American Culinary Federation’s 2014 National Convention Presenter Lineup Features Acclaimed Chefs and Food Experts

American Culinary Federation’s 2014 National Convention Presenter Lineup Features Acclaimed Chefs and Food ExpertsAcclaimed chefs and food experts will gather at the 2014 American Culinary Federation (ACF) National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri, July 25-29, for a five-day event that includes hands-on workshops, cooking demonstrations and presentations, culinary competitions and a two-day trade show.

Embracing a sustainable future is the theme of the convention, which is hosted by ACF Greater Kansas City Chefs Association at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown, Kansas City. The convention is open to the public and on-site registration is available for each day. Single day badges are $150 and include lunch. Foodservice professionals and culinarians, 16 years or older, interested in attending only the tradeshow can purchase a day badge for $40, which includes lunch.

Barbecue Competition
July 24-25, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., ACF Greater Kansas City Chefs Association will host a Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned Missouri State Championship competition in Barney Allis Plaza, Kansas City. Twenty-five chefs will compete in four categories for the chance to win the grand champion prize of $1,500. Proceeds of the competition will support ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the U.S. in major international culinary competitions.

Charlie Trotter Tribute
July 26, 9 a.m.-12 p.m., a panel of Trotter alumni will celebrate the life of renowned chef Charlie Trotter. The panel will be moderated by David Russell, CEC, AAC, corporate executive chef, Unilever Food Solutions, Lisle, Illinois, and include Michael Taus, chef/owner, Coppervine, Chicago; Robert Houde, president, Robert Houde Wines, LLC, Chicago; and other featured chefs who will share their memories of Trotter, as well as his accomplishments.

Featured Chefs
Restaurant owners, chefs and TV personalities from across the U.S. will discuss culinary trends, sustainable cooking and other topics at this year’s national convention. They include:

  • Homaro Cantu, chef/owner, Moto, Chicago
  • Emily Ellyn, chef/TV personality, Orlando, Florida
  • Matthias Merges, owner/executive chef, Yusho, Billy Sunday and A10, Chicago
  • Vic “Vegas” Moea, corporate executive chef, US Foods, Las Vegas and southern Utah, and owner of The Art of Catering by Vic Vegas and Vic’s, Henderson, Nevada
  • Ben Vaughn, Food Network and World Food Championship host and writer, Memphis, Tennessee
  • Vinny Verelli, chef/humorist, Clarkesville, Georgia

Educational Seminars and Demonstrations

Chefs and foodservice professionals will give culinary presentations and demonstrations at the convention based on their interests and areas of expertise. A snapshot of the convention is below and a full schedule can be found at

Friday, July 25

  • 1-4 p.m.: Learn to make cheese from scratch and to properly display it in the hands-on workshop Entertaining with Cheese presented by Warren Katz, specialty and imported cheese manager for Lactalis Foodservice, Inc. Separate registration is required.
  • 1-4 p.m.: Sculpt your own buttercream centerpiece in the hands-on workshop Buttercream Sculptures with pastry chef Becky Wortman. Separate registration is required.

Saturday, July 26

  • 9 a.m.-noon: General Session includes keynote speaker Vinny Verelli, a demonstration by Homaro Cantu and a tribute to Charlie Trotter.
  • 2-3 p.m.: Discover the secret to perfect barbecue from Richard McPeake, CCA, a pitmaster with more than 30 years of experience, in Smoking 101: The Art of Smokology.
  • 3:45-4:45 p.m.: Wilbert Jones, president of The Wilbert Jones Company, Inc., will share his knowledge of African cuisine and ingredients in Oh, Look What’s Cooking in Africa!
  • 5-6 p.m.: Learn the best practices and tools for using social media to grow your restaurant in Social Media 101 for Restaurants, presented by Andrew Glass, regional development manager for Main Street Hub.
  • 5-6 p.m.: Mark Mollentine, chef de cuisine at Children’s Mercy Hospital, will discuss why grains are the perfect ingredient for a healthy, flavorful menu in Great Grains.

Sunday, July 27

  • 8-9 a.m.: Cookbook author Michael Kalanty, CEPC, CCE, discusses local flour, heirloom grains and the newest styles of bread baking in What is Up with Bread?
  • 10:45-11:45 a.m.: This year Campbell’s Culinary & Baking Institute (CCBI) produced its first-ever 2014 Campbell Culinary TrendScape Report. Christopher Tanner, CEC, AAC, executive chef at CCBI, will discuss the process involved in compiling the report and its results.
  • 9:30-11:30 p.m.: ACF attendees can enjoy complimentary fare from Bunge’s M.O.E. during the Late Night Food Truck Event, sponsored by Bunge Oils.

