StarChefs Congress 2018 Recap

If you have been following along with me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you've seen all the amazing food, presentations, and people I've experienced at StarChefs 2018. I want to add a little more context, and put some of my favorite experiences here on the blog. If you are a chef, or an adventurous home cook, StarChefs should definitely be on your "must attend" list. It's just a fascinating conference and I've been lucky to cover it for a few years.

Counter Korean

Jesse Vida and Junghyun Park from Atomix kicked off the conference for me with a great demo combining a cocktail and food pairing.

Img 2172.jpg

The cocktail was a complex blend with tart, sweet, and effervescent notes.

Img 2175.jpg

We kicked off the food portion with a soy sauce tasting.

Img 2184.jpg

Then moved on to a discussion of how to marinate salmon with kelp and soy sauce.

Img 2190.jpg

The final dish was an amazing blend of sweet, salty, smooth and crunchy.

Caviar: How to Make It, Serve It, Eat It

The session with Bonnie Morales from Kachka was fascinating. I knew almost nothing about caviar going in.

  • Img 2226.jpg
  • Img 2231.jpg
  • Img 2236.jpg

Not only did we get to taste 5 different types of caviar from Sturia, including in a few dishes...

But we also got to clean the roe out of a salmon. It was one of the most interesting things I've ever seen!

Chasing Bocuse

It was fascinating to learn from Martin Kastner from Crucial Detail and Philip Tessier from Chasing Bocuse about what goes into actually competing for the Bocuse d'Or.

Img 2257.jpg

From the incredible amount of preparation and testing that went into the food, to the custom tools, molds, and serving dishes that Crucial Detail created, it was just a masterclass in how you can accomplish anything if you get really smart, driven people, working on the problem.

Adventures in Macanese Cuisine

I always enjoy listening to Abe Conlon from Fat Rice speak. And for this main stage demonstration he brought his Macanese mentor, Marina Senna-Frenandes.

Img 2270.jpg

They did a great job covering some of Abe's journey, as well as the history and background of Macanese cuisine. Plus there was food to taste!

  • Img 2273.jpg
  • Img 2282.jpg

Boudin Bao

Michael Gulotta from Maypop in New Orleans showed us his version of a Canjun Boudin Bao.

Img 2314.jpg

We took them from start to finish. Rolling them out, making the filling, filling them, steaming them, and finally frying them.

  • Img 2319.jpg
  • Img 2324.jpg
  • Img 2329.jpg

Make Your Own Amaro

Elliot Strathmann from Spuntino and Max Green from Amor Y Amargo put on a great presentation.

Img 2364.jpg

We started with a tasting of 6 amaros, including 2 house made ones from Spuntino.

Img 2349.jpg

Then we moved into making our own amaro to take home. I shared it with friends for several months and everyone loved it.

Volt: 10 Years of Techniques

Brian Voltaggio from Volt made an amazing multi-technique dish.

  • Img 2373.jpg
  • Img 2385.jpg

I mean, he had me at "liquid nitrogen freezed merenge".

It was one of the most fascinating presentations I've ever seen, and the final dish was amazing!

Img 2410.jpg

Transforming the Tamal

Ray Garcia, Broken Spanish gave us an amazing hands-on demo on making tamales.

Img 2427.jpg

I was unsure just what went into making it, so it was fascinating to learn about the process of making masa, the unique cheese he uses, and the incredibly flavorful braised filling.

Plus, the end tamales were amazing!

  • Img 2437.jpg
  • Img 2a30.jpg
  • Img 2447.jpg

Steelite Popup Dinner

My final experience was an remarkable 3-course meal and wine tasting provided Michael Fojtasekby from Olamaie in Austin Texas and sponsored by Steelite.

  • Img 2482.jpg
  • Michael fojtasek counter service.jpg
  • Img 2472.jpg

It also had several sous vide and modernist components in it, so it was fun to pick Michael's brain about how he approaches the various dishes.

  • Img 2491.jpg
  • Img 2504.jpg
  • Img 2476.jpg

As I said, StarChefs is an amazing conference for chefs or adventurous home cooks. Be sure to check it out and attend if you can! There was a lot more content I got to enjoy and I posted most of it to my social media accounts, so be sure to follow along there next year!

Like this?
Have questions or comments about it?
Let me know in the article comments below or on Facebook!

Jason logsdon headshot This article is by me, Jason Logsdon. I'm an adventurous home cook and professional blogger who loves to try new things, especially when it comes to cooking. I've explored everything from sous vide and whipping siphons to pressure cookers and blow torches; created foams, gels and spheres; made barrel aged cocktails and brewed beer. I have also written 10 cookbooks on modernist cooking and sous vide and I run the website.
Affiliate Disclaimer: Some links on this site might be affiliate links that if used to purchased products I might receive money. I like money but I will not endorse something I don't believe in. Please feel free to directly go to any products I link to and bypass the referral link if you feel uncomfortable with me receiving funds.
placeholder image

Cookie Consent

This website uses cookies or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalized recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy