Skip navigation
Actor/producer Danny Trejo is growing his restaurant portfolio that includes Trejo’s Tacos & Cantinas, while Datassential’s Jack Li will share exclusive research for the first time at the event.

CREATE event keynoters include Danny Trejo, Jack Li

Here are the keynote speakers for CREATE: The Experience

Ready to siphon as much knowledge as you can about the restaurant industry?

Nation’s Restaurant News’ CREATE: The Experience event, Oct. 1-3 at the Margaritaville Resort in Palm Springs, Calif., features a robust lineup, including two dynamic keynote speakers with a firm pulse and a unique perspective on the industry. They include Danny Trejo, famed actor turned restaurateur and cookbook author, and Jack Li, executive chairman of Datassential.

Trejo’s trajectory has moved from imprisonment to helping troubled youths, and from acting to producing to restaurant ownership. He is currently expanding his restaurant portfolio, which includes Trejo’s Tacos & Cantina and Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts. Trejo’s Tacos was established in 2016 and now includes five locations throughout the Los Angeles area offering a variety of tacos – from beef barbacoa to Baja fish and hot honey chicken – as well as burritos, bowls, quesadillas and salads.

Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts opened in 2017 in Hollywood, Calif., and features donuts, drinks, and breakfast burritos. Also, Trejo partnered with Lincoln Beer Company in 2019 to launch Trejo’s Cerveza, an L.A.-brewed Mexican craft lager. He recently authored “Trejo’s Tacos: Recipes and Stories from L.A.” and “Trejo’s Cantina: Cocktails, snacks & amazing non-alcoholic drinks from the heart of Hollywood.”

For those unfamiliar with his concepts or his cookbooks, Trejo is also known through his work on the big screen, including roles in Desperado, Heat, From Dusk Till Dawn, and Spy Kids.

Trejo will join Nation’s Restaurant News’ editor-in-chief Sam Oches on the main stage Tuesday, Oct. 3, from 4:30-5:30 p.m., with a closing keynote titled, “From Fame to Foodservice.”

Following his keynote, Trejo will be on hand for a meet and greet during the CREATE 2024 Kick Off Party: Nashville Style event, scheduled from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

“Danny Trejo is a Hollywood legend. But he’s lived many lives, and these days that includes being a restaurateur. My conversation with Danny on the CREATE stage will offer an inspirational look at his life story and influence — and discuss how he’s bringing all of his experiences and lessons into the restaurant space,” Oches said.

Jack Li, executive chairman and co-founder of Datassential, is the second keynote speaker for Create. He will dive into “The State of the Eater,” a presentation based on results of exclusive custom research conducted by Datassential and revealed for the first time at the event.

Datassential is a global food and beverage intelligence platform founded in 2001, and Li has led hundreds of research studies for foodservice manufacturers and distributors across a broad array of topics since its beginnings. His insights will be shared on the main stage from 9:15-10:15 a.m. Monday, Oct. 2.

“Jack Li is among the foremost experts on food and beverage trends, and his dynamic and engaging presentation style is sure to educate and entertain CREATE attendees,” Oches said. “We’re thrilled to have Jack be a part of our speaker lineup, which has something for everyone in the restaurant industry.”

In addition to these two keynote speakers, The CREATE Experience will also include area tours, an investment summit, and roundtable discussions on hot-button issues. The full agenda and registration are available online here.

Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]

TAGS: People
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.