The RCA Conference 2021: Celebrating 25 Years!

Call for Speakers is Now Closed

*Open to RCA members and non-members*

The RCA Conference is the signature event in the association’s calendar, bringing together chefs, food scientists and other professionals to learn, network and share solutions to challenges facing the food product development industry. This coming year marks the RCA’s 25th anniversary and we have lots to celebrate!

We are now inviting session proposals from interested parties to present at this event in March 2021 and have provided some notes below to assist you in making the best possible submission. You will receive an automated email confirming your proposal submission. In November, you will be notified if you have been accepted for the program.

Before filling out the submission form, you will be asked to login and select an Education Track. Below is more information about RCA’s Education Tracks as well as the Session Formats we are looking for.

Education Tracks


Sessions in this track equip participants with insights on the hottest trends hitting the food development industry – for example, specifics on how COVID-19 is driving new food safety practices and transparency. Other topics could include, increasing popularity with functional foods and cannabis, new advancements in meat alternatives, rising flavor profiles, the latest on clean label food and beverages, changes in packaging and production, technology advancements or the impact of increasing uncertainty in the food market (global trade issues, shifts in street food, food deserts etc.).


Sessions in this track are catered towards chefs (no pun intended). Presentations will focus on topics that are food and ingredient-centric, with particular focus on hands-on application and prototype development using new edible materials as well as creative ways of using old standbys. Particular attention will be paid to maximizing sensory attributes while maintaining nutritional awareness, good health, and well-being. Other topics could include tips for better understanding consumer preferences, and how the “new normal” has shifted culinary education and training.


Sessions in this track are designed with food science professionals in mind. Presentations may explore product development and supply issues/solutions in a post-COVID-19 world, the science behind new food technology that is disrupting the industry, how to maintain a gold standard throughout product development and commercialization, or new research on functional ingredients.

Professional Development

This track is ideal for topics that are not directly related to Culinology, but provide professional development to our participants. This could include leadership skills, career development advice, wellness for teams and ourselves, culture building in organizations and more. Regardless of professional experience, there is something here for everyone!

Session Formats

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of The RCA Conference, we are rolling out some exciting new education formats. Some of the session types we are looking for are:

Spotlight Sessions

45-60 minute sessions presented by keynote speakers who are leaders in their field. Presenters will share an inspiring story, insight into emerging trends, or a leadership perspective.

Breakout Sessions

30-45 minute sessions that dive deep into a specific topic under one of our four Education Tracks and may be delivered by a single speaker or a panel consisting of 2-3 speakers. Presenters will guide participants through an interactive lecture, case study or panel discussion where participants will leave with fresh ideas. These sessions will include time for participant Q&A.


45-60 minute interactive sessions that provide a live demonstration of a particular technique or teach a specific skill on a topic under one of our four Education Tracks. Presenters may include exercises where participants can split up into small groups and practice what they are learning.

Hallway Chats

20-30 minute sessions that offer participants a chance to engage in intimate, small group conversations about important topics or issues in the industry. These sessions create the space needed to learn from peers in an open, facilitated format. In this type of session, presenters will pose a question to the participants and then let everyone think aloud about the issue or topic proposed. We are looking for topics that will challenge the audience. If you have an engaging topic and want to lead this type of dialogue, please describe the topic in the description block on the Call for Speakers submission form.

RCA Storytellers

10-15 minute Ted-Talk style presentations geared towards sharing a story or a personal experience about your time with the RCA and celebrating the 25-year history of the association. Whether you are a new student or longtime member of the RCA, we want to hear about the ways you've benefited and grown through the RCA.

Submit Your Session:

You must be logged in to submit a session. Please login now or create an account.

We value a diverse speaker lineup for the RCA Conference and encourage submissions from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, or veteran status.

If you have any questions about the RCA 2021 Call for Speakers, please contact us at