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CS Spotlight: Culinary Demonstrations

If you hope to expand your culinary operations in 2021 and beyond, there is a terrific line up of chef-forward classes available on the Culinary Experience stage and Culinary Main stage at Catersource. Chefs will not just talk about their concepts, they’ll demonstrate them, too. You can also participate in hands-on classes that will help boost your skills in a variety of areas.

Additionally, in conjunction with the American Culinary Federation, 30 classes have been approved as eligible for CEH credits. Go online to and click on the “Associations & Accreditations” box to see the CEH-approved sessions. Gain access to trending recipes, learn menu pricing and cost savings, get insight into building COVID-safe buffets, learn about the science of chocolate & cakes, and discover creative plating ideas—these are just a few of the culinary classes you will experience.

Here is just a sampling of the sessions that are in store for you during Catersource, co-loacted with The Special Event

Shaking Up an Industry That's Stirred

Tuesday, July 20 at 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Presented by Emily Ellyn, Executive Chef & Principal, Emily Ellyn Productions

The Events and Catering Industry has witnessed some significant shake-ups recently, to say the least. Raising the bar on your bar program is the tonic that is needed to not just survive but to thrive in 2021!

Food Network’s Chef Emily Ellyn explores the driving trends and the 4 cocktails that will define how we drink this year.
Categories of Exploration:

  • Low to no alcohol
  • To-go Sipper
  • The Social Cocktail - Instagram worthy cocktail flair
  • Raise Spirits with a Signature Cocktail


Cannabis Cuisine

Thursday, July 22 at 11:00am - 12:00pm

Presented by Brandon Allen, Chef & Partner, Trichome Institute

Join Cannabis expert and ACF Chef Brandon Allen as he shares his insight on the importance of cannabis education for catering and foodservice professionals. This exciting presentation will include two of the most common infusion methods along with details on activating cannabinoids, dosing recommendations for consumers with varying tolerances, the effects of cannabinoids and terpenes in edibles, and safety precautions as a cannabis chef. During this demonstration, Chef will prepare an infused recipe and discuss the process and best practices of incorporating cannabinoids into multi-course meals. Presented in collaboration with American Culinary Federation.


Hands on: Elevated Plating Techniques

Wednesday, July 21 at 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Presented by Keith Lord, Founder & Principal, Strateje Fourteen

On Tuesday afternoon, Keith Lord showed you tips and techniques via his “Breaking the Culinary Rules” session. On Wednesday, try your hand at his inspiring techniques as he shows you how to do it yourself. Twelve people will be offered a "seat at the table," to learn firsthand, but bleacher seating will allow anyone with an interest to observe.


Small Plates, Big Return

Wednesday, July 21 at 2:30pm - 3:30pm

Presented by Emily Ellyn, Executive Chef & Principal, Emily Ellyn Productions

After months of navigating tumultuous times, now is the moment to pull out all the stops! Learn tips to win the menu-offering game by making small [plate] changes. Get the tricks to amp up your menu offerings while navigating the new normal, staying on trend, and being inspired by innovative ideas.

Food Network's Chef Emily Ellyn will take you on a tasting journey via a LIVE demo of how to showcase, plate, and execute small-plated dishes while inspiring attendees to elevate the dining experience.

Categories of Exploration:

  • Innovation while Masked, Cloched, and Covered
  • Extravagant to Boho-Casual Outdoor Dining
  • “Tray-Chic” — the year of charcuterie boards, trays, containers, and boxes


UNLV Hospitality Catering Chef's Table: Teaching Virtual Cooking Events

Wednesday, July 21 at 11:00am - 12:00pm

Presented by Candice Imam, Assistant Director for Alumni Engagement and Events, Harrah College of Hospitality, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Mark Sandoval, Executive Chef, Harrah College of Hospitality, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Stephanie Bogert, Assistant Executive Chef, Harrah College of Hospitality, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Cooking brings people together and teaching is an art. In this session the UNLV Harrah College of Hospitality Catering & Events team will show you how we transitioned our in person teambuilding cooking events to live virtual cooking demos. From event build, registration, and recipe packet creation, to teaching in front of a live virtual audience, we will give you all the tools you need to successfully package, host, and teach online cooking demos to a variety of audiences and skillsets. Chef Sandoval will showcase teaching techniques to help keep audiences engaged all while managing audience questions and pacing the session for audience members who are cooking along from their homes. This session is ideal for chefs, restaurants, catering companies, or event planners who are looking for a way to diversify their offerings and create meaningful content in a virtual space.


