Flavor Summit 2019Napa Valley, CA
2019 Flavor Summit Program Summary
The Culinary Institute of America’s Flavor Summit brings
together each spring a select group of top food and beverage executives,
corporate and executive chefs from leading hotel, resort, casino, and cruise
line companies to explore, discuss, and taste their way through a stimulating,
critical set of flavor and related kitchen, dining, and hospitality management
To provide the audience with state-of-the art business
strategies and inspiration, presentations included a keynote on the history of
hospitality by Luke Barr, author of Ritz
& Escoffier, and former features editor for Travel + Leisure; Geetika Agrawal, program director at La Cocina, a
food business incubator in the San Francisco Bay Area, presenting on successes
in investing in diverse sources of talent and culinary inspiration; how to
update and adapt food waste prevention SOPs for millennial and Generation Z
team members by Ned Barker of Grill Ventures International; learnings from
neuroscientific research on food and travel experiences by Mario Ubiali of
Thimus; how the proliferation of food sources impacts the competitive landscape
for foodservice by Michael Schaefer of Euromonitor; and the latest design
trends in restaurants presented by James Biber of Biber Architects. Mark
Erickson ’77, provost of the CIA, also used the gathering as an opportunity to
get direct feedback on models of hospitality training currently being developed
by the CIA.
William Dissen ’03, chef-owner of three restaurants in
North Carolina, presented operational strategies for using sustainable seafood.
The beverage world was also well represented, with Lee Campbell leading a
guided tasting of natural wines, tying this movement into consumer demand for
natural, organic, and sustainable dining; and Julie Reiner, co-owner of
Flatiron Lounge, The Clover Club, Leyenda, and Pegu Club, and Shannon Ponche,
head bartender at Leyenda, demonstrating how to build a an effective and
engaging zero ABV cocktail menu.
Michael Ponzio, executive chef of Medinah Country Club, discussed
“sous vide cue” techniques to incorporate global barbecue into any culinary
operation thanks to Smithfield Foods; and Chef Shola Olunloyo demonstrated two
staples of Nigerian cuisine in a session sponsored by B&W Quality Growers.
Operators contributed their own insights throughout the
retreat, particularly in a panel discussion featuring Brad Nelson ’84 of
Marriott Hotels, Fernando Salazar of Interstate Hotels, and Matt Meidinger of
Kimpton Hotels discussing ideas for using F&B in non-traditional ways to
increase revenue. Michael Costa of Hotel
F&B magazine moderated the panel, and Christine Yi of CY Eats
contributed her perspective as a social media influencer on how to best capture
the full experience of F&B for an online audience.
All this took place against the background of the CIA’s
beautiful new Copia facility in downtown Napa, with more than 40 operators in
attendance representing such companies as Intercontinental Hotels Group,
Marriot International, Entertainment Cruises, the Taj Group of Hotels, Walt
Disney Company, and Nordstrom.
Join us March 11-13, 2020 for the next Flavor Summit!