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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

#IACP Austin 2011 - Great food, New Connections, and Entertaining Seminars

You might have seem the blur.  The blur of a bunch of chef coats running through town a few weeks ago.  That was the International Association of Culinary Professionals.  While the conference has come and gone, the effect that some of the speakers have still stay with us.  I didn't get to attend many of the sessions as I was on the host committee, but here's a few of my highlights from the conference.

1. Photos from Three Hot Chefs.  I think I don't need words to describe this. 

Beautifully vibrant dishes.

Look at that color!

Tyson Cole and staff do some plating.

Chef Brad from Public NY.

Chef Philly and Chef Paul from Uchiko

2. Denise Vivaldo's late night session on food styling was absolutely hilarious.  My goodness, that woman was hilarious.  Her presentation of information kept the crowd roaring well past midnight.  Also, she brought her attendees milk and Oreo cookies.  My favorite line from her was "that showing the ends of pasta was a scandal." 

3. Penny De Los Santos and Daniel Klein gave a wonderful morning session on how to craft a story.  The take away message was to be transparent and get to know your subject.  Be vulnerable and authentic.  And once you really fall in love with your subject, the photos or videos will come.  Penny had a room full of attendees crying at 9 am when she told her story about following a woman make barbacoa. Yes, the story was that good.  And I can't retell it because I'll just butcher it. 

4. Kathy Kasey's "It's Better to be Bitter" inspired me to think more about bitters in my cooking.  I know 10000x more about bitters now, and I'm pretty excited that we had vodka and bourbon at 10 am.  My favorite bitters concoction was ginger ale, ice, bourbon, and two types (I used the chocolate mole bitters).  Two really important things I learned about cocktails were 1. how to properly smell bitters and 2. how to flame an orange peel.  To properly smell a bitter, put a few drops in your hands, clap, and then inhale your hands.  To flame an orange peel, the make sure you warm the orange with the flame first, and then spritz the oil (squeeze the peel) over the flame.  Rub the peel around the rim of the glass. 

Ya know, for research.

My favorite bitters of the day.

Setting things (orange peels) on fire is always fun. 

5. The Opening reception event was pretty amazing.  Even if I did get bitten by a monkey.  Literally.  No joke.  Picture of the evil critter below. It was someone's pet.  It was not part of the IACP


  1. A monkey bit you?!?! Wow.

    These photos and recaps are fantastic. Thanks for keeping us outsiders in the loop. You're an amazing person!

  2. Yes. Not only did it bite me hard, it crawled up the back of my dress!