#CIAPlantForward ¦ The Culinary Institute Of America’s Global Plant-Forward Leadership Summit DAY 3.

For the third and final day of The Global Plant-Forward Culinary Summit. Presenters from various sectors of the food hygiene and beverage industry did close out with insights on high-volume R&D also defined a clear plant-forward ethos, and a super unique plant-forward taste-along and “opportunivore challenge.”

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Brad Barnes ‘87 (Director, CIA Consulting) moderated a panel session titled, Plant-Forward Opportunity: Finding Profit in Innovation.
She was joined by discussants like: Chad Brauze (Executive Chef, Culinary and Menu Development, Chipotle), Christina Gutiérrez-Williams (Director of Culinary Development, Thistle) and Evert Vermandel (Lead Innovation Chef, Unilever Food Solutions Global)

Christina said making plant based variety meals was put into consideration when making their menu. It features on the menu as unique meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Her restaurant adopted the subscription model a system where customers rate the meals ordered. From this data is obtained used to improve on their customer service.

Evert (Lead Innovation Chef, Unilever Food Solutions Global) made it known that, bringing in new taste and variety of ingredients will create more sustainability of plant produce. Evert Vermandel also disclosed that “About 75% of the world’s food comes from just 12 plants and 5 animal species, according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization.”

The Lead Innovation Chef, Unilever Food Solutions Global said their ambition at Unilever, is to make more lower sugar products that are equally tasty and healthy.

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Meet the Chef was another insightful breakout session of day 3 where Mimi Williams talked about her path to veganism with Katie Cincotta

The challenge is to make people who have restrictions still have something to eat. Mimi Williams (Executive Chef and Partner, Counterpart Vegan; Los Angeles, CA) was reacting to a statement of consumer’s having a long list of things asked not to eat or things they are allergic to.

However, when asked an alternative to coconut cream Mimi said, puree Tofu is a great addition to cream sauces also onion sauce base.

She further said, making meals more appealing to meat eaters most chefs started out as mimicking meat in plant-based food. Instead in her own restaurant menu waffles, sandwiches was tweaked so as to capture the minds of the consumers. “surprise factor” makes our guest interested and intrigued.

Mimi believes, food should always have a mystery to it, passion, willingness are all involved when making meals. Also, Mimi advised that chefs should let the produce shine and speak for itself. Spotlight the ingredients for what they are. What this does is, It trains your brain to be more creative when planning and tasting plant-forward menus.

The General Session IX Interactive Taste Along and Culinary Demonstration Plant-Forward Taste Along: was the last session to conclude fay 3 of the culinary summit.

In conversation with presenters: Peter Jacobsen (Farmer, Jacobsen Orchards) and Matthew Accarrino ’98 (Chef, SPQR). Emphasis where on the topic Creating Opportunity From What’s Left At The Farmer’s Feet which Jacquelyn Chi (Director of Programs & Special Projects, Strategic Initiatives, CIA) moderated.

Attendees got a firsthand glimpse into the collaborative innovation of a farmer and a Michelin-starred chef. A tour around ingredients and the farm was also done for attendees to see what’s growing currently on the farm. Attendees were given a shopping list for the taste-along ahead of time. Which the creative chef and farmer discussed and explained how to approach many of the farm produce.

The 4th annual global plant-forward culinary summit is said to be coming up in April 26-28, 2022. CIA at Copia, Napa Valley.


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