About ICCA and Membership
What is the ICCA?
The International Corporate Chefs Association is the first chefs association designed solely for corporate chefs or the highest ranking new menu developer from the top 200 multi-unit foodservice operations.
What is the purpose of the organization?
The primary purpose of our organization is to form a network of the nation’s leading culinarians who are involved in menu development and to provide education advancing both the individual and their corporation they represent.
What is unique about this chefs association?
We are now a twenty year old association with an environment that is very appealing to a corporate chef in a large operating company. Our events are smaller and more conducive to networking and best of all there are no trade shows, booths or selling at our events. Only members, select members of the media and a very small sponsor community are invited to our events. This provides the chef members with an environment that is casual and productive. Our goal is to help ICCA members look at possible trends in the future by working with the leading research companies in foodservice. Ce3lebrity chefs and award winning chefs from across the nation are speakers at our major functions. We also immerse ourselves into the hottest culinary markets in the nation and some around the world to learn about traditional cuisines and trend-leading new menu ideas.
Who is qualified to be a member?
Membership is restricted to only the leading culinarian in each of the top 200 multi-unit foodservice operations. There are no consultants permitted to apply for membership – all members must work directly for the multi-unit operator. A membership form is available to fill out and apply for membership just contact the ICCA National Headquarters in Winter Park, Florida.
If I am with a corporation that has multiple brands, is only one person qualified for membership?
In the case of multiple brands within one corporation, each brand can have their highest ranking new menu developer apply for membership. In rare cases, more than one member can apply from an operating company. This must be approved by the ICCA board of directors.
Can I get a list of members?
The ICCA by-laws restrict publication of the membership list to avoid adding to the clutter received by our members every day.
Has the membership grown beyond the top 200 chains?
The ICCA Board of Directors worked with Marketing A La Carte, our management firm, to create a new association for the next 200 chains. This association is for chains ranked 201 – 400 in annual sales. The Global Culinary Innovators Association (GCIA) was founded in 2014 and the two associations work closely together educating each others members.
What is the difference between the ICCA, GCIA and other chefs associations?
The ICCA and GCIA are singularly focused on one segment of the industry and with one particular position; the leading culinarian in the top 400 multi-unit operations. Other associations includes independent chefs, country club chefs, corporate chefs from manufacturers and food scientists in their ranks as members and are much larger in scope making it less conducive to the networking sought by ICCA members. The ICCA has potential for only 200 members and the same for GCIA, allowing for a more intimate environment to network and learn.
What are the key membership benefits?
Networking and education are the key benefits of membership in the International Corporate Chefs Association. This benefits you in your current position, helps prepare you for future challenges and elevates your company in all areas of menu and research and development. Take-aways from the ICCA Summit provide great materials for training your culinary staff and help to build tools for use in communicating with the other major departments within your corporate office.
Are Food Scientists eligible for membership?
Yes, food scientists are actively involved in the membership of ICCA. We do help educate members on new technology, however other chefs associations focus more deeply in the areas of food technology, whereas the ICCA is very broad in the approach to flavor trends, health and nutrition. The ICCA also features educational programs surrounding marketing, beverage trends and government regulations that affect the menu.
Activities and Events
What major events do you hold each year?
We have one major educational event each year called our ICCA Summit and two new events termed Culinary Immersions where we visit the top culinary cities in the nation. These Culinary Immersions help members with a deep dive into the top menu trends and the chefs behind the success. The locations and themes for these events change each year. Past events have taken place in Nashville, Chicago, Miami, Sonoma, Portland, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, Charleston and Denver and the themes have varied from Old World cuisine to health and wellness. Numerous other educational programs and networking events take place throughout the year. The 20th Annual Summit will be held in San Antonio, Te3xas in June 2023 – for more information email Kevin@ICCAchefs.com.
What educational activities take place at your Summit?
We have recruited some of the nation’s foremost authorities including professors from Harvard University, Colorado State University, CNN, the USDA, FDA and scientists to share late breaking developments that affect the foodservice industry. The goal of the ICCA Summit it to host a unique event unlike all other educational programs offered to the foodservice trade. The topics focus on issues at the core of new menu development and include the multifaceted challenges facing corporate chefs today.
What is unique about the ICCA Summit?
The annual summit is a small and intimate environment created to help form a unique network of professional chefs. This is done by creating unique programs that include farm tours, hands-on kitchen programs and utilizing regional chef experts who share the unique nuances of the cuisine from the region in which the Summit is held. This includes a look into the history of the cuisine and what influences the flavors or trends that are successful.
What other activities are hosted by the ICCA?
Other activities we host throughout the year include networking receptions at major gatherings of the industry including the NRA Show. We also host singular focused educational programs that explore an ingredient’s complete lifecycle and in-depth hands-on experimentation in processing. These include Cheese manufacturing, pork and beef production, exploration of seafood harvesting, baking & pastry, food manufacturing and produce farm tours. We have also hosted international chef tours to Canada, Mexico, Thailand and Australia. More of these events are scheduled in the future.
How many sponsors do you have and what is their role?
The by-laws restrict the number of sponsors to a total of 25 companies. The sponsors’ role is to provide educational information and resources to our members. Sponsor companies are restricted to one or two attendees at our events and we encourage them to send corporate chefs or representatives who can educate our members on the highest level. We have achieved our goal of 25 sponsors and are proud to have some of the most innovative organization in the country participating with us.