Top chefs and amateur food lovers are heading to this annual culinary conference for hands-on cooking demonstrations and insider food talk.
The 10th annual StarChefs International Chefs Congress kicked off on Sunday at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with hands-on demonstrations on everything from Austrian food and esoteric wines to fermentation and Pisco flights. The lineup for today and Tuesday include panel discussions with chefs and restaurateurs, lessons on gluten-free baking and how to cook rabbit, and even a Ramen Battle pitting neophyte against neophyte with the help of some noted ramen masters. Some of the world’s most acclaimed chefs will appear over the course of the three-day conference, including Michel Bras, José Andrés, Virgilio Martinez, Wylie Dufresne, and Quique Dacosta.
StarChefs’ International Chefs Congress launched in 2006 in the tradition of world chef conferences such as Madrid Fusion. The idea is to allow chefs to share new cooking techniques, restaurateurs to spread their ideas on how to run their businesses, and kitchen equipment companies to connect with chefs at the products fair. There are also pop-up restaurants on site and competitions for both sommeliers and pastry chefs.
This year’s conference will last through Tuesday afternoon, and features a number of exciting events. One panel of restaurateurs from Chicago, Seattle, and New York will discuss the movement for a $15 minimum wage and what they’ve done to raise wages for employees. José Andrés will present the philosophy of his restaurant group, which ranges from the tasting-menu-only flagship, minibar, to the new fast-casual vegetable-focused Beefsteak. And legendary French chef Michel Bras will demonstrate his famous gargouillou salad using produce from the Hudson Valley.
As for that Ramen Battle, it looks to be a pretty amazing learning opportunity for the lucky first 25 conference attendees to sign up. They’ll get to participate in a two-day workshop, led by Bar Chuko’s Jamison Blankenship, learning how to prep and make broth for a perfect bowl of ramen. On Tuesday, the teams will combine those broths with noodles (provided by ramen-noodle-purveyor-to-the-greats Sun Noodle) and proteins before an audience and a set of judges that includes Washington, D.C. ramen master Katsuya Fukushima and Adam Sachs of Saveur.
There are tons of other events taking place over the three-day conference as well—with even more well-known chefs in attendance—so be sure to check out the full schedule online.