The energy in Orlando, FL could be felt in every classroom, through every conversation, and during every minute last week at the annual return of Catersource + The Special Event.
Metropolis Productions kicked off the Awards Ceremony, which honored this year's ACE, Gala, CATIE, and Leadership award recipients, with a bang. Photo courtesy WASIO Faces and Catersource
Not to be outdone however, Art of Catering Food also returned in a major way when it kicked off the week with chef demonstrations, sampling, and even a tour of Puff 'n Stuff Catering's Orlando facility.
The team at Puff 'n Stuff Catering served some stellar bites during the Culinary Tour of their facility during Art of Catering Food. Shown: Hanging tomahawks (live grilled in front of attendees) along with house made chips, and local ales. Photo courtesy WASIO Faces and Catersource
Puff n' Stuff's Florida Street Tacos featured flaked Florida grouper (in a custom spice blend), cilantro rice slaw, cilantro, cotija cheese, and charred lime vinaigrette. Photo courtesy WASIO Faces and Catersource
The ever-popular cronut is rolled live in Puff n' Stuff's bakery every day, and topped with shaved dark chocolate, candied orange, salted caramel, milk chocolate, and house made marshmallow. Photo courtesy WASIO Faces and Catersource
Chef Chris Towne with Partyman Catering served a Miniature Chicken & Waffle cones sample during his Art of Catering Food session, Apps that Slap! Photo courtesy Catersource
Art of Catering Food and Catersource + The Special Event then converged together for Connect Live at Big Fin Seafood before this year's main event took its opening bow.
A group of burlesque dancers took to the stage to entertain guests during Connect Live at Big Fin Seafood. Photo courtesy WASIO Faces and Catersource
The week featured a jam-packed schedule of educational and motivational sessions, got heated with both a tablescape and cooking competition, mingled the best industry brands on a mixed catering and events tradeshow floor, and ended with a bang of fun Florida-inspired events.
Attendees were all smiles throughout the Orange County Convention Center. Photo courtesy WASIO Faces and Catersource
Over the next month, Catersource will be sharing all our favorite highlights from the week. Thank you to every speaker, sponsor, attendee, volunteer, and more who made this show such a rejuvenating success. And don't miss additional coverage from the event in the spring issue of Catersource magazine.
For those who didn’t make it out this year: mark your calendars and join us next year in Austin, TX from February 12-15, 2024 for another spectacular show. And keep an eye out for our Call for Speakers announcement so that you can share your knowledge and expertise with a whole new group of catering and event professionals.
In the meantime, here's a quick look back at the Florida Sunshine Tour 2023!
An artist who creates lifelike portraits of famous musicians (while music plays) kicked off the Closing General Session. Photo courtesy WASIO Faces and Catersource
A photo activation during the Opening Night Party. Photo courtesy WASIO Faces and Catersource
Pam Smith demonstrated how mushrooms can be incorported into several craveable dishes, including a "Pulled Port Burger" (which included pulled portobello mushrooms in barbecue sauce) during her session "Veg-abilities: Curating Plant-Forward & Plant-Based Menu Items That are Craveable, Flexible & Forgivable". Photo courtesy Catersource
Mini Maine Lobster Rolls (fresh lobster meat, creamy dressing, toasted New England bun) were served during the Opening Night Party. Photo courtesy Catersource
The Company Men got the crowd on their feet during the Closing Night Celebration at Ole Red.
Call for Speakers is Now Open
We are certainly feeling inspired and energized for the year ahead. In that spirit, we'd like to share that our 2024 Call for Speakers is now open! Take a moment and submit your great idea and topic for Catersource + The Special Event 2024, being held February 12-15,2024 in Austin, TX. It's going to be a wild conference loaded with fresh and impactful content and we want to hear from you now so we can build our best program yet!
How to Apply: Go to https://cs2024.catersource-cfp.com/ for all ther details, and some ideas to get you thinking about the kind of session you'd like to present.
Your Deadline: The deadline for speaker/session submissions is June 16, 2023 at 11:59 pm CST.
See more from this year's Catersource + Special Event in the summer issue of Catersource magazine!