Hesser, Adam Rapoport, Ruth Reichl, Marcus Samuelsson and Kim Severson met to discuss topics such as The Fashion of Food, Is Farm-to-Table Just the Latest Fashion, and Why Isn’t Cooking Enough?.
In addition to these featured sessions, the weekend was filled with smaller, more focused and intimate sessions with an astonishing range of professionals discussing incredibly diverse topics. The classes included How to Write for Online Magazines, Food Festivals as Dynamic Marketing Tools, and The Evolving Pleasures of Chocolates. There was truly something for everyone and endless opportunities to learn more about all aspects of the food industry.
The conference also included endless opportunities for networking with the most-respected professionals in the business. For example, on Sunday, there was a Culinary Expo and Book & Blog Festival. ICE had a booth where our Career Services, Career-Training and Recreational teams met with a huge array of professionals just as passionate about food and education as we are. In fact, we even ran into ICE alum and DICED founder Kelly Senyei and chatted about her new book, Food Blogging for Dummies.
Another one of the highlights of the conference was a full day of classes here at ICE. Yesterday, IACP took over our kitchen classrooms with a fascinating series of specialized hands-on cooking classes and demonstrations. ICE Chef Instructors showcased their skills in classes including Vegetable Proteins: Seitan and Tofu with Peter Berley, Perfecting your Macaron Skills with Kathryn Gordon, Fermentation for the 21st Century with Mike Schwartz, Bacon Lover’s Workshop with Dan Stone, Cooking Up a Great Cocktail with Anthony Caporale and The Modern Pastry Chef as Storyteller with Creative Director Michael Laiskonis. (You can see more photos on our blog post about the classes)
ICE also hosted an amazing roster of guest chefs in classes such as How to Make an Awesome Cup of Coffee with Jonathan Rubenstein, the founder of Joe The Art of Coffee, Whole Animal Butchery with Matt Jennings of Farmstead and Adam Tiberio of Tiberio Custom Meats, Making Meat Look Good on Camera with photographer Jennifer Marx and Kari Underly of Principal of Range, Making Better Ice Cream Through Science with Cesar Vega of The Kitchen as Laboratory and What You Don’t Know About Gluten-Free Cooking… But Need To with dietitian Marlisa Brown.
The final event of the conference was the 34th Annual IACP Awards Ceremony & Gala. Held at The Times Center, the event brought together stars of the culinary world to honor the award winners. ICE participated in this incredible evening, helping to recognize the top professionals in the food world. ICE alum Maxime Bilet and the team from Modernist Cuisine were given the Design Award and Professional Kitchens Award in the Cookbook Awards. ICE President Rick Smilow, who was named last year’s Entrepreneur of the Year, presented the award to Lia Huber of Nourish Network this year.
All in all, it was a tremendous conference and we can’t wait until next year!