Summit Overview

From April 29 - May 1, 2020, The Culinary Institute of America will stage the 2nd annual gathering of the Global Plant-Forward Culinary Summit. Held at the CIA’s Copia campus in Napa Valley, California, it will welcome 300 chefs, foodservice operators, and experts in food, flavor development, cooking, agriculture and food production, media, and food system transformation from around the world.


The Global Plant-Forward Culinary Summit is a special-edition CIA strategic leadership conference inspired by the college’s long-running Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival as well as Menus of Change, a joint initiative of the CIA and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition. The summit will be wall-to-wall cooking, tastings, and culinary strategy discussion—all based on the evidence-based framework of optimal innovation embodied in the 24 Principles of Healthy, Sustainable Menus of the CIA-Harvard Chan School Menus of Change Initiative. It will also be underpinned by such related resources as the 2019 Menus of Change Annual Report and the Menus of Change Protein Flip.

The summit will feature innovative chefs and masters of traditional cuisines from the Mediterranean and Europe to Asia, Latin America, and Africa and from across the United States, plus sector experts from fast casual to university dining and healthcare. Featured chefs will include those whose work is highlighted in the Plant-Forward Global 50, a joint initiative of the CIA and the EAT Foundation, summarized by The Washington Post with its headline, “The World’s 50 Best Places to Eat Your Vegetables.”

A strong focus on innovation will build on the CIA’s targeted development and incubation of The Blend (blended meat-mushroom burgers) and more recent Pulses of Change initiative (elevating legumes as plant protein), and will ask: what other iconic, transformational menu items and menu categories are waiting to be developed and brought to market?

It will take many paths to get us to a health-promoting, environmentally sustainable food system for the planet in the coming years; accordingly, the summit will invite dialogues between chefs, tech innovators, and manufacturers as well. And we’ll have a special focus on the produce industry, and how chefs can better collaborate with growers to add more produce-centric deliciousness to our tables.

Copia’s new 9,000 square-foot Hestan Kitchen

Copia’s new 9,000 square-foot Hestan Kitchen

Participating chefs and culinary experts on the operations side of our industry and other professionals will also have access to special hands-on, flavor discovery, and culinary insight sessions in CIA at Copia’s new 9,000 square-foot Hestan Kitchen. The summit will utilize the whole of Napa-based CIA at Copia with its world-class culinary and other facilities, including the Copia gardens, live fire kitchens, and olive tree-shaded terraces overlooking the Napa River.

Please join us for a high-energy, high-flavor, immersive culinary odyssey and series of strategic dialogues at the intersection of sustainability, health, and the future of American and global menus in the Napa Valley. Flavor hunters welcome!