The Business of Food Displays

Tuesday, July 20 at 2:30pm - 3:30pm

Presented by Greg Taylor, Chef, The Black Fox Co.

No one tells you how to set up a buffet that'll open doors for more opportunities. It's always something that's assumed you know how to do. But, your culinary presentation is an investment seen not just by your clients, but their guests as well. Each client is different, so why aren't your set ups different as well? Get ready for inspiration as you learn to properly execute the client experience by properly building your food displays. This session will also teach covid-safe buffet set up.


Sweet Science: How To Create the Ultimate Chocolate Cake

Tuesday, July 20 at 11:00am - 12:00pm

Presented by Ron Ben-Israel, Chef, Ron Ben-Israel Cakes

Ron Ben-Israel has reached the upper echelon of pastry chefs not just on his good looks and winning ways: he has experimented with flavors, ingredients, heat, and technique to develop the cakes that have won awards and garnered national notoriety. In his demo session, learn the ingredient combinations that do—and don't—work together, tricks for mixing, and techniques for decorating a wedding or special occasion cake that will be Insta-famous before your event ends.


Toasts, Sandwiches & Sliders: The Perfect Serve

Tuesday, July 20 at 9:30am - 10:30am

Presented by Joseph Pina, Campus Executive Chef, Sodexo

Join the Sodexo team from Bridgewater State University (Massachusetts) for a delicious demo + takeaways on how to incorporate trend-forward toasts, sandwiches, and sliders into your menu offerings. These popular handhelds fulfill appetites of all ranges and all meal periods. Realizing one of the biggest trends out of 2020 and into 2021—grab and go—we need to give our clients unique food options that hold well, activate the tastebuds, and—when events return full force—can migrate easily into catered passed apps, sandwich “flights” and short plates. From breakfast beginnings to late night nosh, you will leave with ideas to delight your guests.


Chef's Focus on Plant Forward; The Art of Craveable Cuisine

Tuesday, July 20 at 8:00am - 9:00am

Presented by Jacqui Pressinger , Director of Strategic Partnerships, American Culinary Federation; Jeffrey Schlissel  (Head Chef & Partner, Locale Gastropub & Test Kitchen; Lisa Dorfman  (Culinary Nutritionist, Lisa Dorfman

During this exciting session, Chefs and Culinary Nutritionists will share their ideas and best practices uilitzing seasonal vegetables, as well as hyper local and foraged products. From sauces, to salads to main courses, and even desserts, this session will focus on not just full product use and controlling costs, but also on the connection between food, and health. Learn how highlighting your focus on wellness and the environment can also be a key marketing tools for your catering business. This educational and interactive demonstration and panel discussion will focus on vegetarian, plant forward, vegan and raw food menu trends in 2021 and beyond. The Chefs will incorporate food waste or "scraps" to create innovative, cravable dishes, tips for building flavors, kitchen fermentation, and how you can design unique and cutting edge, flavorful new catering menu options. From fine dining to box lunches, Chefs share new and inspired ideas that are in line with the Plant Forward Mega-Trend, while delighting your customers, who want to offer healthier, environmentally concious menu options at their future events. Presented in collaboration with American Culinary Federation.


Breaking the Culinary Rules: Adding Cash—and Cache—to Your Menu Offerings

Tuesday, July 20 at 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Presented by Keith Lord , Founder & Principal, Strateje Fourteen

The rules keep changing our businesses, which means the rules of our businesses need to change as well—especially culinarily. Whether state—or trend—mandated, we've seen a movement toward smaller events with elevated plate costs. Fewer guests, but more spend on a beautiful culinary experience. In this guest-focused climate, how do you enhance your plates to match expectation? Unusual ingredients coupled with beautiful garnishes and flourishes add cache and increased value. Join chef and artist Keith Lord as he talks champagne wishes and caviar dreams, dramatic dollops, the unique, the impressive, the crazy-delicious, and the look that will ultimately trend on social.

See you in Miami! 



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