For 12 years, we’ve hosted the annual Chef to Chef Conference in early March. The event starts on a Sunday with a keynote address and networking session and runs through Tuesday afternoon, with an added stay on Tuesday night so attendees can explore the local culinary scene in the host city.
We chose this timeframe strategically as it’s a brief shoulder period for many clubs. The Sunday/Monday/Tuesday timeframe was no accident either. Most clubs are closed on some combination of those days, so it’s a bit of an easier “ask” of a club to send its chef when things won’t be as busy.
On the flip side, we know that the early March timeframe is not ideal for some clubs, especially those in Florida, Arizona and other locations. The fact is, we’ll never be able to pick a time that’s good for all, so we tried to pick one that was good for most.
As the Chef to Chef Conference has grown, though, we’ve actually toyed with the idea of splitting it into two separate events, to try to offer the best possible time for everyone, with the first event in early March and a second in the fall.
In conjunction with this idea, we launched the Club + Resort Chef Association (CRCA) under the model that we’d host regional one-day events that would perpetuate the networking, continuing education and idea sharing the brand is known for.
Then COVID-19 forced us, like all of you, to reevaluate everything.
Large gatherings with the kind of numbers we’ve attracted at the Chef to Chef Conference are no longer safe—and it’s unclear when that will change. Our bet is that it won’t happen before this coming March.
So instead of cancelling our industry’s most critical continuing-education opportunity, we have rescheduled the 2021 Chef to Chef Conference for September 8-10, 2021. It will still be in Austin, Texas, and the content will be every bit as powerful and useful.
The new date immediately follows Labor Day and precedes what will no doubt be the start of a busy fall for everyone. And for those of you who have never been able to attend Chef to Chef because of its March timing, this is your chance to see what it’s all about. Let’s go ahead and call it a blessing in disguise here.
If it becomes safe to host smaller in-person events before September, we will, through the CRCA. We are also building out webinars, continuing-education modules and networking platforms to provide other ways to keep everyone connected, up until and throughout next year.
While there are still many unknowns as it relates to COVID, I can promise you this: The event next fall in Austin will once again provide you with the networking, idea sharing, community building and unmatched content that you have come to expect from the Chef to Chef Conference. So please make a note of the new dates, and plan now to join us in Austin next September!