Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Worlds of Flavor® to Celebrate the Foods, Cultures, Impact, and Innovation of Africa and its Diaspora

Renowned Chefs, Scholars to Headline November Food Industry Leadership Conference and Festival in Napa

Napa, CA – This fall, the best place to learn from some of the brightest, most respected minds and voices in food is the 24th annual Worlds of Flavor International Conference and Festival, at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Copia, November 2–4. This year the conference will explore the foods, culinary techniques, and diverse cultures of the African Atlantic and their impact on the global foodways.

Developed in collaboration with leading authorities on the food of the African diaspora—committee chair Thérèse Nelson; Drs. Scott Alves Barton, Jessica B. Harris, and Maricel Presilla; chefs Michael Elègbédé, JJ Johnson, Kwame Onwuachi, Matthew Raiford, and Pierre Thiam; and journalist, Jamila Robinson—the conference is designed to help chefs and foodservice operators infuse their menus with the flavors and cultures of the African Atlantic in ways that meet the changing tastes and interest of their guests while respecting and centering the cultural stakeholders defining it's modern evolution.

Registration for the conference, which is being planned in conjunction with the CIA’s African Cuisines bachelor’s degree program concentration, is now open.

“We’ve planned a deeply rooted program packed with the most dynamic Black chefs and scholars from around the world. The space we've curated offers the audience of professional chefs and hospitality leaders a place to connect, learn, taste, and discover the food of the African Atlantic for three days in the beautiful Napa Valley,” said program committee chair Thérèse Nelson, noted chef, writer, and founder of “The conference presenters are world-class, and I’m thrilled to be working with the CIA to bring them all together under one roof at such a kinetic time in our culinary history.”

  • Nearly 40 chefs and experts from around the globe will guide this journey, including: Eric Adjepong, Mashama Bailey, BJ Dennis, Simeon Hall, Jr., Diana Tandia, and Paola Velez.
  • Day 1 will help ground guests in the history, geography, and culture of Africa and its diaspora.
  • Day 2 is an immersive, culinary feast for the senses—featuring demos, tastings, and tons of menu inspiration.
  • Day 3 offers a glimpse at the future and practical tools and strategies to help guests implement their learnings within their operations. View the conference program.

“With the dining landscape evolving quicker than ever before, it’s critical not only to taste the recipes and ingredients of various world cuisines, but also to understand the history and culture of different regions and how to bring them into restaurant menus,” said Rupa Bhattacharya, the CIA’s executive director of strategic initiatives. “For nearly 25 years, Worlds of Flavor has been the industry’s leading resource on dining trends—both what’s current and what’s to come—and this year’s program will continue that legacy and help position businesses for success.”

Worlds of Flavor is open to all foodservice professionals from independent and chain restaurants; colleges/universities and K-12 schools; contract foodservice companies; hotels/resorts; and more. For more information, visit Register before August 31 for early-bird savings.

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 master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, food business management, hospitality management, culinary science, and applied food studies. The college also offers executive education, 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 more than 50,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food world. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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