Flavor, Quality and American Menus

Napa Valley, CA

Flavor, Quality & American Menus Program Summary

Flavor, Quality & American Menus is an annual invitational leadership retreat presented in partnership by The Culinary Institute of America and the University of California, Davis. Now in its 13th year, this invitation-only retreat provides opportunities for networking, exchanging information and ideas, and advancing both American agriculture and the food and beverage industries that depend on it. The event aims to stimulate innovative thinking around the future of agriculture as well as flavor-, quality- and diversity-driven menu R&D, connecting leaders within the volume foodservice and American agriculture industries to foster better understanding of current challenges and opportunities faced by each sector. 

The retreat also emphasizes fundamental shifts in the foodservice industry, and how millennials are largely (but not exclusively) driving those shifts. FQAM helps foodservice operators understand the impacts those shifts will have on future menus and future generations of eaters.

Save the date for FQAM 2016 on August 25-27, 2016 at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.

Download an overview of the conference here.


2015 Flavor, Quality & American Menus Program Summary

The 2015 program schedule included: 

  • culinary demonstrations highlighting four different regional American cuisines; presentations and panel discussions focused on market trends and the varying demands of the “conscious consumer,” values-based decision-making among both farmers and foodservice professionals, innovative agricultural practices, trust and transparency throughout the supply chain, and other issues affecting food production; the ever-growing emphasis on world cuisines; 
  • a Friday field trip to the CIA Farm in St. Helena, the St. Helena Farmers’ Market, the UC Davis Research Vineyard at Oakville Station, and the Clif Family Farm, including a closing reception featuring Clif Family wines and tastings from their Bruschetteria food truck; 
  • and the exciting and interactive Saturday Market Basket exercise, where attendees were divided into five teams to each develop a food truck concept and new menu ideas using sponsor products, including a star dish addressing an assigned dietary restriction.

Attendees at the 2015 retreat included: 47 volume foodservice operators from chain restaurants, contract foodservice companies, and colleges and universities; 26 presenters including guest chefs from Atlanta, GA, Bloomington, IL, La Conner, WA, Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA, Tulsa, OK, and Wawa, PA; and sponsor representatives from the 19 companies and organizations who supported the event. 



Past Conferences

Flavor, Quality and American Menus 2009

Flavor, Quality and American Menus 2014



  • BW Quality Growers
  • Chobani Foodservice
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  • National Turkey Federation_Logo
  • Naturipe
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  • logo-wonderfulpistachios
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  • logo-ontario-greenhouse
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Research Sponsor

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For information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

Shara Orem

Director – Sponsorship Planning and Outreach, Strategic Initiatives and Advancement

(707) 967-2439