Plant-Forward Kitchen

In Pursuit of Deliciousness at the Intersection of Health, Sustainability, and Cultural Discovery

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Global Plant-Forward Culinary Summit

The Culinary Institute of America at Copia
April 29 - May 1, 2020 • Napa Valley, California


Global Plant-Forward Culinary Summit

From April 29 - May 1, 2020 The Culinary Institute of America will stage the 2nd annual 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.

Program Schedule

Through an intensive line-up of general sessions, culinary demonstrations, intimate hands-on kitchen workshops, tastings, and meals, the Global Plant-Forward Culinary Summit will fire up our imaginations and set us on a hunt for plant-forward flavors and ideas to delight our customers. Explore the 2019 schedule.


See who presented at our 2019 Global Plant-Forward Culinary Summit!  Our summit gathered talented chefs, authors, business leaders, and other experts from Mexico, Greece, India, Ghana, Italy, Turkey and across the United States—from New York to California—representing deep insight into culturally-inspired, plant-forward cooking as well as a wide range of approaches to innovation and invention.


About Plant-Forward Kitchen

The Plant-Forward Kitchen, a new education and digital media initiative from The Culinary Institute of America, presents next-generation strategies to re-imagine menus and flavor development in the professional kitchen.  It builds on the vision and evidence base of Menus of Change, a joint initiative of the CIA and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health—Department of Nutrition.  With the relentless pursuit of deliciousness as our North Star, we invite you to join us in this learning community as we work to navigate imperatives of human health, planetary sustainability, cultural diversity, and food system change.

Plant-forward is one of the most significant culinary mega-trends underway in America and in global foodservice. It is changing how chefs think about menu structure, culinary technique, concepts of creativity, staff training priorities, food cost patterns, and the future of consumer preference and values.  Over the next 10 years, the plant-forward juggernaut will transform our expectations of restaurants and away-from-home dining. It is the growing passion of young people—and older generations as well. It is the need of our time.  It is what’s cooking, right now.


What’s in a Name?

Chefs and foodservice operators:  To help communicate with your staff teams, industry colleagues, the media, and customers about distinctions between menu strategies that leverage vegetables and fruits, nuts and legumes, whole grains, and plant-based proteins in leading roles, we’re suggesting some naming protocols.


Olive Oil and the Plant-Forward Kitchen:  Flavor Strategies

Of all the cultural models of healthy, sustainable plant-forward dietary patterns and food systems, the heavily researched traditional Mediterranean Diet stands out for the inspiration it offers to American, Northern European and other global audiences. At the heart of Mediterranean food cultures is the olive oil kitchen. In this white paper, “Olive Oil and the Plant-Forward Kitchen,” we explore what makes the plant parts of the plant-forward Mediterranean kitchen so delicious. And we’ll ask how we might more fully adapt some of these techniques, flavors and other insights to advance plant-forward imperatives beyond the Mediterranean region. This “think piece” on the uptapped potential of the Mediterranean kitchen was written in conjunction with a recent seminar in New York City, “The New Olive Oil Kitchen,” co-presented by The Culinary Institute of America and the International Olive Council. Learn more.