For the fourth year, more than 400 executives, experts, and innovators in food, foodservice, health and nutrition, and sustainability will come together for the Menus of Change leadership summit, which is co-presented by The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Together, the CIA and Harvard are working to create a long-term, practical vision for the integration of optimal nutrition and public health, environmental stewardship and restoration, and social responsibility in the foodservice sector and beyond. The conference will take place at the Marriott Pavilion on the CIA's main campus in Hyde Park, New York, June 14—16. All conference general sessions will be available to view online via a webcast.
This year's summit focuses on equipping chefs and other foodservice business leaders with the knowledge, tools, and strategies to make effective and successful changes in their kitchens and in their companies. In particular, operators will gain new understanding of both the business case and the practical steps for offering plant-forward menu options, eliminating antibiotics in the meat supply, and sourcing sustainable seafood choices, including how to navigate various certification programs. The 2016 conference provides an overview and analysis of the latest scientific and policy developments, including the release of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs), menu labeling requirements and what might be next in federal government-led efforts to improve our nation's food choices, and the implications for the food industry—agriculture, manufacturing, retail, and restaurants—from the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21).
A talented roster of influential chefs—including André Chiang (Restaurant ANDRÉ, Singapore), Andrea Reusing (Lantern and The Durham, Chapel Hill, North Carolina) and Ed Brown (Restaurant Associates, New York City)—will demonstrate plant-forward dishes from the main stage. Leading academics, journalists, and executives will also be featured representing, variously, the business community, nutrition science, environmental and health policy, and sustainability. Additional sessions will focus on changing investor expectations of the foodservice industry and marketing strategies for healthy, sustainable, and delicious food.
"At a time when Americans are increasingly shifting their food choices to reflect greater interest in health and sustainability, our nation's chefs and foodservice operators have never been more engaged, more passionate about re-imagining the future of American menus," says Tim Ryan, CIA president. "Through our Menus of Change partnership with Harvard Chan School, we are committed to helping our industry both build on the very promising innovation we are already seeing as well as become more strategic about accelerating the pace of change."
Because the conference has sold out, a webcast makes it possible for more culinary professionals, environmental stewards, healthcare providers, and anyone else interested in these vital issues to hear cutting-edge insights and discussions on issues facing the $780 billion foodservice industry. The webcast will allow free, unlimited access to all of the program's general sessions from June 14 to June 16. Some of the highlights include:
June 14 at 4:15 p.m.: The opening session with CIA President Tim Ryan and the release of the 2016 Menus of Change Annual Report with Walter Willett (Harvard Chan School), chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Council, and Arlin Wasserman (Changing Tastes), chair of the Sustainable Business Leadership Council
June 14 at 4:45 p.m. ET: The opening keynote presentation on the new science of plant forward food choices, the DGAs, and COP21, and the role of changing menus in addressing global challenges, with David Katz (Yale), Robert Lawrence and Roni Neff (Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future), and Walter Willett
June 15 at 5 p.m.: A plenary session on fish, seafood, and oceans that shows how competing foodservice companies create value by working together on sustainability issues, with Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly (Seafood Watch), Kathy Cacciola (Aramark), and Amy Keister (Compass Group)
June 16 at 8:40 a.m.: A plenary session on the business of plant-forward menus and how leading restaurant companies are succeeding at changing what's on our plates, with Allison Aubrey (NPR), Erik Oberholtzer (Tender Greens), Arik Markus (Rimon, former Brand Chef for True Food Kitchen), and Elizabeth Meltz (Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group).