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Plan: 2012 Candy and Confection Conference

Confections

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341 replies to this topic

#1 RobertM

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:57 AM

I don't think anything or anyone can top the 2011 Confection Conference thanks to Kerry's outstanding organization skills but I do believe that it's time to begin planning and organizing the next conference dedicated to confections

My proposal is to convene in the Washington DC area (last time it was held in Gaithersburg, MD) location TBD once we can find a suitable space to accommodate us. Steve, the host organizer for the 2010 Conference has offered his assistance in obtaining the same venue should we decide that we want to go back and (hopefully) they would want us back.

We will work on the dates for the event, I know that some people have commitments to farmers markets and other shows and hopefully we can work on a schedule that will allow them to join us for the weekend.

I will also work with some of the hotels in the area to try and obtain some group discounts, I will post that information here when I am successful

Let's plan on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday again as that seems to work out well for people attending.

With that in mind, how about some thoughts on what people are interested in doing and learning next conference so we can start to come up with a plan.

We'll need everyone's generous assistance in different equipment needs. I have an American Chocolate Mold Co. tempering machine and just purchased a JKV-30 tempering machine that I could bring (if the venue has 220). I also have some other equipment such as an airbrush. We can discuss these needs as the dates get closer.

In the past we have had an amazing response from the industry in regards to providing samples for our use, I will continue to reach out to various confection supply houses and ask for their continued support.

Friday evening has typically been a group gathering with individuals bringing samples of their work to share with the group.

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE:

Location: in/around Washington DC
Dates: TBD

For the past 3 years we have run a DIY chocolate and confectionery conference for eG members and other interested folk. Everyone is welcome - no experience in chocolate or confectionery required - just a desire to learn and play.

Costs are shared between the participants so they are very reasonable. We put out a little breakfast and lunch on both the Saturday and Sunday.

Generally on the Friday we have some sort of outing. Year one - we crossed the border and visited Tomric Plastics to play on the Selmi enrober and have an opportunity to buy equipment and supplies. Year two - we went to Albert Uster and attended an excellent class covering a variety of pastry and confection topics. This year we also crossed the border for a tour of a confection company and another visit to Tomric.
Not sure what we will do this year - but I welcome suggestions.

On the Saturday evening we have a group meal - I will work on an appropriate venue for this as well - but how do you compete with this past years conference??? (I'm still reeling from it)

Previous conferences:
2011 conference (Niagara on the Lake, ON)
2010 conference (Gaithersburg, MD)
2009 conference (Niagara on the Lake, ON)

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#2 Chris Hennes

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 12:44 PM

Thanks for spearheading this, RobertM... assuming the dates work out my plus one and I will certainly attend again. One of the things I enjoyed most from our last gathering in the DC area was the huge selection of ingredients available to us to play around with for ganache flavors, and the discussion we had about flavor development. I'd love to see that sort of thing again. Any new decoration techniques that people are playing with are great to learn as well. And it might be beneficial to have a little time set aside for business-side discussions, since a lot of people in the group seem to either be heading in that direction, or have already done so and can provide advice.

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#3 RobertM

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 05:15 PM

Chris - as always, Excellent idea's - I'm going to try and work that into the weekend - perhaps part of Friday?

#4 Chris Hennes

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 05:20 PM

Whatever works: I'd also like to vote "not May" for the dates.

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#5 RobertM

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 05:24 PM

I was thinking of March...how does that sound to the Confection Conference Community?

It's going to be great to see you again Chris

#6 Kerry Beal

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 07:22 PM

Whenever for me - just let me know and I'll be there. Only reason for doing May up here was the weather is simply not reliable in March - but it's much nicer in DC then.

#7 RobertM

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 07:05 AM

Guess I'll start the list

Pretty Definite Attendees
Chris Hennes +1
Kerry Beal
curls

#8 Mjx

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 07:32 AM

Please consider me+1 on the very interested 'maybe' list.

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#9 Lisa Shock

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 09:20 AM

I'm a potential possible maybe...

#10 lebowits

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 11:08 AM

Put me down as a "maybe". Can't be sure until we work out dates and that date gets MUCH closer.
Steve Lebowitz
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#11 Kerry Beal

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 01:14 PM

Rob Connoley (gfron1) wishes to be added as a pretty darn definite.

#12 prasantrin

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 03:20 PM

If gfron1 will be there, then I must put myself down as a maybe! I'd love to meet gfron1. His contributions to the pastry scene are a legacy to all who love pastry.

#13 RobertM

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 04:34 PM

Pretty Definite Attendees
Chris Hennes +1
Kerry Beal
curls
gfron1

Maybe
mjx +1
Lisa Shock
lebowitz
prasantrin

#14 Kerry Beal

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 04:49 PM

Some interest has been expressed in savory applications for chocolate.

#15 curls

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 06:51 PM

Perhaps we could learn how to do some pulled sugar work?

