Worlds of Healthy Flavors AsiaThe Culinary Institute of America, Singapore
For over a decade The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) has collaborated with the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH)—Department of Nutrition to research, plan and stage the highly acclaimed Worlds of Healthy Flavors leadership conference held each year at the CIA at Greystone in Napa Valley, California. This ground-breaking, by-invitation-only program brings together America’s most influential high-volume foodservice chefs, leading nutrition scientists, and various world cuisines and other culinary experts to advance healthier food choices in American foodservice.
The American chefs and foodservice operators that are invited and attend this event each year – drawn from various high-volume sectors including hotels and resorts, chain restaurants, universities, schools and hospital foodservice – collectively shape the menus that impact the daily food choices for tens of millions of Americans. This initiative has had considerable, positive impact in the United States on increasing presence in the volume foodservice sector of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish, nuts and legumes, healthier oils, and other healthy foods. The CIA-Harvard program has been especially effective in educating American foodservice industry leaders on the urgent need to replace trans fats with healthier, unsaturated fats.
With the success of this program and the launch of The Culinary Institute of America and its degree programs in Singapore, the CIA and Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health—Department of Nutrition were proud to host Worlds of Healthy Flavors ASIA in 2012 and 2013, at Raffles City Convention Centre in Singapore, in partnership with Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, and Health Promotion Board, Singapore (HPB).
The 2015 Worlds of Healthy Flavors ASIA program, An Invitational Culinary Design Experience, was held on the Singapore campus of the CIA, located at Temasek Polytechnic. The program, a collaboration between the CIA and HPB, was designed to be a smaller, interactive culinary design experience, focused on practical strategies for reducing calories in favorite dishes without sacrificing flavor and appeal. A hands-on culinary workshop was included for the participants, who were invited Singaporean chefs and foodservice decision makers and opinion leaders.
As with the U.S. based program, Worlds of Healthy Flavors ASIA brought together a top nutrition expert and selected chefs to present healthy cooking and menu strategies that can work to preserve the delicious, celebratory aspects of dining while at the same time addressing a host of public health imperatives.
Program supporters included Temasek Polytechnic, Nestlé Professional, and Gallo Family Vineyards.
The nutrition science was Pamela Smith, RDN, of Shaping America’s Plate and healthier versions of cuisines loved by Singaporeans and others alike were demonstrated by Chef Toni Sakaguchi, Associate Dean of The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone and Chef Malcolm Lee, Chef-Owner of Candlenut restaurant in Singapore. Other presenters included Greg Drescher, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives of The Culinary Institute of America, and Vasha Azoor, Director, Client Business Partner for Singapore and Malaysia for Nielsen.
The program also included a panel discussion with Dennis Hipolito of YUM!, Andew Khoo of ABR Holdings, Anna Lim of The Soup Spoon, and Chef Nam Q. Nguyen of NamNam Noodle Bar.
Facing Health Challenges through Nutrition Education
The CIA and HPB recognize the tremendous challenges that lie ahead for chefs and foodservice leaders operating in Singapore and throughout Asia in successfully developing and promoting healthier food choices, and working to avert high rates of type II diabetes and other diet-linked chronic diseases for the Singaporean population.
At the same time, American, European and other international travelers coming to Singapore are increasingly looking for delicious, healthy food—both Asian and Western. This is an opportunity to satisfy a new set of food preferences for international travelers that Singaporean chefs and foodservice leaders cannot afford to ignore.
The CIA and HPB have been committed to working collaboratively with our programmatic partners and industry leaders in Singapore, to support and accelerate already existing efforts in Singapore to advance healthier food choices in light of these challenges and opportunities.
Quotes from Presenters and Attendees
"The partnership between The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard has produced some of the most meaningful changes in what we eat. The CIA and Harvard have identified key nutrition science findings for the food industry and translated them into practical advice for business and culinary professionals." - Walter Willett MD, DrPH, Chair, Dept. of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health
"HPB is committed to create the best possible environments for Singaporeans to become healthier together. To achieve this, HPB will provide Singaporeans with the necessary information and options to create a healthy lifestyle. The establishment of the Centre of Excellence for Nutrition will forge partnerships among research and educational institutions, public agencies and the food industry and be at the forefront of consumption trends and drive development of new healthier food solutions. Our participation in the Worlds of Healthy Flavors ASIA Leadership Initiative is testimony to our efforts of promoting health and wellness in the region." - Ang Hak Seng, Former Chief Executive Officer, Health Promotion Board, Singapore
"Healthy menus are what we are looking for in the future, and the information I gained today was quite relevant to our company goals." - Vickey Lee, KFC, Fast Food innovation