RCA's Fall Fest 2021

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RCA Fall Fest is a one-of-a-kind experience uniquely designed for chefs and food scientists who are dedicated to innovation and product development. If you're headed to the Chicago Section IFT Suppliers Symposium & Expo on November 3, or if you are in the Chicagoland area - or simply "need to be here!" to experience this event, then you need to register TODAY! And, even better, you can earn ten (10) CE hours for attending Fall Fest. 

Schedule of Events:

Thursday November 4 / 8am to 9pm - Programming takes place at Ajinomoto North American headquarters in Itasca, IL

  • 8am: Coffee and pastries - Meet and greet your colleagues and make new connections
  • 9am: The Evolution of Culinary Selling - A Leadership Perspective: An RCA exclusive learning experience - You'll learn how culinary and food science has evolved from "glorified catering" into an integral element in successful customer relationships and organizational strategy - and how to develop the right talent for this new competency. 
  • 12 noon: Catered lunch and free time to check-in with the office
  • 1:30pm: Emerging Eastern Trends - A compelling presentation from Mike Kostyo from Datassential, who takes us through past and future trends across several Eastern cuisines, including Japanese, Chinese, Filipino and more
  • 2:15pm Trends Immersion - Enjoy a fresh sampling of several items featured in Mike’s presentation
  • 3pm: The Science of Beer - What make beer great? Learn from the pro - featuring Joe Formanek, Certified National Beer Judge and "The Beer Connoisseur"
  • 3:45pm: Bus transportation to Church Street Brewery
  • 4pm Beer Sampling - Taste what you've learned at Church Street Brewery, and hear from Church Street brewmasters
  • 5pm: Bus transportation to LaBarra
  • 5:30pm A Pizza Immersion (and Dinner) - At LaBarra Restaurant, we'll enjoy a fascinating presentation on pizza from Steve Dolinsky, along with comments from LaBarra's Rich Labriola - and receive your own copy of Steve's book, Pizza City, USA  
  • Bus transportation back to Ajinomoto at the end of dinner 

Friday November 5 / 8am to 1pm - Programming takes place at the Kitchens at the College of DuPage

  • Transportation is on your own to the College of DuPage - 425 Fawell Blvd, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 - Specific directions will be provided at the event on Thursday.
  • 8am: Coffee and pastries
  • 8:30am: Introductions and description of today's events
  • 8:45am: Separate sessions designed for Chefs and Scientists!
    • CHEFS - A hands-on food science lab experience designed to reveal unique secrets behind the mysteries of flavor
    • SCIENTISTS - A hands-on culinary experience to reveal chef techniques and secrets 
  • 10:30am: Free time to check-in at the office
  • 11am: Capstone Presentation - Product Commercialization: Thomas Frain, Senior Director of Food Design at Conagra Brands  will take us on the culinary and scientific journey of food products from the restaurant menu to retail shelf - including a tasting of products that took this journey 
  • 12pm: Final comments and departure

Planned programming subject to change

Per Chicago and State of Illinois mandate, masks will be required for indoor activities. Masks may be removed for sampling, eating and drinking. 


Your registration includes a free copy of Steve Dolinsky's book, Pizza City, USA along with breakfast coffee/pastries, catered lunch on Thursday, bus transportation on Thursday to offsite events, Church Street Brewery beverages, dinner and dessert at LaBarra, and all related materials shared at the event.

  • RCA Members $300
  • Non-Members $325
  • Students $50

Questions? Please email RCA headquarters for information.

RCA Fall Fest is generously sponsored by:


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Don't miss RCA Fall Fest!



For questions or concerns about your event registration, please contact