#16 Marmish

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 08:16 PM

I'll be watching this topic. I don't know if The Boss will let me go away by then. Maybe we'll all come.

#17 prasantrin

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 02:53 AM

I'll be watching this topic. I don't know if The Boss will let me go away by then. Maybe we'll all come.


Funny, I woke up thinking about you this morning. Hope we can all make it, especially The Boss! Congratulations on becoming an underling! (Maybe Otis will come, too?)

#18 mkayahara

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 05:58 AM

Perhaps we could learn how to do some pulled sugar work?

I second this, although I can't guarantee I'll be able to attend.
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#19 MelissaH

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 10:46 AM

What mkayahara said.

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#20 RobertM

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 01:21 PM

Curls; mkayahara and MelissaH - the instructing is mostly done by other attendee's, to try and keep costs down as much as possible; Sometimes, as was the case this year, the time of the professional was donated. I'm going to see if the Corporate instructor from Wilbur Chocolate can come down and spend a day with us. If everyone is in agreement as to wanting a pulled sugar session, is there anyone on eGullet that would like to take this on? I can contact some of the professional instructors in confectionery and see what a cost would be....thoughts? I know a couple of them, one or two are amazing people with a wealth of knowledge, but it all boils down to what we're willing to pay?

Pretty Definite Attendees
Chris Hennes +1
Kerry Beal
curls
gfron1

Maybe
mjx +1
Lisa Shock
lebowitz
prasantrin
mkayahara
MelissaH

#21 Lisa Shock

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 03:56 PM

If I can get there, I can teach pulled sugar. I wouldn't charge.

My only issue right now is that I'm only working part-time and money is really tight for me. And, I live in Arizona, so driving to the event would not really be possible, too many days lost from work. If I could get a little help with a ticket, or the hotel room, it would be greatly appreciated, and help cement my plans.

Edited by Lisa Shock, 28 July 2011 - 04:01 PM.


#22 prasantrin

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 05:14 PM

Could be wrong, but I don't think that's the way it works. It's primarily volunteer, and even Kerry doesn't get any compensation for all the work she does in organizing. Not even a free meal or gas money.

#23 Lisa Shock

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 05:37 PM

Ok, I wanted to attend anyway. The deal is, teaching sugar would involve shipping supplies and equipment out, plus ingredients. Those are extra expenses I wouldn't incur as an attendee, and could easily cost as much as the airfare. While I might be able to simply attend, adding several hundred dollars onto the bill to teach would probably make it unworkable for me.

#24 RobertM

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 05:39 PM

You're correct, it's volunteer based. The fees that we collect are for the use of the space (Niagara-on-the-Lake) or the Culinary School and to assist in the off-set of any ingredients that we had to purchase for use in the "labs"

I was trying to suggest that if we wanted to all pay for a professional instructor (and couldn't find a volunteer) than I would do my best to find one.

I personally like the idea of trying to keep this volunteer and using the combined knowledge and experience of eGullet members to move us all forward in our skills

#25 Kerry Beal

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 06:39 PM

Albert Uster has sugar supplies and equipment as I recall, I think I bought some sugar blowing stuff to bring back for a friend when I was there - it's quite possible that they might be willing to let us into their lab and use the equipment - we'd split on the cost of the supplies required (or perhaps find a sponsor who would be willing to provide us with stuff). That way Lisa could teach without any additional cost incurred to her.

#26 Lisa Shock

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 07:09 PM

Albert Uster has sugar supplies and equipment as I recall, I think I bought some sugar blowing stuff to bring back for a friend when I was there - it's quite possible that they might be willing to let us into their lab and use the equipment - we'd split on the cost of the supplies required (or perhaps find a sponsor who would be willing to provide us with stuff). That way Lisa could teach without any additional cost incurred to her.


That would be great. Shipping off heat lamps, induction burners, pots, sheet pans, silpats, torches, toaster ovens, etc. is a pretty big project. The lab would be far easier to manage than doing a setup in the hotel. -And cleanup would be less of an issue as well.

#27 Kerry Beal

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 07:25 PM

That just dredged up the memory of car loads of stuff being packed up and driven the 45 minutes to Niagara College - which dredged up the memory of why I only do this every other year!

#28 curls

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 08:07 PM

Sorry, didn't realize the complications involved. My original thought was that we might get a day at Albert Uster, like we had in 2009 and that they could show us how to do pulled sugar work. Little did I know that Lisa Shock (love her avatar picture) might be attending and that she could do a demo . That would be fabulous!

#29 DianaM

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 10:15 AM

Hi everyone,

Robert, please put me down as a "maybe."

DianaM

#30 RobertM

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 10:27 AM

Pretty Definite Attendees
Chris Hennes +1
Kerry Beal
curls
gfron1

Maybe
mjx +1
Lisa Shock
lebowitz
prasantrin
mkayahara
MelissaH
DianaM





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