Established by the National Pecan Shellers Association (NPSA) nearly 10 years ago, and funded by the American Pecan Council (APC) since 2018, the Pecan Chef Culinary Workshop series attracts some of the top foodservice operators and chefs in all areas, representing companies such as Aramark, Baskin Robbins, Delta Air Lines, Morrison’s Healthcare, Sysco, US Foods, HEB grocers and the University of Massachusetts.
This annual workshop is considered one of the premier pecan foodservice immersion events in the country. The events are designed to inspire, motivate and ideate creative and unique pecan culinary concepts that can be applied to all segments of the foodservice and R&D industries. Here, chefs experiment with and create pecan-centric dishes using a variety of pecan forms, including whole pecans, pieces, and meal, as well as unique pecan products like pecan oil, butter and pie crusts. The result is a one-of-a-kind, educational experience that leaves chefs energized, excited, and enlightened about all the possibilities that pecans can offer for recipe and product development in commercial applications.
Inspiration, innovation, creativity, education and fun are words that chef attendees use to describe their experiences at the Pecan Chef Culinary Workshops. Considered one of the premier pecan culinary events in the country, this annual event has become the foodservice industry’s leading chef immersion program for pecans.
Hosted by APC and presented by NPSA, the 2021 Pecan Chef Culinary Workshop brought together chefs, buyers and culinary influencers from US Foods, HEB grocers, Taco Cabana, Jensen’s Foods and more.
The 2021 Pecan Chef Culinary Workshop, which took place on October 15 in San Antonio, following the Culinary Institute of America’s Latin American Cuisine Summit, included nutrition information presented by expert culinary dietitians, uncommon foodservice tricks and tips for using, preparing and storing pecans and extensive, hands-on kitchen experience.
Chefs representing various segments of the industry, including retail operations, commercial restaurants, foodservice distributors and chef-consultants, produced an assortment of pecan-centric dishes from around the globe.
The spread of final products featured everything from pecan kimchi and Mediterranean pasta to shrimp mole and pecan-crusted tofu. Even the pecan desserts went the extra mile, highlighting pecans in a unique, three-cheese pecan cheesecake and vegan pecan fudge.