Monday, July 28

  • 8:30-9:30 a.m.: Alfonso Contrisciani, CMC, AAC, dean of hospitality programs at Hocking College, will highlight what is necessary to establish a farm-to-table system within your community in Bridging the Gap between Chef and Farmer.
  • 8:30-9:30 a.m.: There are more than 35 million Spanish speakers in the U.S. Learn key Spanish words, phrases and requests used in the culinary workplace from Edward Rosheim, owner of Workplace Languages, a corporate language training company, in Survival Spanish for Today’s Workforce.
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m.: Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder/academic dean of student affairs, The French Pastry School, Chicago, star of the documentary “Kings of Pastry” and author of The Art of French Pastry, will teach the proper measurement and preparation for making desserts in Teatime Chocolate Cake.
  • 4:15-5:15 p.m.: ACFCulinary Team USA member and 2013 ACF Pastry Chef of the Year Alison Murphy discusses the many varieties of doughnuts in Glazed and Confused.

Tuesday, July 29

  • 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: General Session 2 includes speakers and presenters Mark Eggerding and David Mulholland of US Foods; Steve Jilleba, CMC, CCE, AAC, of Unilever Food Solutions; and Edward Leonard, CMC, AAC, past ACF national president.
  • 2-3 p.m.: Ben Vaughn, Food Network and World Food Championship host and writer, will lead a discussion and culinary demonstration featuring his regionally inspired signature recipes.
  • 2-3 p.m.: Go back to home economics class with TV personality Emily Ellyn and learn to take retro recipes and make them rad.
  • 7-9:30 p.m.: The convention ends with the President’s Grand Ball, a formal dinner event where national awards are presented.

Trade Show and Competitions
Sponsors and exhibitors will share the latest innovations in food, equipment and services at the two-day trade show. The trade show is open July 27, noon-5 p.m. and July 28, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. ACF national competitions also take place on the show floor and include:

Sunday, July 27

  • 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Four aspiring chefs compete for the title of ACF Student Chef of the Year and $1,000, sponsored by Custom Culinary, Inc.
  • 12-3 p.m.: Four chefs compete for the title of U.S.A.’s Chef of the Year and $5,000, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions.
  • 1-5 p.m.: Four chefs compete for the title of ACF Pastry Chef of the Year and $5,000, sponsored by Plugrá® European-Style Butter.
  • 3-5 p.m.: Four teams of students test their food knowledge in the Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, sponsored by American Technical Publishers.

Monday, July 28

  • 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.: Four student teams and a U.S. military student team compete for the ACF Student Team National Championship, sponsored by R.L. Schreiber, Inc.

Press passes are available to the media for the convention and culinary competitions. Follow convention happenings on Twitter @ACFChefs, #ACFCONV or on Facebook at

Regional and national sponsors of the 2014 ACF events series are: Alabama Gulf Seafood; Allen Brothers; American Technical Publishers; Barilla Foodservice; Barry Callebaut; BelGioioso Cheese, Inc.; Browne Foodservice; California Avocado Commission; Campbell’s Culinary & Baking Institute; Canada Cutlery Inc.; Central Region State Beef Councils; Chef Rubber; Custom Culinary, Inc.; Ecolab; Evo, Inc.; Fabbri USA 1905, LLC.; Fortune Fish Company; Ghirardelli Chocolate Company; Gordon Food Service; Grey Poupon; Idaho Potato Commission; J.R. Simplot Company; JTM Food Group; Johnson & Wales University; Jones Dairy Farm; Kern Meat Co., Inc.; Lactalis Foodservice; Lang Manufacturing Company; Maines Paper & Food Service, Inc.; Mercer Cutlery; MINOR’S; Monini North America, Inc.; Mooney Farms; Moore Food Distribution; National Pasteurized Eggs, Inc.; NEWCHEF Fashion Inc.; Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative; Ole Tyme Produce Inc.; Par-Way Tryson, makers of Vegalene; Performance Foodservice; Plugrá European-Style Butter; Publix Super Markets; RC Fine Foods; R.L. Schreiber, Inc.; Rosenthal Sambonet USA Ltd; S&D Coffee; Saint Louis Chefs de Cuisine Education Foundation; Sartori Company; Sysco; The Beef Checkoff; Tyson Food Service; Unilever Food Solutions; US Foods; Valrhona; Villeroy & Boch; Vitamix Corporation; Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

About the American Culinary Federation
The American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF), established in 1929, is the standard of excellence for chefs in North America. With nearly 20,000 members spanning 200 chapters nationwide, ACF is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States, with the Certified Executive Chef, Certified Sous Chef, Certified Executive Pastry Chef and Certified Culinary Educator designations accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef & Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and to combat childhood obesity. For more information, visit Find ACF on Facebook at and on Twitter @ACFChefs.