Last weekend, I headed down to Louisville, Kentucky, to attend the 39th annual IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) Conference. The jam-packed few days included field trips (such as a tour of the city’s hottest fried chicken spots, natch); sessions on everything from food styling to dispelling barbecue myths; and networking with some of the most influential members of the culinary world, such as Dorie Greenspan and Peter Reinhart. It all led up to the IACP Awards on Sunday night, a glitzy affair honoring excellence in cookbook writing and publishing.
As an editor and recipe developer on the ATK books team, I had already planned on attending the conference, so it was a bonus when I found out our recent publication, Bread Illustrated, was nominated for an award in the “Baking: Savory or Sweet” category. (Spoiler alert: we won!) My colleague Dan Souza was also there representing the team behind Cook’s Science: How to Unlock Flavor in 50 of Our Favorite Ingredients and Cook’s Science, which were nominated for Best Reference & Technical Cookbook and Best Culinary Website, respectively. (Check out the complete list of winners.)
Between bourbon tastings, I squeezed in a few sessions and chatted with some of the most exciting folks writing, thinking, and talking about food today. Here’s some of what I learned from them.