Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Menus of Change: For Change Makers, Live or Online

Advancing the Business of Healthy, Sustainable, and Delicious Food

Hyde Park, NY – For the fourth year, more than 400 executives, experts, and innovators in food, foodservice, health and nutrition, and sustainability will come together for the Menus of Change® leadership summit, which is co-presented by The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Together, the CIA and Harvard are working to create a long-term, practical vision for the integration of optimal nutrition and public health, environmental stewardship and restoration, and social responsibility in the foodservice sector and beyond. The conference will take place at the Marriott Pavilion on the CIA’s main campus in Hyde Park, NY, June 14–16. All conference general sessions will be available to view online via a webcast.

This year’s summit focuses on equipping chefs and other foodservice business leaders with the knowledge, tools, and strategies to make effective and successful changes in their kitchens and in their companies. In particular, operators will gain new understanding of both the business case and the practical steps for offering plant-forward menu options, eliminating antibiotics in the meat supply, and sourcing sustainable seafood choices, including how to navigate various certification programs. The 2016 conference provides an overview and analysis of the latest scientific and policy developments, including the release of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs), menu labeling requirements and what might be next in federal government-led efforts to improve our nation’s food choices, and the implications for the food industry—agriculture, manufacturing, retail, and restaurants—from the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21).

A talented roster of influential chefs—including André Chiang (Restaurant ANDRÉ, Singapore), Andrea Reusing (Lantern and The Durham, Chapel Hill, NC) and Ed Brown (Restaurant Associates, New York City)—will demonstrate plant-forward dishes from the main stage. Leading academics, journalists, and executives will also be featured representing, variously, the business community, nutrition science, environmental and health policy, and sustainability. Additional sessions will focus on changing investor expectations of the foodservice industry and marketing strategies for healthy, sustainable and delicious food.

“At a time when Americans are increasingly shifting their food choices to reflect greater interest in health and sustainability, our nation’s chefs and foodservice operators have never been more engaged, more passionate about re-imagining the future of American menus,” says CIA President Tim Ryan. “Through our Menus of Change partnership with Harvard Chan School, we are committed to helping our industry both build on the very promising innovation we are already seeing as well as become more strategic about accelerating the pace of change.”

The full program schedule and biographies of all the presenters are available on Because the conference has sold out, a webcast makes it possible for more culinary professionals, environmental stewards, healthcare providers, and anyone else interested in these vital issues to hear cutting-edge insights and discussions on issues facing the $780 billion foodservice industry. The webcast will allow free, unlimited access to all of the program’s general sessions from Tuesday, June 14 to Thursday, June 16. All times on the schedule are Eastern Time. Some of the highlights include:

  • June 14 at 4:15 p.m. ET: The opening session with CIA President Tim Ryan and the release of the 2016 Menus of Change Annual Report with Walter Willett (Harvard Chan School), chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Council, and Arlin Wasserman (Changing Tastes), chair of the Sustainable Business Leadership Council
  • June 14 at 4:45 p.m. ET: The opening keynote presentation on the new science of plant forward food choices, the DGAs, and COP21, and the role of changing menus in addressing global challenges, with David Katz (Yale), Robert Lawrence and Roni Neff (Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future), and Walter Willett
  • June 15 at 5 pm ET: A plenary session on fish, seafood, and oceans that shows how competing foodservice companies create value by working together on sustainability issues, with Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly (Seafood Watch), Kathy Cacciola (Aramark), and Amy Keister (Compass Group)
  • June 16 at 8:40 a.m. ET: A plenary session on the business of plant-forward menus and how leading restaurant companies are succeeding at changing what’s on our plates, with Allison Aubrey (NPR), Erik Oberholtzer (Tender Greens), Arik Markus (Rimon, former Brand Chef for True Food Kitchen), and Elizabeth Meltz (Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group).

Several resources are available on the Menus of Change website for additional strategies and information on the issues at the heart of the Menus of Change initiative. These include:

  • The Principles of Healthy, Sustainable Menus, unique guidance for the foodservice industry that brings together findings from nutritional and environmental science on optimal food choices, trends in consumer preferences, and impacts of projected demographic shifts;
  • The State-of-the-Plate Dashboard, a snapshot of the foodservice industry's progress year over year towards improving nutrition, sustainability, and profitability;
  • The Protein Flip, a hybrid infographic/white paper, and its companion toolkit, Protein Plays, on the human and planetary health reasons for re-evaluating the “protein portfolio” on restaurant menus nationwide; and
  • The 2016 Menus of Change Annual Report that will be released on June 14.

Following the conference, the webcast will remain on until next year’s conference, June 20–22, 2017, again at the Marriott Pavilion in Hyde Park. All are invited to join the conversation about healthy, sustainable, delicious food choices throughout the year on Twitter: @CIALeadership and #CIAMOC.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

Because so much of this country’s food is prepared and/or consumed outside the home, chefs and high-volume foodservice leaders are playing an ever-more crucial role in aligning health, sustainability, flavor, and value. (Photo credit: CIA/Keith Ferris)
View hi-res image >

Media Contact:

Jan Smyth
Marketing Manager

About The Culinary Institute of America

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to driving leadership development for the foodservice and hospitality industry, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts; bachelor’s degree majors in management, culinary science, and applied food studies; and executive education through its Food Business School. Its conferences and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, world cuisines & cultures, and professional excellence & innovation. The college also offers certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its worldwide network of 48,000 alumni includes leaders in every area of foodservice and hospitality. The CIA has campuses in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

About the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health brings together dedicated experts from many disciplines to educate new generations of global health leaders and produce powerful ideas that improve the lives and health of people everywhere. As a community of leading scientists, educators, and students from around the world, we work together to take innovative ideas from the laboratory to people’s lives—not only making scientific breakthroughs, but also working to change individual behaviors, public policies, and health care practices to create a healthier world. For more information, visit

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