2013 Annual Conference is Huge Success

Atlanta, GA (March 21, 2013) — The Research Chefs Association (RCA) 2013 Annual Conference and Culinology® Expo brought more than 1,200 food research and development professionals to Charlotte, NC  for a week of education, innovation, celebration and networking. The event featured several ground-breaking educational sessions, an expo unveiling the latest food innovations, stimulating student and professional Culinology® competitions and raised nearly $10,000 in scholarship monies for the Research Chefs Foundation (RCF).

“This year’s conference once again brought together the leaders of the food industry sharing their research, ideas, best practices and predictions regarding what to expect in the food of tomorrow,” says Jim Fowler, Executive Director, RCA.  “Year after year, I am amazed by the talent, creativity, intellect and dedication to the food industry shown by our membership.”

A number of education sessions generated quite a buzz, including “What’s on the Menu? Trends and Predictions,” by Mark DiDomenico and Maeve Webster, “Trailblazing a New Culinary Frontier” by keynote Homaro Cantu, and “Global Food Challenges, the Future of Food and the Implications for R&D Professionals,” by Dr. Mehmood Khan of PepsiCo.

Attendees gained new information about how and why consumers are drawn toward certain food trends; research about a new miracle berry which blocks the sour receptor on tongues; the science of taste, and the future of food as the world moves toward urbanization.

Hundreds attended the Culinology® Expo on Friday, March 8, to taste, see and smell the latest in food product development. Each year attendees vote on the most innovative product debuted at the Expo. This year, the Purple Ginger Lemonade created by Vegetable Juices, Inc. won the Culinology® Expo Product of the Year Award among an impressive selection of new and inventive products.

During the seventh annual Student Culinology Competition, six teams executed a North Carolina regional cuisine concept. The dish, “Chick’n Waffles,” created by Southwest Minnesota State University, earned first place honors among a talented slate of university entrants. The top three teams received scholarship funds totaling $4,500.

“This year’s student competitors exemplified novelty, aptitude and creativity,” says Charles Hayes, CEC, CRC®, RCA President. “I’m impressed with the talent that will soon be entering the workforce.”

The second annual American Culinary Federation (ACF) sanctioned Professional Culinology® Competition featured four teams competing for $5,000 and prestigious ACF competition medals.  Each team created North Carolina regional cuisine concepts for both fine and casual dining. Jody Denton, CRC®, and Nicolasa Murillo, CC, received first place in the first-class competition.

Several events from the Conference raised scholarship monies for the RCF. Participation in the annual RCF Golf Tournament, 5K and Fun Run and the silent auction helped raise nearly $10,000 in scholarship funds for higher and continuing education individuals practicing Culinology®.

RCA’s 2014 Annual Conference and Culinology® Expo will be held in Portland, Oregon, March 11-14.  From its street-side food carts, secret supper clubs and expansive outdoor markets, Portland is steeping in food innovation and history, making it an excellent choice for next year’s conference.

About the Research Chefs Association:

Founded in 1996, the Research Chefs Association has rapidly grown to approximately 2,000 members, including chefs, food scientists, technologists, writers, nutritionists, academics, researchers, consultants, sales and marketing professionals, suppliers, co-packers, distributors and students.  RCA is the premier source of culinary and technical information for the food industry and is committed to the advancement of Culinology® -- the blending of the culinary arts and food science. For more information on Culinology® or the RCA, please visit