Copenhagen, Tokyo, Paris, Mexico City, Sydney, New York, Istanbul, Lima, Singapore, Barcelona, San Francisco, London—when thinking about menu concepts, dishes, and flavor profiles, we increasingly turn our adventurous palates to multiple centers of global influence to complement the best of local sourcing and seasonal ingredients. Chefs visit each other's kitchens both literally and virtually, making use of airplanes and social media interchangeably to gain access to other food cultures and culinary spaces, in turn sharing everything from photos to fragments of their creative process with their colleagues, customers, and the media.
In this 16th edition of The Culinary Institute of America's Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival, we will use four intersecting thematic areas—Information Technology, Creativity, Culinary Science, and Millennial Appetites—to discover how our most inspired chefs leverage change and global touch points to build community and success around their culinary vision.
Connectedness and creativity are perhaps even more essential in times of economic uncertainty, when it's critical to be relentless in pursuit of memorable experiences for our customers. Wider, more global perspectives—whether probing centuries-old traditions, exploring the frontiers of culinary science, hunting down new ingredients, or re-inventing culinary favorites—can help restaurants and operations at all levels remain competitive.
Join us, November 14–16, 2013, as we look at the techniques, creative processes, flavors, technologies (both informational and operational), and ingredients that are increasingly essential to the 21st century chef's toolkit.
Information Technology: Kitchens Connected, Connected Chefs
To be a chef today means to be plugged into local communities, national networks, and global conversations. Chefs in Spain look to the kitchens of Tokyo and Kyoto as part of re-imagining their regional traditions. Chefs from New York to California exchange ideas over the web as they re-invent Moroccan and Southeast Asian flavors. In Lima and Mexico City, chefs from Latin America and beyond gather at international conferences and forge new professional bonds that expand the creative space in which they work. And within major metro areas, chefs reach deeper into local, ethnic, and immigrant neighborhoods in pursuit of menu innovation.
Global and regional chef connections often result in an exchange of flavor insights, but such connections might also be more focused on sharing techniques—or something less tangible. Increasingly, culinary philosophies are being incubated in highly personal, globally conscious ways that could only happen in this current, hyper-connected age of information and social networking technologies. A single YouTube video or real-time webcast, transporting us to a restaurant or village kitchen thousands of miles away, can alter the culinary aspirations of a chef in an instant.
Information technology has shortened distances between chefs and their customers, who can now communicate directly with those diners without media or public relations intermediaries. Chefs can also build their own communities of support online thanks to Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, just as crowd-sourced reviews from Yelp, Zagat, and others have undercut the established critics who used to have the power to make or break a restaurant.
From fine dining to fast casual and campus dining, this gives operators an unprecedented opportunity to directly build on customer insights, share culinary vision, and tell the stories of the people behind the scenes—from cooks to trusted growers—that shape the food experience every day.
Kitchens Connected will explore the thinking and approaches of leading chefs around the world as they seize opportunities inherent in our information technology revolution to create new networks of collaboration and support, and new pathways of inspiration and expression. We'll hear stories about riffs on exchange—and taste the results—from chefs who draw on global connections and eclectic influences in their search for critical and commercial success.
Creativity: Art & Process
Creativity goes beyond the gathering of information and networking: It really starts with openness of mind and curiosity of spirit. Today, the best of professional cooking from London to New York and Chicago to Singapore is all about possibility—questioning everything while still respecting tradition. But if the whole world is ours for the taking, how do we balance restraint, coherence, and adventure all in the same menu—or the same dish?
In casual dining, multi-unit operations and institutional foodservice, creativity means something very different than it does in fine dining. At lower menu price points, especially those that encourage everyday dining, creativity with smaller protein portions, flavor strategies that effectively bridge the new and the familiar, "stealth health" techniques, and in general, doing less with more, is often the challenge. And in all foodservice settings—high and low—creativity is as much welcome on the design, beverage, and hospitality fronts as it is in the food and cooking.
