The Culinary Institute of America’s annual Worlds of Flavor® International Conference & Festival is widely acknowledged as our country’s premier forum on world cuisines and culinary flavor trends for foodservice, beverage and hospitality industry professionals.

Over the years, the program has become a “must attend” for leading chefs, corporate menu decision-makers, foodservice management executives, suppliers, journalists and other professionals—and always sells out many months in advance. The gathering is the college’s annual flagship conference, and every November literally transforms the Napa Valley campus into an amazing crossroads of world food and culture.

At a time when Spain can arguably claim to be the hot culinary destination in Europe—and Spanish foods and wines are increasingly finding a place at the American table—Americans are still only beginning to grasp the depth and breadth of these flavors and traditions, both as they exist in Spain and as they have mixed with other cultures around the world.

SPAIN AND THE WORLD TABLE: Regional Traditions, Invention and Exchange will bring together a conference faculty of more than 50 top chefs, food writers, winemakers, food producers and other experts from Spain, countries that have been influenced by Spain, and from across the United States. This prestigious guest conference faculty will lead seminars, conduct tastings and demonstrations, collaborate on special meals, and participate in the colorful World Marketplace held in Greystone’s historic 15,000 square foot Barrel Room.

The conference program will reflect the interplay of three broad themes:

Regional Traditions: We’ll explore the best of regional Spain, from Catalonia and the Basque Country to Galicia and from Valencia and Madrid to Andalusia. From regional wines and mountain cheeses to olive oils, piquillo peppers, Serrano ham and a host of other artisanal food products, we’ll consider the elements of quality and style in this world of Spanish food and wine traditions. At the same time, we’ll see and learn from a number of Spain’s top chefs that continue to be inspired by regional traditions, and the possibilities for adaptation.

Invention: At the same time our 2006 Worlds of Flavor Conference will honor the timeless traditions of Spain, it will celebrate the frontiers of flavor and technique being cooked up in Spain’s most creative kitchens. In some cases breaking the boundaries of regional Spanish cooking—and in other cases shattering our ideas of what cooking can be about in any world context—this culinary movement is firing up the imagination of chefs throughout Spain, Europe and the Americas, and we’ll hear from many of the best of them.

We’ll also taste our way through exciting innovations in the Spanish wine sector, and see why top critics are calling Spanish wine the Next Big Thing! Top Spanish winemakers will be on hand to share their vision of what we can expect in the years ahead from the top vineyards of Spain.

Exchange: From the Columbian Exchange that began at the end of the 15th century to the present day, Spain has contributed mightily to the world table. In this part of the conference, we’ll review the broad strokes of this exchange, then consider the legacy of the exchange—and where this heritage is likely to take us in the future—in menus from Mexico City and Lima, Peru to a host of American cities from Miami to Los Angeles.

We’ll also consider the impact of the exchange between the foods and traditions of Spain and those of the rest of the ancient and modern Mediterranean—and the role that this exchange played in creating what we know today as the healthful Mediterranean diet.

But above all else, SPAIN AND THE WORLD TABLE: Regional Traditions, Invention and Exchange, is about a gathering of world-class talent—talent that will give attending American chefs, foodservice operators and beverage professionals an unparalleled immersion into the exciting and complex world of Spanish and Spanish-influenced food, wine and cooking.


 

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