The Greystone Flavor Summit 2014

Flavor Summit 2016: March 9-11, 2016
The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone


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.

The presenters and panelists of this ninth edition of the conference thoroughly and candidly covered the latest in food and beverage trends and business strategies, along with some of the elements that are part of the successes and challenges of their operations. We talked sweet and savory menu ideas, pairing food with wine, cider, or shrubs, new models for multi-use operations and pastry shops, live fire cooking and 21st century barbecue, ancestral traditions, and lots of new ideas for meat and seafood preparations. 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.

Gillian Helquist
Gillian Helquist, fermentation crafter and food and beverage manager for Healdsburg SHED, demonstrates one of the shrubs she offers at SHED's fermentation bar.

Keynote speaker Cindy Daniel, co-owner of SHED in Healdsburg, California, explained how she and her husband decided to complete the food cycle they had begun with their farm, HomeFarm (where they produce organic fruits, vegetables, and wines) by opening a multi-use space comprising a café, market, and store that support local farmers, producers, and artisans. They seek to promote a more food-based agriculture, while also functioning as a space for their community to gather, from morning to evening, around food and activities. One of the unique features of SHED is a fermentation bar, where food and beverage manager and fermentation crafter Gillian Helquist offers an assortment of shrubs (fermented concoctions of fruit juices, sugar, and vinegar) and low-alcohol cocktails called shims. She demonstrated a Meyer lemon and coastal fennel champagne vinegar shrub, which attendees also tasted that evening.

Tim Rattray
Tim Rattray of The Granary in San Antonio, TX talks about his modern take on barbecue and demonstrates a smoked cauliflower risotto.

As presenters described the ways in which they are interpreting traditions from their regions with 21st century creative and business models, examples of breaking the molds appeared both literally and figuratively. William Werner, whose contemporary pastry shop in San Francisco, Craftsman and Wolves, has received national acclaims for its innovative sweet and savory creations, demonstrated how he uses traditional molds to come up with new presentations for classics such as tartlets and Taiwanese fruit cakes—complete with tasting—inviting all to look at objects of our trades with new eyes to expand our creative possibilities. In San Antonio, Texas, Tim Rattray of The Granary offers barbecue in its traditional form at lunch, accompanied with beers brewed by his brother, while at night the chef uses barbecue techniques for plated dishes that also utilize modernist techniques and technologies. He demonstrated a cauliflower risotto made by cooking rice in smoked cauliflower stock, into which cauliflower cream is then added. Pieces of a gel made with his brother's IPA are then folded into the risotto, which is garnished with dehydrated cauliflower chips and grated "sea truffles," which consist of scallops brined and soaked in bourbon that are then cold smoked and dehydrated.

Mark Liberman
Mark Liberman talks about live fire cooking in a restaurant setting.

Mark Liberman of TBD and AQ in San Francisco talked about live fire applications in an indoor restaurant setting and the use of smoke as a condiment, to not offer a menu of more than 20 items that all share a uniform flavor.

Nephi Craig, of the White Mountain Apache tribe, explained the role that ancestral taste and ancestral health play in indigenous foods found in the many Native American micro regions found throughout the continent. Food is used as a form of indigenous decolonization and a mean of peaceful resistance. Dishes are used to celebrate the end or beginning of a season, returning to the earth what was borrowed from it, along with many other ancestral rituals.

To foster knowledge exchange and interaction, attendees were broken into teams and took part in an ideation session where they worked on real-life challenges submitted by their peers. Teams then presented their suggested solutions. More operator-to-operator information was shared during the final panel, as Steve Byrne of Tavistock Restaurants, Brad Nelson of Marriott International, and Sebastien Silvestri of Venetian and the Palazzo) discussed the ways in which their operations are increasing their sustainability. The audience joined them for a lively discussion.

Larry Forgione
Larry Forgione gives a tour of the CIA
Student Farm at Charles Krug Winery.

The panel was informed in part by sessions earlier that afternoon, from Doug Zeif of Next! Hospitality Advisors who talked about investment trends, to Arlin Wasserman of Changing Tastes who discussed menu developments with a sustainable framework, and Andrew Shakman of LeanPath who discussed what operators can do to reduce pre-consumer food waste. Daily measurements of what happens in an operation is key, Shakman stated, and has proven an efficient solution for businesses that create such data collecting systems; as is, 4 to 10 percent of food is thrown out before it reaches the plate, amounting to $9 to $23 billion every year. American consumption trends shared earlier in the conference by Harry Balzer of NPD Group also resonated in the various questions and comments heard.

From the wine regions of Chile and the pastures of Australia to the coasts of Maine and Louisiana and the steakhouses of Miami, along with new dim sum ideas featuring pork, the conference's top-level partners shared illuminating presentations that inspired all in attendance with new ideas for their menus.

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 9-11, 2016.

View the 2015 Conference Program (919 KB)

View 2015 Presenter Biographies (250 KB)

View 2015 Sponsor Company Biographies (154 KB)

View 2015 Recipes (816 KB)


The Grass-Fed Phenomenon: Naturally Connecting with Today's Guest
Aaron Brooks, Four Seasons Miami
214 KB

Mixed Models of Hospitality: From Café to Fermentation Bar
Cindy Daniel, SHED
2.4 MB

Chile: A Perfect Pairing of Quality and Innovation
Fred Dexheimer, Wines of Chile
1.1 MB

Live-Fire Cooking, California Style
Mark Liberman '98, TBD Restaurant
4.6 MB

A 2015 Take on Barbecue: From Pit to Tasting Menu
Tim Rattray, The Granary
1.1 MB

Waste Management: Strategies for the Hospitality World
Andrew Shakman, Lean Path
17.8 MB

Grill Chat: Cultivating the Perfect Dining Experience with the Perfect Steak
Peter Vauthy, Red the Steakhouse
1.6 MB

Sustainable Menu Development: Opportunities for High-Volume Operations
Arlin Wasserman, Changing Tastes
1.7 MB

Breaking the Mold: Using Conventional Molds in Unconventional Ways
William Werner, Craftsman and Wolves
2.4 MB

Investment Perspectives on Hotel Funding Trends
Doug Zeif, Next! Hospitality Advisors
6.7 MB

For more information about Flavor Summit, please email:


Download a Conference Overview


Download Conference Recipes


Photo Gallery


National Pork Board


Wines of Chile


Certified Angus Beef

Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board

Maine Lobster

True Aussie Beef & Lamb


B&W Quality Growers, Inc.


Smithfield Farmland Foodservice Group


Barilla America


Kikkoman Sales USA, Inc.

Libbey Foodservice

Rhone Valley Wines

Richard Ginori 1735

Steelite International America

Unilever Food Solutions


Bigelow Specialty & Novus Full Leaf Teas

Kraft Foods Group

Swiss Chalet Fine Foods

Texas Pete


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