August 15-17, 2016Washington, DC


Please email or call (612.870.7727) with any questions.

The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is ADA compliant so there will be handicapped access to all conference sessions and activities.

Everyone that attends must have a paid conference badge and all attendees must be 18 years of age or older. The optional evening event requires attendees to be 21 years of age or older.

Unfortunately, no. There are no discounts available for conference or event pricing. Please address any specific concerns or questions via email.

Catersource is creating one annual must-attend event for all catering and special events professionals, with more in-depth and specialized content. The Art of Catering Food will expand Catersource’s offerings to include three days of intensive culinary training. Not to mention, Catersource continues to proudly partner with the International Caterers Association (ICA) who will help develop educational sessions for the conference on a variety of critical topics across spectrum. Simply, it is a cost effective solution for attendees, as the combined conferences the two conferences that will enhance the your experience of attendees and opportunities for learning overall.

We surveyed culinary professionals who were unable to attend AOCF 2016 in August, and an overwhelming response indicated that Q1 (January-March) is better timing for a majority of caterers to dedicate resources to training. 

This decision was made by UBM Catersource based on the two statements above.

The Art of Catering Food program at CS2017 will deliver the same culinary-focused program you love, with access to the benefits of the Catersource conference. The total experience will be four days. You’ll experience three days of high-quality education, two days of an extensive tradeshow, networking opportunities with thousands of peers, and have the option to attend the remarkable events at Catersource outside of the sessions during the day. 

The education format will be similar to prior AOCF conferences, featuring an intimate setting and culinary-focused education. Limited to 500 attendees, the conference will provide have access to food samples, recipes and actionable ideas to take back to your business and can take home the recipes. The recipes alone provide an excellent return on investment.

The Art of Catering Food will be a customized education program within the Catersource conference. You will follow a pre-established session schedule taking place Sunday-Tuesday and also have the opportunity to access additional Catersource activities like the award-winning tradeshow, optional parties and networking events, and the noteworthy opening and closing sessions.

There is one Art of Catering Food package available, and you will gain access to the extensive culinary program – which includes samples, live demos, chef instruction, and take-home recipes and presentations – as well as tradeshow and networking opportunities. You will also have the option to purchase tickets to the optional events, and can attend the opening/closing sessions at Catersource.

The education program will run three days and consist of approximately 30 education sessions. Adding in the tradeshow and its education, the entire AOCF program will be 4 days.

You will receive the benefits of Catersource, while attending the same show you’ve grown to love. This includes gaining access to additional motivational keynotes, an expansive tradeshow and networking activities in a fun, lively city such as New Orleans for the 2017 event. 

Bring your whole team to divide and conquer at the conference! Your culinary team member could attend AOCF, while other team members could attend Catersource. The AOCF program allows 2nd-tier culinary teams to deep dive into ingredients, techniques and trends, while the Catersource culinary track will focus on high-level sessions covering menu design, plating, service styles and kitchen management.

For our 25th anniversary we’re going back to our roots to the location of the very first Catersource conference, in a city filled with lively nightlife, unique cuisine, and compelling events. The new location also makes it easier for individuals on the east and west coast to attend. 2017 will be the biggest show yet! 

All of our optional events offer another great way to network and continue your learning experience. The events will demonstrate some of the newest ideas, products and concepts in the catering and event industry. 

There is no need to plan ahead for sessions to attend, since there is only 1 session running at each time during AOCF. As a conference attendee, you will be able to attend all sessions at The Art of Catering Food program.

No. Conference materials are only available to conference attendees. 

Attendees may take video at all optional events. Attendees cannot video any of the educational sessions. There are no restrictions on photo taking, except politeness and appropriate timing. Audio recordings of the sessions will be available for purchase at the conference.

Business casual is the norm. It is not necessary for chefs to wear whites.

Attendance for AOCF is limited to 400 people each year.