Worlds of Healthy Flavors Asia

Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore


For nearly a decade The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) has collaborated with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – Department of Nutrition to research, plan and stage the highly acclaimed Worlds of Healthy Flavors leadership conference held each year at the CIA's California campus (CIA at Greystone). 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.

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 launch Worlds of Healthy Flavors ASIA November 28-30, 2012, 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.

The three-day, invitation-only leadership conference brought together an audience of over 150 people, including opinion leaders and trendsetters in all sectors of the Singaporean foodservice and hospitality sectors as well as select leaders in the Singaporean medical, healthcare and public health community. The audience also included a number of representatives from the foodservice sector in other countries within Asia, top nutrition scientists, world cuisine experts, nutrition communication and marketing professionals, and government leaders and consumer and trade media.

Sponsors included American Pistachio Growers, American Soybeans Association International Marketing, the California Table Grape Commission, Colavita, Kikkoman, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Raisin Administrative Committee, Unilever Food Solutions, USA Poultry and Egg Export Council, and Vitamix. Epicure Asia, a monthly gourmet lifestyle magazine published in Singapore, participated as a media partner.

The Guest of Honor was Dr. Amy Khor, Minister of State for Health and Manpower in Singapore.

Nutrition science presenters represented Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health– Department of Nutrition, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, International Medical University, Malaysia and Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University, Thailand. Healthier versions of cuisines loved by Singaporeans and others alike were demonstrated by a number of chefs including Yen Koh, Chef Mai Pham, and the chair of the CIA’s Singapore Culinary Advisory Committee, Violet Oon, known for Peranakan cuisine, Alex Poon, who runs the chicken rice stall at Yuhua Hawker Centre and Emmanuel Stroobant, Chef/Owner of a variety of Singaporean restaurants, among many others.


The CIA and HSPH recognize the tremendous challenges that lie ahead for Singaporean chefs and foodservice leaders 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. Black Gram Usli, Chef/Author Devagi Sanmugam, Owner of Epicurean World, a culinary services company, Singapore 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 HSPH are confident that, working collaboratively with our programmatic partners and industry leaders in Singapore, we can significantly support and accelerate already existing efforts in Singapore to advance healthier food choices in light of these challenges and opportunities.

Of equal importance in this effort is the involvement of medical and healthcare leaders in Singapore who, through this program, will learn about Chef Malcom Lee, Chef/Owner, Candlenut, Singapore the most current nutrition research findings and healthy food and culinary insights that can be shared with patients and their families, as well as with hospital foodservice operators.

As with our U.S.-based program, Worlds of Healthy Flavors ASIA not only brings together top nutrition and medical experts from the United States (including representatives of our Scientific Advisory Committee; see attached) and Singapore, but also leading nutrition and public health experts from around Asia that can speak to issues and research in their countries, as well as provide insights on challenges and opportunities with various ethnic populations in Singapore. In addition, CIA chef-instructors and other Asian and Western chefs and culinary experts present healthy cooking and menu strategies that can work to preserve the delicious, celebratory aspects of dining at the same time address a host of public health imperatives.

While the program initially focused on advancing the knowledge and skill sets of the foodservice, hospitality and public health/medical sectors primarily in Singapore, this CIA-HSPH initiative will in subsequent years reach out to select foodservice industry, medical and public health leaders from around Asia who could benefit from this initiative. This will help to position Singapore as the center of learning around the nexus of issues connecting food, cooking, dining, diet, and public health.

 A Message from Health Promotion Board, Singapore: Creating a Healthier Singapore

  • Singapore…food paradise. Known for its culinary delights—from Nasi Lemak and Chilli Crabs to Hainanese Chicken Rice, along with signature dishes from top chefs—restaurants, hawker centres, coffee shops, and 24-hour eateries across the island are selling an array of different dishes.

    However, along with great food comes the tackling of a growing prevalence of health issues due, in part, to unhealthy diets and eating habits. Health Promotion Board (HPB) has determined that it is more important now than ever before for the food services sector in Singapore to work together in improving the nutrition quality of food served to the customers.

    HPB's nutrition initiatives are supported by the latest evidence in nutrition science and focus on the following key components:
    • Increase consumption of fruit and vegetables
    • Increase consumption of whole grains
    • Decrease consumption of saturated fats and eliminate trans fats in the diet
    HPB wants to connect with the chefs, cooks, restaurateurs, and foodservice providers in all types of dining establishments to increase the number of healthier menu choices that are not only delicious, but also cravable, to consumers. To accomplish this goal, HPB is partnering with The Culinary Institute of America, Harvard School of Public Health – Department of Nutrition, and Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore to present the 1st Annual Worlds of Healthy Flavors ASIA Invitational Leadership Conference and Educational Initiative for Foodservice and Healthcare Leaders, at the Raffles City Convention Centre, November 28–30, 2012. This ground-breaking program has been running for eight years in the United States and has been highly successful in bringing chefs together to learn the latest in nutrition science and how to translate it into healthy, cravable offerings for their menus.

  • Read the 2012 conference press release.
  • Presentations