At Kitchens Connected, chefs from some of the world's top kitchens will invite us into their creative process, sharing how they conduct research and exchange ideas with their peers around the world—whether they speak the same language or not–and carve out time and space to develop new dishes, and even new techniques. We will discuss strategies for innovation and flavor development appropriate to a variety of foodservice sectors, and open our minds as much as our palates to new approaches to discovery and creativity.
Culinary Science: Beyond Foam & Spherification
Food, science, and the culinary arts are intersecting more than ever in the 21st century, as the profession of the chef continues to evolve. From the impact of Ferran Adria's elBulli legacy to the publication of the groundbreaking Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking in 2011, chefs today increasingly understand the opportunities presented by a methodical approach to the creative and cooking processes.
If the fruits of culinary science have dazzled diners in top, international restaurants, the real potential of the field is to dramatically transform volume foodservice in the years ahead. In an era of prolonged economic constraints culinary science—in the hands of talented chefs—can bring the excitement of fine dining to casual price points.
Kitchens Connected will explore this potential of culinary science to advance our industry, and thereby help secure its future. We will consider both newly invented technologies as well as very ancient ones—such as fire and roasting—that are getting a fresh look. We'll peer into the future of menu R&D, examine potential synergies between foodservice and CPG corporate R&D, and discover the "kitchen of the future" from varied sector viewpoints. And we'll ask, from food safety to flavor development to labor strategies: how can culinary science make us better chefs and operators?
Creative Disruption: Millennial Appetites and the Future of Dining
Millennials—the generation born between 1981 and 2000–have come of age in a time of great culinary diversity. Their childhood dinners were as likely to include sushi as mac and cheese, while salsa became their condiment of choice. It's a generation that dines out—a lot—and demands variety in dining styles as well as flavors.
Millennials are the most educated and the most diverse generation in terms of attitudes and appetites; they grew up with expanded horizons and unobstructed potentials. They have moved far beyond the old "day part" menu framework of our industry to become a generation of 24/7 snackers and flavor seekers. They also care about social responsibility, and think about food choices in that context. Millennials want to feel good about what they purchase, demand corporate transparency, and expect answers to all their food sourcing questions—along with locations of the nearest coffeehouses—from their favorite apps.
As we gather for Kitchens Connected, we'll ask: how should we cook for this hungry, curious generation rich in food knowledge and aspiration? How do we satisfy their closely held values? What does the latest research tell us about the evolving Millennial world view of food?
|The Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival: A 16-Year Tradition|
The Culinary Institute of America's Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival is widely acknowledged as our country's most influential professional forum on world cuisines, food cultures, and flavor trends.
Each November, the Worlds of Flavor conference welcomes more than 60 guest chefs and other expert presenters from around the world and across the United States to the college's historic Napa Valley campus to explore the best of world cuisines that are reshaping American palates and our industry. Now in its 16th year, this annual gathering of professionals has become a "must attend" for leading chefs, corporate menu decision-makers, foodservice management executives, suppliers, and media.
Don't miss Kitchens Connected, as we explore how creativity, innovation, and appetites of discovery course through and connect kitchens around the world.
|Attendance & Registration|
Total attendance for the Worlds of Flavor conference is limited to 700 senior-level chefs, independent and chain restaurant operators, university and contract foodservice managers, hotel food & beverage directors, foodservice manufacturers, foodservice marketing experts, wine and other beverage producers and distributors, supermarket foodservice operators, educators, world cuisine experts, and other influential foodservice industry professionals from the United States and around the world.
Join us for this seminal event in American foodservice as we go on this incredible, global flavor odyssey.
For more information about sponsoring Worlds of Flavor, please contact:
(Please note, Shara will be out on maternity leave until September, 2013)
For program information, please contact:
Anne E. McBride
For media inquiries, please contact:
Jan Stuebing Smyth