June 19, 2018

CIA Hosts 2018 Menus of Change

CIA 2018 Menus of change og image

Through Menus of Change, The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health encourage the food world to provide healthier, more sustainable, and delicious food. Each year, the CIA’s New York campus hosts a three-day conference to share cutting-edge insights on some of the issues facing restaurants and the broader food business.

Last year’s Menus of Change Leadership Summit made big news when Sonic Drive-In became the first major quick-service chain to unveil a beef and mushroom “blended burger.” Blended burgers are healthier and better for the environment. But most importantly, they are generally tastier than all-beef burgers—with the mushroom providing “umami” mouthfeel and making the burgers juicier.

And, Sonic isn’t the only food company to adopt Menus of Change principles. More than 80% of operators who have attended a summit introduced new recipes or revised existing ones as a result of participating. From corporate dining to multi-unit restaurant groups, they are integrating the idea of meat playing a supporting role, vegetables and fruits becoming more central to the dish, and using more whole grains.

That also includes CIA bachelor’s students in the Intrapreneurship Business Innovation Concentration. The menu of the restaurant concept each class develops and executes reflects Menus of Change. This can be seen in both the current Good Pho You and next semester’s Keen-Wah student-run concepts in The Egg student dining venue.

What will be the story out of this year’s conference? A trend towards carbon-neutral dining? Chefs taking even greater responsibility for sustainability? Consumers fully embracing plant-forward? Watch the 2018 Menus of Change live online to find out.