14th Annual StarChefs International Chefs Congress
Since 1995 StarChefs has been supporting the restaurant industry by celebrating and highlighting the importance and main features of food culture in the United States and the world, and promoting culinary talents through its website, Rising Stars Awards and quarterly Rising Stars Magazine. Since 2005, StarChefs has also been organizing the annual International Chefs Congress, an industry-only event bringing together chefs and restaurant professionals as well as brands, organizations, producers, media and food writers. The 2019 International Chefs Congress was held in Brooklyn, NY from October 27th to October 29th and gathered hundreds of professionals for three days of inspiring workshops, cooking demos, food and beverage tastings, presentations, talks and competitions. The theme this year was “New Foundations: Flavor – Technique – Business”, an invitation to share the new trends in the food and beverage industry, not only in cooking but also in the way restaurants work and teams are managed. It was an excellent opportunity for the industry and hospitality community to be together and celebrate cuisine, while sharing about the challenges they are facing, and building the foundation of a better food world.
Chef George Mendes from Aldea, NYC serving small plates prepared with Niman Ranch products
Of course, it would be impossible to attend everything at an event like that and hard to describe all the inspiring moments because they were so many, like world-renowned Pastry Chef Pierre Hermé’s main stage demonstration during which he explained how he sent his macarons to the moon and how he is constantly working with artists, architects and designers because “influence and inspiration can come from a lot of places”. Another highlight was when Sommelier Jienna Basaldu from The Morris, San Francisco won the “Somm Slam” competition, becoming the first-ever woman winner of this competition, or when Chef David Thompson merrily explained all about “The Whole Thai World” and how he respects taste before presentation.
Pastry Chef Pierre Hermé
"The Whole Thai World" Inspiring demo by Chef David Thompson
The Chef Ann Foundation (CAF), whose work supports healthier school meals was present too for the final of its Real School Food Challenge during which the five finalist chefs served their dish to attendees and a panel of judges. And the sweetest moment was certainly the Valrhona C3 North American Final. Six talented pastry chefs competed main stage for a chance to fly to Singapore in March 2020 to represent North America at the Valrhona C3 International Final. Chef Kevin Clemenceau from And Sons Chocolatiers, Beverly Hills won the cup, followed by Eunji Lee from Jungsik, NYC and Jim W Hutchinson who went home with the Press Prize. Three days filled with passion, inspiration and emotion…
Chef Kevin Clemenceau's plated dessert for the Valrhona C3 North American Final
Pastry Chefs Eunji Lee, Kevin Clemenceau and Jim W Hutchinson
Petits fours by Takunori Hirayama at Valrhona C3 North American Final