Commission Joins Agriculture and Culinary Leaders to Share Ideas About Industry’s Future

  • Oct 09, 2019

The Culinary Institute of America’s 2019 “Flavor, Quality and American Menu” conference brought together agriculture and culinary leaders to advance agriculture and the industries that depend upon it, by sharing ideas and openly exchanging information. The California Avocado Commission (CAC) joined chain culinarians, commodity board members, food manufacturers and American farmers and growers in broad discussions concerning the challenges and opportunities of the related industries.

At the three-day event, which was held at the Culinary Institute of America’s Copia Campus in Napa, California, the Commission also met one-on-one with research and development/product innovation personnel, corporate and executive chefs, purchasing/supply chain representatives and marketing team members to discuss California avocado promotion opportunities. To demonstrate the versatility of California avocados and the value they add to foodservice menus, the fruit was included in the hands-on “Market Basket” cooking activity. Teams of chefs and sponsors were challenged to create innovative menu applications from the ingredients at hand. Teams added fresh California avocados to a wide assortment of dishes ranging from a Poke Bowl (served on California avocado peels) to a Three-Mushroom Chili.

By participating in this event — which brought together a wide range of leaders from agriculture and agriculture-dependent industries — the Commission was able to position itself as a leading force in the domestic agricultural sphere. In addition, with the goal of expanding penetration of fresh California avocados on foodservice chain menus CAC staff met with current foodservice partners and secured 13 new foodservice contacts.

Matt Harding, senior vice president culinary and menu innovation, gearing up for the Market Basket challenge.

Harding created a comfort food menu application— nachos with fresh California avocados.

Adrian Sanchez of Pincho adds slices of fresh California avocados to a Poke Bowl creatively served on avocado peels.

Chefs Randy Evans of HEB and Paul Muller of Lazy Dog incorporating fresh California avocados into their Market Basket creation.

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