This week we're attending the annual StarChefs conference in Brooklyn, New York, for three days of demonstrations, hands-on workshops, beverage tastings, and business seminars by chefs and mixologists from all over the globe, explored through the theme "Cook Your Culture.
Highlights from day 1 of the StarChefs Congress in included behind the scenes at groundbreaking San Francisco restaurant Californios, a Mexican fine dining Mecca, with its pioneering chef Val Cantu. Val is one of our featured chefs this month, look out for the piece in our next foodwatching report. Not yet a subscriber? Get in contact today.
Spanish-American chef Jose Andres, often credited for bringing the small plates dining concept to America, highlights the importance of immigration to food culture with an inspiring demo, while Vivian Howard, of Chef and the Farmer, gave a walk-through of the intricate and unique cuisine of North Carolina.
There was also exciting insight into the new wave of American-Filipino cuisine, including Kinilaw, Amboy Hot Sauce and everything in between ... and, of course, a whole world of amazing edible goodies and world class cocktails! We'll bring you more news from the conference in the coming days.
Today we went mad for margaritas, as we learned the story behind America's quintessential cocktail - and why it's having a renaissance. We sampled martinis, gimlets and sours ... and everything in between at the StarChefs Cocktail Congress.
We learned the secret to making the perfect kebabs from New Orleans' Alon Shaya, as well as discovering the joy of Puerto Rican Mofongo (made from plantains, it might just be our new favourite thing to eat!).
Celebrity chef Curtis Stone showcased his favourite Aussie ingredients with Deep South flair, as represented by his interpretation of Shrimp and Grits (made from parsnip!) And finally we learned about the quest for the 'perfect doughnut', from some of the world's best pastry chefs. Watch this space for more news from day three, as well as a full trends report to follow.
Find out more about StarChefs on its website.
On the final day in New York we watched talented young chefs from all over America throw down in the Wing Battle final, which saw international flavours and fun flavour mash-ups reign supreme - some of our favourites included the Italian-American wings with Miso-Parmesan sauce, and Vietnamese wings with 'Toga-ranchi' dipping sauce.
We learned about traditional Ethiopian food, coffee... and dancing(!) from chef Marcus Samuelsson (of Red Rooster fame), as well as tucking into some of the best Mexican and Latin American food the country has to offer, including a fine dining interpretation of Frito Pie!
Kyle and Katina Connaughton delivered an inspiring presentation of their stunning first course at SingleThread in California - and their groundbreaking efforts at weaving modern technology with old school hospitality to create the ultimate dining experience.
Then finally, we listened to leading chefs Jon Shook, Vinny Dotolo and Daniela Soto-Innes discuss their unique leadership styles, and what the kitchen of the future might look like. Look out for more information on Soto-Innes in our monthly foodwatching report later this month, where she is one of our featured chefs.