2013 ICC Introduction

2013 ICC Introduction

Will Blunt
StarChefs.com – New York, NY

Good morning everyone. Welcome to New York and to our new home here on SuperPier on the mighty Hudson River. On behalf of the entire StarChefs.com team, it’s my privilege to welcome you to the 8th Annual StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress. We hope that over the next three days you will make yourselves at home.

Greetings and a very special thanks to our more than 200 presenters, panelists, competition judges, hosts, and pop-up and food cart chefs who have come from all around the globe—from Peru and Singapore to Portland, Maine and Portland, Oregon—to share and enrich our community through this gathering we call ICC.  

Chefs are tastemakers, as well culture makers. Cooking is a cultural act. It takes courage and vision to lead a line of cooks; to captain a front-of-house crew; or open a restaurant. Among the thousands of you here for ICC are charcutiers, chocolate makers, coffee roasters, sandwich makers, foragers, cheesemongers, sommeliers, bartenders, brewers, distillers, chefs, and pastry chefs. You are leaders of trade and craft, community, industry, and culture. You are risks takers—followers of passion and gut instincts.

Will Blunt
Will Blunt

Every decision you make at a crossroads, every personal sacrifice, every gut-wrenching career move, every time you go out on limb … in the end there’s either a payoff—an achievement, no matter how fleeting—or there’s a failure with a lesson learned. Sometimes you get gutted; sometimes you get the glory. Guts and Glory are what define us as an industry and as individuals. The theme for this year’s ICC—Guts and Glory: Leaving It All on the Line—is inspired by you. Welcome to the show.

ICC is a place to celebrate these achievements and the individualism we’ve seen expressed in our travels throughout the United States and the world. Pastry Chef Janice Wong of 2am:dessertbar is bringing her singular insights and techniques from Singapore through a Main Stage demonstration and an interactive food art installation in the Chefs Products Fair. The only woman chef working in the United States to earn two Michelin Stars, Dominique Crenn, will express her individualism on the Main Stage, as well. And Gastón Acurio—thinker, bridge-builder, and flavor master—will discuss the work he’s doing within the Lima community and in the kitchen of Astrid y Gastón.

Over the next three days, these chefs and many more will demonstrate the guts and glory of their work. Providing hands-on, meaningful work is the single most important way our industry pushes the culture forward. And ICC is one of the few chances we have to come together, on a grand scale, and move our industry forward.

In a moment we’ll introduce Chef and Restaurateur David Myers. He’ll kick off our event with his lobster roll demo and insights into the Guts and Glory it took to come back stronger and better with his new restaurant Hinoki & the Bird. But first I’d like to introduce my partner at StarChefs.com, and the woman with whom I’ve been proud to sustain and expand this incredible event, Antoinette Bruno. Antoinette will give the annual StarChefs.com Trends Report—a reflection of what we learned from all of you in our tasting travel this past year. Please Welcome Antoinette!