The Research Chefs Association’s (RCA) announced it will hold its 2014 Annual Conference & Culinology Expo, March 11–14, in Portland, Oregon. The four-day conference brings together chefs, food scientists, writers, nutritionists, academics, consultants, sales professionals, suppliers, co-packers, distributors, and students to network, showcase new products and techniques, and learn real-time food industry trends, practices, and issues while exploring the food culture of Portland.
The Culinology Expo is the premiere event for food manufacturers, allowing them to debut and demo their latest innovations in food ingredients, products, services, or packaging to R&D professionals. With more than 130 exhibitors, expo attendees have the opportunity to experience the food products that will be appear on grocery store shelves and restaurant menus in the coming year and consider how they may wish to incorporate them into their food products.
“Not only does the RCA Annual Conference provide a forum for food R&D industry members to share their innovations and collaborate, it also fosters personal and professional development through continuing education and unparalleled networking opportunities,” says Charles Hayes, CRC, RCA president and director of new business development for national accounts at Golden County Foods. “To top it off: we’re in Portland! The food culture here rivals any city in America.”
Jon Luther, former CEO of Dunkin’ Brands and noted authority on innovation, will present the keynote address, “Culinary Warriors,” focusing on the critical role of the chefs in the kitchen. During his address, he will outline how culinary development gained the attention of C-suite executives and became instrumental in shaping the great success of the brands he led. Along with his personal stories, he will share the leadership philosophy that led to his success and provide tips and advice that can benefit anyone seeking to advance their career.
“Jon Luther is a true leader in the food R&D industry,” says RCA executive vice president Jim Fowler, CAE. “His proven leadership skills and string of successes throughout his career have inspired students and seasoned veterans. Jon understands the importance of nurturing creative minds, knows how to bring their creations to market.”
Students and professionals will also have the opportunity to demonstrate their culinary know-how during RCA’s Culinology Competitions, on Thursday, March 13. Teams of students and professionals alike are challenged to develop the best Pacific Northwest regional, food truck cuisine concept featuring a grab-and-go seafood item for school foodservice while addressing sodium concerns.