More than 700 chefs and culinary professionals will gather November 14–16, 2013 for the 16th annual Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone in Napa Valley. This year's theme, Kitchens Connected, will revolve around four topics of interest that drive today's successful restaurants:
- Millennial appetites: What does this new generation of diners want to eat, and how do we attract, and most importantly, retain them?
- Creativity: What inspires the world's best chefs, both in their own backyard and around the globe, and what strategies do they have to share with other culinary professionals?
- Culinary science: How can a scientific approach, using both science-based methodologies and techniques, help all chefs in their jobs?
- Information technology: How has technology changed how we connect globally among professionals and with our consumers?
"At this year's conference," says Greg Drescher, vice president of strategic initiatives and industry leadership for the CIA, "we'll explore how the joining of information technology, culinary science, and the imperatives of creativity—an already lively intersection—take an 'on-steroids' turn when we factor in the impact of Millennials on our industry, and on food in America, in coming years."
The program is designed to encourage discussions about creative processes and the sharing of techniques, and to discover new flavor profiles and take advantage of technologies (informational and operational)—all essential parts of the 21st century chef's toolkit. It includes demonstrations, tastings, seminars, workshops, and presentations from 60 culinary experts from around the world who represent trend-setters and innovators such as:
- Stuart Brioza, chef-owner of State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, winner of the 2013 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant
- André Chiang, chef-owner of Restaurant André in Singapore, No. 5 on the 2013 Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list
- Alexandre Gauthier, is at the helm of his restaurant La Grenouillère in the north of France, representing a new generation of French cooking
- Thomas Keller, chef/owner of the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group will share what continues to inspire his creative process at the French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon and his other restaurants
- Virgilio Martinez, chef/owner of Central restaurants in Lima and London, showcasing the next wave of Latin cuisines whose inspiration is deeply rooted in Peru's landscape
- Claus Meyer, head of the Meyer Group, launched the New Nordic Cuisine movement, is co-owner of Noma, and is now working on creating a similar movement in Bolivia
- Nathan Myhrvold, co-founder of Intellectual Ventures, author of Modernist Cuisine, Modernist Cuisine at Home, and The Photography of Modernist Cuisine
- Josep Roca, sommelier at El Celler de Can Roca, which is No. 1 in the 2013 World's 50 Best Restaurants, produced by the U.K.'s Restaurant magazine
- Kunio Tokuoka, chef/owner of restaurant Kitcho in Kyoto, widely recognized as one of the world's finest examples of Japanese cuisine