POSTPONED: Update March 11: The event will be postponed until October 19, 2020.

“Our primary concern is safeguarding the health of all participants, and we look forward to a safe and successful event in October,” producer Brad Metzger said in a statement. “The decision to postpone comes out of an abundance of caution. Stay tuned for details on updated programming and keep an eye on our website for updates.

Arguably the best chef conference west of the Mississippi is back in L.A. on March 30 at the ArcLight Cinema and The Gourmandise School in Santa Monica, for a daylong event that includes a mind-boggling lineup of A-List culinary talent, industry panels, demonstrations and some of the best food in the country.

Highlights  of L.A. Chef Conference 2020 will include panels on topics including “Stirring the Pot,” with chef Andrea Drummer on the infusion of cannabis into L.A.’s dining scene, “What’s at Steak” (seafood, meat and the rise of the plant-based alternatives), “Six Figure Sous Chef” (crisis in the labor market), and “When Dinner is the Show” (food as performance art).

David Kinch (Courtesy L.A. Chef Conference)

There will be a screening of three-Michelin-starred Manresa chef David Kinch’s new documentary, A Chef’s Voyage, which documents his team as they travel to France for dinners at Michelin-starred restaurants and celebrate Manresa’s 15th anniversary, followed by a panel featuring Kinch along with Manresa general manager Jenny Yun and head pastry chef Courtney Weyl, moderated by pastry priestess Sherry Yard.

Cooking demos will take  place at The Gourmandise School and include Travis Swikard, chef/owner of Callie, FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen winner Ariel Fox with Certified Angus Beef, and Tuan Lee alongside cocktail luminary Hope Ewing, with Vervet Cocktails.

Breakfast and lunch are included in the $190 ticket price, and will feature the L.A. Chef Con Meat Fest, with Burt Bakman of SLAB and Trudy’s Underground BBQ, Charcoal Venice Chef de Cuisine Joe Johnson, and Benjamin Udave. Santa Monica Seafood will break down a whole swordfish during registration, which Majordomo executive chef Jude Parra-Sickels will include in his lunch dish. Gus’s Fried Chicken, Traci Des Jardins popping up with Impossible Burger, Salt & Straw ice cream with an L.A. Chef Conference flavor sneak peek, Pitfire Pizza and breakfast by Bakers Kneaded Pastries will also be part of the feeding frenzy.

Charcoal chef Joe Johnson (Michele Stueven)

The afterparty co-hosted by  Callebaut Chocolate is also included in the ticket price and will welcome celebrity chefs Valerie Gordon, Sally Camacho, Gemma Matsuyama of n/naka, as well Tacos 1986, FUKU with an original fried chicken slider and an expansive raw bar curated by Santa Monica Seafood.

“L.A. Chef Conference is a day for chefs and hospitality professionals to come together and learn, be inspired by the luminous minds in our space, and eat delicious food from breakfast to lunch to the after party in celebration of our lives and work in the industry,” producer Brad Metzger said in a statement. “Come hungry for education, inspiration, and delicious bites.”

The all-day event is a production of  Brad Metzger Restaurant Solutions, a Southern California-based hospitality recruitment and placement firm, in partnership with the James Beard Foundation and Food & Wine magazine. Fifteen percent of ticket sales from the event will fund the scholarship which will support the L.A.-area C-CAP (Careers Through Culinary Arts) students to pursue their culinary education.


For more on the lineup and tickets go to

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