The Greystone Flavor Summit 2014

Flavor Summit 2015: March 11 - 13, 2015
The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

Herb Terrace
Attendees, presenters, and supporters enjoy the opening reception on the Herb Terrace

The Greystone Flavor Summit brings together each spring a select group of top food and beverage executives, corporate and executive chefs, and other experts in American foodservice and hospitality to explore, discuss, and taste their way through a stimulating, critical set of flavor and related kitchen, dining, and hospitality management issues.

Our close to 20 presenters and panelists thoroughly and candidly covered some of the elements that make the success of their operations and shared some of their challenges. We talked sweet and savory menu ideas, wine, beer, and cocktail pairings, kitchen design, the creation of a sense of place, business development, the new face of full service, and millennial-driven trends. Through presentations, demonstrations, and many incredible meals and tastings, we got to think about ways to expand the flavors of our menus and the reach of our operations.

Barbara Lynch
Barbara Lynch, chef and CEO of Barbara Lynch Gruppo in Boston

The summit launched with keynote speaker Barbara Lynch, whose fearlessness led her from growing up in the projects of South Boston to owning a $24 million-restaurant group in Boston. She was a pioneer in some of the neighborhoods in which she opened, and never said no to opportunities but rather figured out a way to make them work once she had jumped on them. Lynch employs 350 people in the eight restaurants and operations (including a cooking school and a store) she runs, and spoke of the importance of creating a culture and getting employees to believe in the owner and his/her vision.

Katie Button
Katie Button, executive chef and co-owner of Cúrate bar de tapas and Nightbell in Asheville, North

Both Lynch and Katie Button of Asheville, North Carolina, ground their businesses and their lives in their communities. Button, who carefully selected Asheville with her parents and now husband as the place to establish their hospitality company, spoke of not only paying Asheville's living wages to her employees but also being active with local philanthropic efforts. This engagement in the well-being of their surroundings, coupled with perfectly prepared Spanish food at Cúrate bar de tapas, which opened in 2001, and the sophisticated bar fare of Nightbell, which followed in spring 2014, have helped build their success.

Lu Brow
Belinda Leong, co-owner of b. Patisserie in San Francisco:

On the beverage side of things, Ti Martin, Lu Brow, and Ferrel Dugas presented the beverage program of Café Adelaide and the rest of the Commander's Palace Family of Restaurants in New Orleans, sharing their strategies as well as turn-ons and turn-offs. Among their innovative programs are the popular cocktail brunches of Commander's Palace, a cocktail club, and a "bar-preneur" program: 12 budding entrepreneurs sit at a bar manned by a venture capitalist and give a one-minute pitch about their business. The best three advance and get a three-minute pitch. The winner has lunch with the venture capitalist. Martin stressed the importance of synergy between chef, bar chef, and front of the house. Harvey Steiman of Wine Spectator took the audience through a discussion and tasting of wines that Millennials like (small producers, unusual varieties, old world, for the most part), while Janet Fletcher shared how to best pair beers and cheeses, with a tasting of California beers and cheeses, and offered strategies for designing such a pairing program for a hotel or restaurant.

Brandon Jew
San Francisco Chef Brandon Jew

Chinese businesspeople and tourists alike are a booming market for North American hotels. Stephanie Yuen, a Chinese culture expert from Vancouver, Canada, Jonathan Heath, who launched the China Center in New York, and Brandon Jew, who is opening a next-generation restaurant in San Francisco's Chinatown shared cultural tips and recipes to appeal to this new audience.

Darren Tristano of Technomic shared how Millennials experience the hospitality world, with data related to their dining habits when staying in a hotel, among other elements. Beth Scott of Hilton and Susan Terry of Hyatt discussed the evolution of full service in hotels, with programs such as marketplaces and vending machines featuring local foods replacing or adding to room service offerings. They challenged their colleagues to move beyond creating large dining rooms only suitable for breakfast and find ways to retain their customers for more meal experiences throughout the day, becoming competitive on the local dining scene rather than mostly with other hotels.

Operator Panel
The operator's panel

To foster knowledge exchange and interaction, attendees were broken into teams and took part in an ideation session during which they had to increase either banquet or breakfast revenues of an operation by 10 percent. Teams then presented their suggested concepts. More operator-to-operator information was shared during the final panel, as John Washko of Auberge Resorts and Bart Hosmer of Marriott International shared data related to Millennials in their operations. They were joined on the panel by Tristano and Hilton's Dino Michael, for a lively conversation involving the full audience.

We hope that our attendees enjoyed a memorable experience and took back concrete ideas to their operations, and look forward to welcoming another group of influential food, beverage, and hospitality executives to next year's Greystone Flavor Summit, March 11-13, 2015.

View the 2014 Conference Program (919 KB)

View 2014 Presenter Biographies (250 KB)

View 2014 Sponsor Company Biographies (154 KB)

View 2014 Recipes (816 KB)


In Command of Commanders: From Ella to Ti
Lu Brow, Ti Martin, and Carl Schaubhut, Commander's family of restaurants and Café Adelaide
214 KB

New Pairings for Bar Menus: Beer & Cheese
Janet Fletcher, Food Writer
7.6 MB

The Fresh Pork Leg: Carrying Authentic Chinese Preparations with Profit
Stephen Gerike, The National Pork Board
2.4 MB

How to Please Millennials in the Hospitality World
Bart Hosmer, Marriott International
1.1 MB

Consider the Lobster: Blending Innovation and Tradition
Marianne LaCroix, Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative
4.6 MB

Creating Operations with a Sense of Place - and Knowing How and Where to Expand
Barbara Lynch, Barbara Lynch Gruppo
1.1 MB

Coffee: A Tree to Cup Perspective
Rebecca Ott, Sustain Works, LLC
17.8 MB

The Evolution of Full Service
Beth Scott, Hilton, and Susan Terry, Hyatt
1.6 MB

Latest Trends in Kitchen Equipment and Technology
Mark Stech-Novak, Restaurant & Design Consultant
1.7 MB

Millennial Trends in the Hospitality World
Darren Tristano, Technomic
2.4 MB

Protein Trends and New Uses for Lamb Value Cuts
Darren Tristano, Technomic
6.7 MB

How to Please Millennials in the Hospitality World
John Washko, Auberge Resorts
18.9 MB

The Chinese Market in North America
Stephanie Yuen, Columnist/Consultant
1.9 MB

For more information about Flavor Summit, please contact:

For program information, please email:

For sponsorship opportunities:
Shara Orem
Director - Sponsorship Planning and Outreach, Strategic Initiatives and Advancement
(707) 967-2439

For media inquiries:
Jan Stuebing Smyth
Manager - Marketing, Industry Leadership & Advancement
(845) 451-1457