Flavor, Quality and American Menus 2018

Napa Valley, CA

2018 Flavor, Quality & American Menus Program Summary

The 2018 program schedule included:

  • The exciting and interactive opening Market Basket exercise, where attendees were divided into four teams to each develop an innovative pop-up concept that would resonate particularly well with diners in specific regions of the United States and that featured delicious new menu ideas using sponsor products. Given the importance of moving away from the foodservice and restaurant industry’s current reliance on single-use plastics (straws, lids, utensils, etc.), teams took the bonus challenge of sustainable packaging to new heights, with strategies from avocado shell bowls and Napa cabbage wraps to rosemary toothpicks.
  • Themes from analysis offered by the University of California, Davis about the major potential disruptors that could affect the food system in the 21st century—from trade policy, antibiotic resistance, and invasive pests and diseases to food system informatics like blockchain, acquisitions and plant-based alternatives, and the biotechnology/biology revolution that is shaping our understanding of everything from plant sciences to the soil and gut microbiomes.
  • Culinary demonstrations highlighting four distinct regional American cuisines, and presentations and panel discussions focused on topics including: consumer insights about the menu economics of higher-quality produce, overcoming supply chain constraints to boost diversity and seasonality (deliciously), regenerative agriculture (what it is and why you should care), case studies in supply chain innovation and vertical integration, and the role of technology in shaping the future of farming.
  • A field trip throughout Sonoma County that included farm tours and select tastings at Mulas Dairy, Sunrise Eggs, and McEvoy Ranch.

Attendees at the 2018 retreat included: 38 volume foodservice operators from chain restaurants, contract foodservice companies, retail prepared foods divisions, and colleges and universities; 26 presenters including guest chefs from San Francisco, CA; Columbus, OH; Nashville, TN; and Princeton, NJ; and sponsor representatives from the 16 companies and organizations that supported the event.

FQAM 2019 will be held on September 10 - 12 at The Culinary Institute of America at Copia.



Past Conferences

Flavor, Quality and American Menus 2017

Flavor, Quality and American Menus 2016

Flavor, Quality and American Menus 2015

Flavor, Quality and American Menus 2014



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  • Alaska Seafood
  • Gardein
  • Udi’s
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  • Northarvest Bean Growers logo
  • Schuman Logo
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  • Sysco_Logo-web


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  • Okanagan Specialty Fruits
  • Perfect Purée of Napa Valley
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  • Spread the Mustard

Research Partner

  • Datassential
For information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

For information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

Jen Luna
Associate Director – Sponsorship

(707) 967-2498