Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

To Find the Next Big Idea—reThink Food

Conference Draws Food, Design, and Technology Innovators

Napa, CA – Food, technology, and design touch each of our lives every day. And, the link between the three is becoming even stronger. For the past four years, The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in collaboration with MIT Media Lab have convened reThink Food®, a three-day event that gathers innovators from across the food, design, technology, and media sectors. This year’s conference will be held November 1–3 at the CIA at Copia in the Napa Valley. The thought-provoking program is designed to help leaders drive change in an uncertain future, as well as better understand likely short-term impacts of long-range, highly disruptive trends.

“In just the first half of this year alone, we’ve seen everything from e-commerce giants purchasing brick and mortar food powerhouses to self-driving pizza delivery cars, and a continued shift toward plant-forward menus and increasing aspiration for a more sustainable food supply,” said Greg Drescher, vice president of strategic initiatives and industry leadership at the CIA. “Our appliances and gadgets can now anticipate our needs and compile our grocery lists, and there is a continued exploration of the role of design in how we choose and consume our food. reThink Food will help leaders understand the current intersection of food and technology and prepare for what’s next—the challenges and opportunities that will define our industry in the next few years and beyond.”

Confirmed presenters include: Michiel Bakker, Google; Ali Bouzari, Pilot R+D; Kyle Connaughton, Singlethread Farm-Restaurant-Inn; Debra Dunn, FEED Collaborative/Stanford University d. school; Danielle Gould, Food+Tech Connect; Gerd Leonhardt, The Future Agency; Lynda Deakin, IDEO, and John Foraker, Once Upon a Farm.

Sessions will provide insight into topics such as rapid product creation, consumer values and corporate citizenship in the age of consolidation, harnessing digital innovation to thrive, mapping out the future across the next five, 10, and 20 years, and much more.

Visit to view the full list of presenters, program schedule, and to register.

Photo Caption:

The Culinary Institute of America’s annual reThink Food conference, in collaboration with MIT Media Lab, brings food, design, and technology innovators to the CIA at Copia in Napa, CA, November 1–3, 2017.

Media Contact:

Amanda Secor
Senior Manager—Marketing Communications

About The Culinary Institute of America:
Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to developing leaders in foodservice and hospitality, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers bachelor’s degrees in management, culinary arts, culinary science, and applied food studies, and associate degrees in either culinary arts or baking and pastry arts. The college also offers executive education through its Food Business School along with certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences, leadership initiatives, and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of nearly 50,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food business. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore..

About the MIT Media Lab:
Actively promoting a unique, anti-disciplinary culture, the MIT Media Lab goes beyond known boundaries and disciplines, encouraging the most unconventional mixing and matching of seemingly disparate research areas. It creates disruptive technologies that happen at the edges, pioneering such areas as wearable computing, tangible interfaces, and affective computing. Today, faculty members, research staff, and students at the Lab work in 25 research groups on more than 350 projects, from digital approaches for treating neurological disorders, to social assistive robots, to advanced imaging technologies that can “see around a corner.” The Lab is committed to looking beyond the obvious to ask the questions not yet asked whose answers could radically improve the way people live, learn, express themselves, work, and play. For more information, visit

# # #

Contact Us

Media Relations
1946 Campus Drive
Hyde Park, NY 12538-1499
Phone: 845-451-1457