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Special Events

We’ve got competitions. We’ve got tastings. We’ve got receptions, career-changing awards, and cocktails aplenty to wet your whistle. It’s all a part of the special events that make Catersource so unique. Through it all, you’ll enjoy nonstop networking and the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones.

Spark! Awards Gala: Monday, February 25, 2019

And the winners are…? Join us as we recognize the very best in catering events with the prestigious Catersource ACE and ICA CATIE Awards! The atmosphere is both electric and motivational as proud professionals from all over the industry come together to celebrate the achievements of our community and the significance of our work. Your ticket includes an elegant sit-down dinner and full award program.

6:30pm - 9:30pm | Great Hall A


Interfusion After Dark

Interfusion After Dark: Monday, February 25, 2019

Catersource in Partnership with The Foundation of NACE Presents:

Interfusion After Dark! As you approach the after-party venue you will feel the energy build as you hear the intensity of the music surge from within. Excitement courses through your veins as you enter the nightclub environment of Interfusion After Dark with flashing lights, live entertainment, D.J.’s and intense music indicative of some of the world’s hottest nightclubs. Let all your senses go and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, live entertainment, an open bar, small bites and mingling with friends while you dance the night away at the ultimate after party!

9:30pm - 11:30pm | The Sugar Mill

Catersource Lunch & Learn: A Conversation with Chef Curtis Stone

The food landscape is shifting, and award-winning Chef Curtis Stone is at the forefront with his wildly successful Los Angeles restaurants, Maude and Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant. Spinning off from the live fire cooking and whole animal butchering format at Gwen, the chef created Curtis Stone Events, an off-premise catering company, launched in January 2018. From pop-ups to corporate and public events, Curtis will share how he has successfully maintained the quality and integrity of the restaurant hospitality experience and lessons learned in this lively Q&A with ILEA immediate past president, Ingrid Nagy, CEO & Owner of By Design Collective.

Monday, February 25th, 2019

11:45AM - 1:15PM | Great Hall A


Chef Curtis Stone Gives Spark! Awards Gala Menu Sneak Peek

Which Catersource Pass is Right for You?

Visit our packages and pricing page to find the options that work best for you. 

Welcome Reception: Sunday, Feb 24, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Included with every conference and tradeshow pass, the Welcome Reception is your chance to enjoy libations, nosh on appetizers, and mingle with thousands of your industry peers in a comfortable and relaxed environment. The first of many networking opportunities, we’ll join together and raise a glass to what’s sure to be a fun and productive week ahead!

Location: E. Morial Convention Center, 1st Floor

Meet the Influencers

The seasoned vets. The trailblazing mavericks. The proven all-stars, successful luminaries, celebrity chefs, and fresh new voices. If they’re a force in the catering and events industry, you’ll find them at Catersource. And new for the 2019 show, you can do more than just see them in passing—you can gain unprecedented access and personalized mentoring with our Meet the Influencers event! This is your chance to tell the experts what you’re all about, pose business challenges, and seek guidance and advice from those who have been there, done that, and are ready to show you what it takes to stand out in our crowded industry. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

12:00pm - 1:15pm | Cafe Area

What’s Happening on the Tradeshow Floor

Yes, the energetic tradeshow floor revolves around 300+ suppliers you can source and discover the latest and greatest industry innovations. But it’s so much more than that. It’s also where education, entertainment, and next-level networking take center stage with a series of dazzling demos and riveting competitions from some of the world’s top culinary masters. Here’s a rundown of the tradeshow schedule of events, including the highly-anticipated and new-for-2019 Meet the Influencers program!

Find My Favorite Things

Groups of trend-seeking catering and event professionals will embark on a guided tour and be brought to exhibitor booths by a Catersource Ambassador for an introduction, customized demonstration, and a cool giveaway! Find My Favorite Things is an all-new, immersive shopping experience on Wednesday, February 27th.

Sign up onsite at the info desk in the Great Hall pre-function space!

Session 1: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM 

Session 2: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM



Armed with a mystery basket of ingredients, six creative and highly skilled chef teams will face off in a culinary competition not to be missed! Assigned a specific dish, each team has 30 minutes to complete their dish and submit for judging. Taste some of the mystery ingredients as the chefs work their magic. Then enjoy the banter as emcee, Chef Eric LeVine, celebrates the winner! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

11:00am - 1:00pm | Main Culinary Stage


Join emcee Jeffrey Selden of Marcia Selden Catering & Events as he challenges caterer/bartender competitors to deliver the most delicious cocktails in three separate categories of the Catersource Swizzle Competition. Recipes will be provided—your bar program will be set for the year with these trend-forward libations. More details to come, but don't miss this spirited event!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

12:15pm - 2:00pm | Culinary Main Stage

Beyond the Plate

Join Sabert as they search for the next great plate artist in the Beyond the Plate Contest. Contestants are required to create, plate, and photograph their own cuisine or course type using the Sabert Stackable Party Platter kit. Beyond the Plate contest is sponsored by Sabert who will award three winners with Amex gift cards; 1st place $1,000, 2nd place $500 and 3rd place $350.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

9:30am - 11:30am | Culinary Main Stage

Tradeshow Schedule-At-A-Glance


11:00 AM - 5:00 PMTradeshow Open | Hall B & C
11:00 AM - 1:00PMDiced | Main Culinary Stage
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Tradeshow Happy Hour Hall B & C


9:30 AM - 3:00 PMTradeshow Open | Hall B & C
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM Beyond the Plate | Culinary Main Stage
10:00 AM - 11:00 AMFind My Favorite Things Session 1 Tradeshow Floor
1:00 PM - 2:00 PMFind My Favorite Things Session 2 | Tradeshow Floor
12:00 PM - 1:15PMMeet The Influencers | Cafe Area
12:15 PM - 2:00PMSwizzle | Main Culinary Stage

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