Les Dames d’Escoffier, a diverse group of culinary professionals in the food, fine wine and hospitality business, met in Washington D.C. to explore the continuing evolution of consumers’ taste for global foods and flavors and the desire for local and sustainable foods. It was a week of tasting, exploring and debating the hot topics with lively discussions.
Chefs As Activists
The James Beard Foundation is training chefs on how to become effective leaders in the fight for food system changes through its Chef Action Network initiative.
Cultural Contradictions Driving the Trends
Culinary Visions® Panel coined the term Oxy-Modern Food Trends earlier this year to describe the cultural contradictions that were the topic of many discussions at this conference.
Loving It Local AND Exploring the World
A private tour of The White House Garden and kitchens featured sustainable food crops that feed the small local community and support some state functions. When foreign dignitaries visit they are treated to flavors or techniques from their home country made with uniquely American ingredients.
Healthfully Delicious AND Luxuriously Indulgent
The Tulane University Culinary Medicine program discussed physicians’ understanding of the role of food in overall health and its impact on public health. Another session entitled “Food Porn” talked about the evolution of food photography on social media and the power of irresistibly delicious and appetizing photography to influence consumers.
Unforgettable Food Experiences AND Food As Fuel
A lavish brunch at the Embassy of France was as captivating as the discussions of the Modern Mediterranean diet that fuels the everyday lifestyle of Americans.
Many countries in the world, including the U.S., invest heavily in culinary diplomacy which fosters cross-cultural understanding by promoting a country’s cuisine. Bringing people to the table can often open a dialog and foster understanding.
Advances in technology and electronic communication are increasing awareness of the ways consumers eat and the industry that supplies their food. A panel of experts with widely diverse credentials on the subject discussed the ways technology is changing food forever. Biotechnology is creating challenges and opportunities as new options for feeding the world emerge.
Implications for Food Marketers
The Global Business of Food – although consumer awareness and desire for local foods is growing, the food business is global. Consumers in developed countries have a growing desire to enjoy the foods and flavors of the world.
Food As Medicine – cutting edge university programs are educating physicians on how to work with their patients in understanding the role of food and nutrition as an important component of recovery and wellness.
Demystifying Food – Consumers are looking for clean fuel for their bodies; demystified ingredient statements and product claims are only the beginning.
Taste Talk Tweet
Twitter chatter included:
- The kitchen is the new venue for foreign policy
- Healthy eating is crucial for healthy living
- Food connects cultures and enables peace
- Modern butchers offer local and humane meats
- Food visuals make up 90% of content on Twitter
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