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General Sessions

Thursday, July 11

Sam Calagione

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CEO and Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Sam Calagione has been focused on brewing beers with culinary ingredients outside the Reinheitsgebot since 1995 when he first opened Dogfish Head as the smallest American craft brewery. Today, Dogfish has grown into a 300+ person company and is one of the most recognized breweries in the country. 

Dogfish Head is based in Delaware with Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, an off-centered brewpub and distillery, Chesapeake & Maine, a geographically enamored seafood restaurant, Dogfish Inn, a harbor-front beer-themed motel and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, a production brewery and distillery featuring a tasting room and food truck.  Dogfish currently sells beer in 37 states and Washington D.C. and spirits in the mid-Atlantic region.

Sam’s innovative style and collaborative spirit has earned him a reputation as one of the industry’s most adventurous entrepreneurs and brewers. Sam has authored four books and was named the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional in 2017.  Sam, his wife Mariah (Dogfish VP) and their family reside in coastal Delaware.   


Friday, July 12

John DiJulius

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International consultant and best-selling author of three Customer service books, his latest book, The Customer Service Revolution (Greenleaf Books 2015), instantly hit #1 on Amazon. John works with world class companies like The Ritz-Carlton, Lexus, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Nestlé, Marriott Hotels, PwC, Cheesecake Factory, Progressive Insurance, Harley Davidson, Chick-fil-A, and many more.

John isn’t just talking about it, he lives it, as a very successful entrepreneur of two businesses. John Robert’s Spa, a chain of upscale Cleveland locations, has been repeatedly named one of the top 20 salons in America; and The DiJulius Group, a consulting firm focused on changing the world by creating a Customer service revolution. John will demonstrate how we can make our Customer service our single biggest competitive advantage and make price irrelevant!


Saturday, July 13

Melissa Bowler

Information coming soon!


Culinary Challenge 

Wednesday, July 11

Come one, come all to the 18th NACUFS Culinary Challenge. Pans will be sizzling, knives will be moving with speed and precision and competition will be fierce, as the six contestants chosen in regional challenges earlier this year face off and race against the clock in this American Culinary Federation-sanctioned contest. The challenge is classified as a Category W - Customized Wildcard Competition.

Individual competitors will face off against the clock to prepare a creative entree, featuring the mandatory combination of Littleneck clams, whole squid, and oysters, to create an appetizing and inviting plate. See rules for more information and to submit an application to compete. In addition, the competitors will be judged on two classic knife skills.

Three ACF-approved judges will select the winners. Contestants will be judged on the taste of the finished product, the demonstration of cooking skills and culinary techniques, and the practice of organizational skills, including sanitation principles. 

ACF gold, silver, and bronze medals will be awarded on competition point totals. All participants will receive certificates.

Be sure to stop by and cheer for your region’s competitor!