25th Anniversary

You Can Help Support RCA's Future!

A quarter century ago, a group of visionary founders gathered to create an organization built on a simple yet revolutionary idea: great food innovation comes not from one place, but from the blending of culinary arts with food science.

Over the years, hundreds of volunteers gave their time and skills to transform RCA into the premier organization we know today. And the concept of Culinology®  the blending of food science with culinary arts – is the driving force behind food innovation throughout the industry.

But now, RCA is at a turning point. While we celebrate the accomplishments of the past 25 years, we must navigate a future filled with volatile economics and ever-changing health and safety standards that will forever define our industry.

Here’s where you can help. Join your fellow members and the RCA Board of Directors by supporting RCA’s 25th anniversary campaign. Your contribution will help RCA bridge to 2021 and set the foundation for another 25 years of amazing innovation. Your contribution will also ensure RCA’s most valued asset – networking and collaboration among members – remains as the cornerstone of our industry.

And, to accelerate our success, we are excited to announce the many organizations who have stepped up with a dollar-for-dollar matching program!

These companies – ADM, Darifair FoodsDeli StarDr. G's Creations, Ed MiniatFirst Choice Ingredients, Flavor DynamicsGarlic King, Griffith Foods and Park 100 Foods – have pledged $10,000 each in matching dollars from member contributions. If our members can rally together, RCA will enjoy the additional contributions from these great partners to help build the foundation and security for RCA's future.

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RCA President Justin Kanthak puts it this way:
“If you feel passionate about seeing the RCA succeed in 2021, I am asking you now to, please, contribute to the RCA’s 25th Anniversary Campaign.”

How to Give:

Give to the 25th Anniversary Campaign

Your investment will help us support this incredible community and continue to innovate for the future. Thank you for your support! Hear from former RCA President, Chef Steve Schimoler, on the importance of supporting this campaign after he hosted the first Cooking at Home With RCA Chefs workshop in November.

Milestones in RCA's History


Approximately 50 R&D members of the American Culinary Federation gather during Annual Convention to formulate the concept of an association to meet the specific needs of the research chef

RCA's Association Bylaws were written and the first Board of Directors was elected

Old Logo

The Research Chefs Association (RCA) is founded


RCA hosts its first Annual Conference in Cleveland, OH


Second RCA Annual Conference held in Kansas City, MO


RCA membership reaches 500


Certified Research Chef (CRC®) logo created and criteria established

RCA hosts their first stand-alone conference in Chantilly, VA


The term Culinology® is born

First stand-alone RCA Annual Conference held in New Orleans, LA

First four CRC®s announced at the annual conference: Dan Sortwell, Skip Julius, Greg Grisanti and Joe O'Connor


Culinology® becomes a registered trademark of RCA

First Culinology® 101 class for chefs held at Rutgers University


Research Chefs Foundation (RCF) formed to provide educational scholarships

RCA membership reaches 1,200

Certified Culinary Scientist (CCS®) logo created and criteria established

First Culinary Arts for Food Scientists class held at the CIA in Hyde Park, NY


Donald Moss earns first bachelor’s degree in Culinology® from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Launch of CULINOLOGY® magazine

Certification Commission (RCACC) formed to oversee certification programs


Second Culinology® 101 workshop for chefs at Johnson & Wales University


RCA membership reaches 2,000

RCA Lifetime Achievement Award initiated


RCA hosts its inaugural Student Culinology® Competition


Michelle Block Memorial Scholarship instituted


First RCA-approved high school level Culinology® program established at Bergen County Technical High School in Teterboro, NJ


Bill "Pops" Hahne Memorial Scholarship instituted


RCA certifies more than 200 CRC®s and CCS®s

More than 40 students graduate from RCA-approved Culinology® degree programs

Total scholarship grants awarded by RCF since inception: $80,000


RCA celebrates its 15-year anniversary

The first international Bachelor's Degree in Culinology launched at Taylor's University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


RCA hosts its inaugural Professional Culinology® Competition


RCA launches its new, online member community, RCA Connect


$180,000 awarded to date in scholarship monies by RCF

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The first-ever Culinology textbook: Culinology®   —  The Intersection of Culinary Art and Food Science (Wiley, 2016) is published

On October 18, 2016, RCA celebrates its 20th anniversary!

New Logo

On March 15, 2017, RCA reveals its new corporate positioning and identity. The launch of a new identity allows the association to transform with the industry today and in the future.


RCA Hosts the First Culinology® Cocktail Competition

Culinology Cocktails

The first-ever Culinology® Cocktail Competition, sponsored by Flavor Dynamics, Inc., took place at the RCA After Dark where participants competed to create the best cocktail.


2019 RCA Conference Attendees Raise $19,500 for the CEF

2019 RCA Conference

The professional headshot booth, Food Truck Friday and live auction at the Thoroughbred Awards Reception and Gala all helped to raise more than $19,500! Your generosity directly supports qualified students and professionals pursuing higher learning and continuing education in Culinology®.

The RCA Event in Napa

RCA Event in Napa

The RCA Event in Napa brought together an exclusive group of product developers and innovation specialists to take part in a two-day, hands-on experience at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia during harvest season.


2019 RCA Conference Recognized as a High-Growth U.S. Trade Show

2019 RCA Conference Trade Show

the 2019 RCA Conference, held March 13-15, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky, has been honored in two categories of growth by Trade Show Executive Magazine (TSE):

  1. The Next 50 – By Net Square Feet of Exhibit Space; and
  2. The Next 50 – By Exhibiting Companies.

Hosted RCA Powered Up in light of COVID-19

RCA Powered Up

RCA Powered Up was a digital transformation of the 2020 RCA Conference, leveraging the innovation of online learning delivery to meet the needs and interests of the RCA community from the comfort of their homes, offices, labs and kitchens.