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It's On! Join us in Miami Beach for Catersource 2021

For nearly 30 years, Catersource has served as an educational resource and expansive network for the catering and special events industries. As the industry works its way through one of the toughest times in its history, the need to gather and learn from one another, network, and celebrate is important! Join Catersource, co-located with The Special Event, as we celebrate the rise of the resilient catering and events industry!

Don’t miss a moment! Arrive Monday afternoon 7/19, depart Friday morning 7/23

When making your travel arrangements, plan to arrive by Monday afternoon so that you can enjoy the entire Catersource + The Special Event experience! 

Kick off your week by attending Connect Live, held at Hard Rock Miami, starting at 7:30 p.m. and ending at 10:30 p.m. End your week by joining us at the Closing Night Party—An Industry Celebration. In between, you won’t want to miss a thing. 

Here’s a look at all that will be offered!

Revolutionary keynote & featured speakers

If there was ever a year to gain a fresh perspective and new ideas, it’s 2021! A diverse line up of featured speakers include cake genius to the stars Ron Ben-Israel; Event Executive Director Christina Matteucci; D&I experts, Dima Ghawi and Shakira Brown; the ever-popular Michael Cerbelli, celebrating the 20th anniversary of his The Hot List™; designer of celebrations David Tutera; Retro rad chef Emily Ellyn; VP of Catering Sales for Wolfgang Puck, Barbara Brass; CEO/Creative Director, AOO Events, David Merrell and more!

Last year, Matt & Ted Lee teamed up with Juan & Jorge Soto to quickly plate Rack of Lamb during hot box 101. photo courtesy wasio photography

On the opening day of the tradeshow floor, join futurist Pablos Holman for his opening general session keynote, but don’t be late—the session will open with a love letter to the catering and events industries.

As the keynote concludes, join vendors on the tradeshow floor for a day of product exploration, or stay in your seats: the annual Diced competition begins at 10:30!

Top notch culinary

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.

Chef Alexi Mandolini demonstrated how to make mini shakshuka with braised lamb last year. photo courtesy wasio photography

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.

Certified Catering Consultants

Need a quick consultation about some aspect of your business? The Certified Catering Consultants (CCC) will offer free half hour appointments on site to address your catering-related challenges, identify your highest value opportunities, and/or help you improve your business and ROI. The CCC team has been consulting with caterers for over 20 years and many of them ran businesses of their own—or still do! Head to room 248 to sign up for a free consultation during show hours Tuesday through Thursday.

Candid conversations

Always a favorite, Candid Conversation sessions are free-wheeling “unsessions”—no set agenda or Powerpoint presentations; just an industry professional at the front of the room, ready to answer your questions about topics they excel at. Bring culinary questions to Food Network stars Ron Ben-Israel and Emily Ellyn; ask David Tutera the burning design question you’ve always wanted answered; Meryl Snow and Alan Berg will be available to talk marketing and sales, and more. Your questions, their answers. The learning is fun and organic; these sessions are often identified as some of the most popular, year after year.

By walking the tradeshow floor, attendees can see the latest products ranging from culinary to linen to tableware. photo courtesy wasio photography

Discover ideas on the tradeshow floor

The award-winning traeshow floor will offer a plethora of trendsetting and relevant exhibitors and sponsors for you to browse, learn from, taste samples and buy from. These exhibitors are here to help you grow your business and recognize the potential you have for 2021 and beyond. Additionally, a culinary competition and the excitement of the Opening General Session with keynote Pablos Holman, Michael Cerbelli’s: The Hot List™ on Thursday morning, and Closing Session with keynote David Tutera.

Industry accolades: award recipients

Each year, we honor industry leaders who we, at Catersource + The Special Event, feel have made a significant and positive impact on our industries. Join us in celebrating remarkable individuals at our annual Leadership Lunch on Thursday, July 22

First—start your experience in gratitude by enjoying the music of four-time Grammy award winner Tomasito Cruz, who will blend his international flair of ChaChaCha, Son, Rumba, Afro, Timba, Guaracha, Pilon and Bolero to give this event a burst of lively Cuban flavor. Next, learn leadership skills from keynote Christina Matteucci, Executive Director at David Beahm Experiences. Enjoy a beautiful lunch with your colleagues and peers, and finally, celebrate with recipients Roy Porter (Michael Roman Lifetime Achievement award); Robin Selden (Carbotti award) and Connie Riley (Special Events Gala Lifetime Achievement award), as well as the surprise award recipient of the Steve Kemble award.

Networking opportunities

Beyond the evening events, pass time has been increased between sessions to allow more time to say hello and move between tradeshow floor and conference rooms. Most sessions allow 30 minutes pass time. There is a one-hour break for lunch in the conference area each day as well.

Networking is the key to any successful conference. Last year’s Catersource Conference & Tradeshow’s Opening Genearl Session even focused on it. Photo courtesy wasio photography

Earn education credits

Continuing education is an important aspect of any career trajectory and Catersource + The Special Event is ready to help.

  • All classes have been approved for CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) credits.
  • 30 CEH (Continuing Education Hours) credits are American Culinary Federation-approved

Go to “Associations & Accreditations” on the left-hand rail on and sort to find what you need!

Michael Cerbelli’s: The Hot List™ celebrates 20 years

Like The Hot List™ that Michael Cerbelli is known for—it is, and he is—best experienced LIVE.

Michael Cerbelli’s: The Hot List™ celebrates 20 years in Miami. Photo courtesy WASIO Photography

You will get him live at Catersource + The Special Event when his The Hot List returns for its 20th anniversary on Thursday morning, July 22. Says Cerbelli, “In a Google society where you can type something in and find it, The Hot List takes it one step further. You don’t have to go searching for it. I’m sharing the wealth.”

It all started with frustration: unable to get the name of a supplier from a fellow designer, he decided that he’d “open up my little black book of ideas” and offer the transparency of idea-sharing that he craved.

Over the years, he has featured emerging technology, he has put himself in peril (even knives thrown at him), has had his portrait created in various mediums (chocolate, crayons, Rubik’s Cubes, etc.), and also proposed marriage onstage. 

While he mentions that his 20th anniversary celebration may look a bit different than prior years, he is “building a show that makes sense for the audience.” 

It has been a tough year, says Cerbelli, and “I want to create a show that really makes a ‘wow’ but also has the right things [for the time] up there.”

You won’t want to miss this uplifting industry gathering. “You will have a great show, I promise!”

For a full interview with Michael Cerbelli, head to Special Events magazine’s 2021 show issue

See you in Miami!

Kathleen Stoehr

Kathleen Stoehr is the Director of Community & Content Strategy for Informa Connect | Catersource and Special Events magazines, including all digital content for both websites and e-newsletter products. She also vets, hires, guides and coordinates all live education at Catersource Conference & Tradeshow, Art of Catering Food, Leading Caterers of America Executive Summit, and bridge content at The Special Event.