#120, Attend a culinary event
I attended my first IACP conference, (International Association of Culinary Professionals), I believe, around 2004, the same year I graduated from cooking school. The event is held in a different city each year, and eleven years ago the conference was held in Dallas, Texas.
This week I attended my fifth conference, here in Los Angeles. I have also been to Portland, Seattle, and New York City. When I first attended the conference in Dallas, I was flabbergasted to see Julia Childs and Jacques Pepin walking around the hotel and easily chatting with everyone.
I was introduced to both of them, and through the years I have had the opportunity to speak to several more of my culinary heroes: Anne Willan, Nathalie Dupree, Alton Brown, Grace Young, … the list goes on and on.
I’ve also had the chance to meet food professionals who encouraged me and shared insights or war stories.
My friend, cookbook author and culinary tour leader, Nancy Zaslavsky, showed me the ropes and generously included me in fabulous dinners with fabulous people in some of the best restaurants in each city.
In Seattle, we went to a cocktail party at Dale Chihuly’s studio and watched glass being blown. In Portland, we had our opening event in the flagship Nordstrom’s store, in New York we ate at the Spotted Pig and ABC Kitchen and Le Bernardin; the events are always exciting and fun.
This year the event was being held at Hollywood & Highland in the Loew’s Hollywood Hotel.
I took seminars on food styling, photography, podcasting, travel writing, copywriting, and food writing for digital media.
Even though the conference was in Hollywood, seventeen miles north of my house, I stayed in the hotel. Morning classes started early and night classes went late.
We had cocktails by the pool at night and we were served small plates of food from great places all over the city. Here’s a small sampling.
I met some great people at this year’s conference and I’m really happy I went. It was nice to see old friends and I feel inspired to work on new projects next year once I’ve made it through The List.
273 days to go!