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Enhance Your AOCF2016 Experience

With Optional Events That Will Help Build Your Craft

Next month, the International Caterers Association (ICA) and Catersource will take over Washington DC for a special culinary learning experience for professional caterers from August 15-17!

In addition to three jam-packed days of extensive culinary education, you have the opportunity to join like-minded attendees on a number of excursions to explore our host city and discover a multitude of inspirational ideas for your catering operations. Step outside of the classroom, enhance your AOCF experience, and connect with like-minded chefs from around the world with this added value. Discover additional details about these optional events and add tickets to your registration early before they sell out!

Culinary Hands-On Experience
Join us on Sunday with an exciting hands-on training event that will cover topics including garde manger, plant-based entrees, classic desserts with a twist, and menu inspiration from the Silk Road. You’ll receive hands-on instruction from culinary experts at Stratford University’s ACF-accredited Hospitality & Culinary Arts program. Take the recipes home with you using the instructional guides for each dish you create.  

In the culinary hands-on experience, you’ll learn tips and techniques to stand out amongst your competition and enrich your menu offerings. Explore new ingredients and techniques in the kitchen that will take your culinary training to new heights.

Washington DC Tours
Our nation’s capital is bustling with caterers who are leading the industry with innovative ideas for catered events. Take a behind-the-scenes look at how their operations are managed with your choice of one of these exclusive tour options. This is a fantastic opportunity to network with other attendees while also learning from other caterers in the heart of the country.

Option 1: Susan Gage and Occasions Caterers Facility Tours
In this tour, you’ll discover advanced methods for kitchen storage and prop management, ways to stay organized in a 32,000 sq. ft. facility, how Occasions Caterers continues to produce top-notch events, and how Susan Gage maintains an in-house linen shop.

Option 2: Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center and Purple Onion Catering Facility Tours
From one end to the other, you’ll discover how Purple Onion Catering produces large-scale events out of their intimate kitchen space, then explore the grounds of the Reagan Building in the heart of downtown DC, including back of house operations and their expansive event spaces.

Option 3: Culinary & Cultural Tour of DC
Stroll through Penn Quarter, home to the Verizon Center, Chinatown, and the National Portrait Gallergy. It is one of the most vibrant and busy neighborhoods in Washington DC and includes many highlights from Julia Child's Kitchen at the National Museum of American History, Ford's Theater, and the national Archives/Navy Memorial. This walking tour will travel through the quarter on a 2 mile stroll with a final stop near numerous culinary favorites for you to experience at your own pace.

Capitol Fare
Celebrate the local flavors and flare of the nation’s capital as we take over Dock Five, an industrial chic warehouse connected to DC’s Union Market. Network with fellow AOCF2016 attendees, learn about new trends, share inspirational ideas, and get inspired at this high-energy party produced by Occasions Caterers on Tuesday night.

Engage with culinarians from across the country as you enjoy regional favorites, interactive chef stations, and innovative presentation ideas built upon Occasions Caterers’ custom buffets, including life-like displays of national monuments, an interactive sky-high ferris wheel, and features that will peak your patriotism. Join hundreds of attendees in creating memorable experiences you’ll remember long after you leave DC.

The optional events at The Art of Catering Food offer a fantastic opportunity to see the latest ideas in action and connect with your peers from around the world. Learn more at and we will see you in Washington DC next month!




Catersource includes an annual conference, tradeshow and magazine, online presence, e-newsletters, the Art of Catering Food conference, and Leading Caterers of America Executive Summit. Click here for conference information. Click here to sign up for any of our free e-news products or the quarterly issue of Catersource magazine.