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Chef Peter McCaffrey, Director of the Culinary Insight Group for LCA

Peter is a “chef’s chef,” and we are delighted to bring him to the Culinary Insight Group. Chef McCaffrey was for many years a prominent and successful chef/owner of a high-profile catering company in the Wine Country area north of San Francisco. He operated Wine Valley Catering for 20 years, with a client list that included Opus One Winery, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mondavi, Google, Yelp, and the City of San Francisco. His company provided F&B services at the prestigious Villagio and the Vintage Inn in Yountville, CA.

Peter is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. After graduation he made the rounds of some of the most prominent restaurants in France, working under chefs Alain Ducasse, Alain Senderens, and Phillipe de Givenchy. He returned to the US to take on a number of important culinary positions, including Executive Sous Chef at the Lafayette Hotel in Boston, Chef de Cuisine at the Portman Hotel in San Francisco, and Executive Chef at the Brava Terrace Restaurant in the Napa Valley.

LCAES Culinary Sessions to Attend

1. Culinary Group Offsite at Proof of the Pudding - Tuesday at 11:15 AM Meet in Motor Lobby for Transportation

Upon arrival the culinary group will go the main tasting room, for a demonstration lunch to be conducted by Proof of the Pudding's Executive Chef, Vagn Nielsen.

Following lunch, the group will adjourn to the nearby meeting room for chef’s roundtables, beginning at 1:15 PM. The primary topic will be a discussion of production systems and kitchen information dissemination. Three of the caterers in attendance will discuss how their internal systems for food ordering, prep sheets, quantity decisions, and other control factors.

The final session of the day will be an interactive kitchen session beginning at 2:30 PM. The basis for this session will be the Menus of Change program. This is a ground-breaking initiative from The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health that works to realize a long-term, practical vision integrating optimal nutrition and public health, environmental stewardship and restoration, and social responsibility concerns within the foodservice industry and the culinary profession. The program intends to achieve these goals by:

  • Showing that changing menus is a powerful, and previously underappreciated, way to drive improvements in our health and our planet.
  • Bringing attention to protein, both animal- and plant-based, to show how that macronutrient category has the largest impact on the environment including climate change.
  • Making plant-forward dining a mainstream concept in the culinary profession and foodservice industry, with a clear vision for a new way to cook and serve food to others.

The group will review some of the recommendations from MOC, and use these as a basis for a brainstorming session to develop new approaches for caterers to use to address these issues. Some hands on cooking may be involved as well.

2. Culinary Group Roundtables - Wednesday, 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Chef Peter McCaffrey will lead the group in a lively discussion on a number of topics related to the various culinary challenges that caterers face. Subjects to be discussed may include:

  • Finding or developing event culinary staff
  • Dealing with seasonality without losing key kitchen prep staff
  • How to collaborate effectively with the sales team in menu creation
  • Do you use recipes? What system do you use to memorialize recipes?
  • Which purchased items do you use that are of sufficient quality to not compromise your brand?
  • What systems do you use to put out a quality product when working in a venue with no kitchen?

3. Atlanta Chef's Tour - Wednesday at 11:30AM Meet in the Motor Lobby for Transporation

Wednesday’s Chef’s Tour will begin with a lunch at Chef Anne Quatrano’s restaurant Bacchanalia.

Chef Anne has helped steer the trajectory of Atlanta’s dining scene for more than two decades by pioneering a simple principle: showcasing local ingredients with precision and presenting them in an artful way. At the core of all her restaurants lies a commitment to the land and the inherent flavors cultivated by local farmers. Much of what she serves at her restaurants comes directly from her own Summerland Farm in Cartersville, Georgia. She has won numerous James Beard nominations and awards, including Best Chef Southeast in 2003. In 2013 and 2014, Quatrano was nominated for the James Beard Outstanding Chef Award, and in 2013 Bacchanalia was nominated for Outstanding Service Award. Outside of her restaurants and farm, Quatrano is very involved in culinary nonprofits, especially those focused on female chefs. She currently serves as a Director on the James Beard Foundation Board, Chairman of the James Beard Foundation Awards Committee, and has served on the Board of Directors for Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, as well as on various committees for Southern Foodways Alliance.

At Bacchanalia the group will enjoy a private dining lunch designed to showcase a number of the specialties of the house,

The next stop will be the Ponce City Market, a must see culinary destination in Atlanta. At the heart of Ponce City Market, the Central Food Hall is the most vibrant food hall and market in the Southeast.

The group will first stop for lunch dessert at Batter Cookie Dough Counter, an edible cookie dough shop offering a variety of delicious cookie dough flavors, with vegan and gluten-free options. They will then enjoy a tour of Root Baking Company, a recent addition to the market offering freshly baked breads milled in-house from Southern, heirloom grains.

After the bakery tour the group will have time to visit several of the other specialty food stands in the Central Food Hall, including Indian/Persian fusion at Botiwalla, South African charcuterie at Biltong, and Mediterranean specialties at Marrakesh.

The final stop of the day will be at Bold Monk Brewing Company, the new craft brewery and restaurant. Bold Monk is the newest venture of the brewing team that opened the very first craft brewery in the state of Georgia. Bold Monk is a combination brewery, restaurant, and gathering/event space, with super cool design elements and fabulous beers brewed on site.

At Bold Monk, the group will have the opportunity to taste a selection of the beers for which the company has become so well known, as well as sampling some of their famous brick oven pizza.