We were so pleased to be one of the first major events in the foodservice industry since the pandemic began. The atmosphere seemed like a family reunion, except everyone in the family gets along well at ICCA events. The learnings and the networking were welcomed by our members and our sponsors. Here is a video we previewed at the ICCA Summit showcasing what we did to help educate both members and sponsors at this events and during this past year with our by-weekly webinars and that helped lead to numerous new members attending this ICCA Summit.
We are also excited to have two more events in September and November. The September event is ICCA Culinary Immersion Santa Fe from September 14 – 16th and the ICCA Culinary Immersion Louisville and Lexington, dubbed the Bourbon Tour, will be from November 10 – 13th ad feature Edward Lee who will meet him if you arrive for dinner on the 10th.
At every ICCA Summit we ask one of our board members to end the general sessions with a recap of the take-aways from the event. Below are the details including the PowerPoint presentations and some additional videos from the event. ICCA President Keith Brunell, Director Food and Beverage for Nordstrom Restaurant Division presented the following:
- Darren Tristano, Foodservice Results CEO and Founder provided thoughtful insights into the impacts and opportunities facing restaurants by painting a picture and glimpse into the future. He spoke about how technology thru ordering platforms and loyalty programs, plus convenience via delivery, curbside and off-premise will continue to drive customer demands. We also learned as operators we have three months to deal with price changes and vocal customer reactions to those impacts, but we all know it is more like a year of customers voicing their complaints and concerns when anything we do changes. Darren’s PowerPoint: Navigating Today’s New Normal
- David Dadekian, President and primary writer/editor of Eat Drink RI inspired us with a true insider’s guide to what makes the food, products and people of Rhode Island special. He showed us how the geographical and cultural diversity of this area still influences menus and dining trends today. I am sure the state is proud to have him as a true ambassador and we are all now hooked.
- Chef Armando, Rick Simone, President of the Federal Hill Commerce Association & Scott Williams, General Manager of the Graduate Providence demonstrated in word and action how they corralled the restaurant and hospitality community to hunker down and then find creative ways to revitalize their market and keep businesses alive. They brought us up close and personal with their stories on what they did to sustain and grow the food and beverage industry back in the area. Their non-stop efforts to align with local government to provide a large-scale dining operation on Federal Hill, plus an intensive campaign to promote all local restaurants quickly and effectively is the reason why the tourism scene rebounded so quickly. David Dadekian Eat Drink RI
- Alissa Crow, Key Account Manager for Unox, Inc. gave us a high-level overview of UNOX’s Advanced Oven Technology plus its capabilities and functionality. Thanks for your tribal knowledge and welcome again to ICCA.
- Darryl Mickler, DBA, MBA, Vice President for Food and Beverage Innovation at Golden Corral enlightened us on how political identity and menu terminology affect the decisions on whether people accept or reject items. His studies taught us that consumer preference or bias is based on the influences we grew up with and how we have been trained subconsciously to think and act. We are proud that one of our own has continued to grow personally and professional at this point in your career. Congratulations on your PhD. Darryl Mickler New Menu Terminology Presentation
- Professor Robert Danhi illuminated the fact that we can improve our innovation process by using a more systematical approach and using a common language around product names, quality identifiers, flavor profiles and then find alignment and value at each step of supply chain and R&D process to provide the most consistent highest quality product innovation and customer experience. Robert Danhi – Building Blocks of Flavor
- Simon Majumdar, world-renowned broadcaster, food writer, speaker, author, podcast host and cook introduced us to Justin Warner, Food Network star, author and restaurateur. Simon and Justin showed us their magic in person by sharing their personal experiences behind the scenes but more importantly, that innovation & creativity is not a one-way path. Thanks for the comradery over the past few days and evenings. We enjoyed the fun, back and forth, insightful conversation on trends and the vibe behind the scenes at the Food Network and in Rapid City, SD. The cooking demo was classic with some good ole fashioned cooking with twists. Culinary Trends Simon Majumdar with Justin Warner
- Judson Brewer, MD PhD, associate professor in Behavioral and Social Sciences and Psychiatry at the Schools of Public Health & Medicine and the Director of Research & Innovation for the Mindfulness Center at Brown University gave us a quick dissertation on how the science and psychology of fear, stress and uncertainty weakens the brain and causes anxiety and panic. He showed us how to identify the habits that can retrain us to learn how to unwind and reduce anxiety through curiosity and rewards. We all need to take him up on some more meaningful meditation time. Brewer Working with Anxiety & Uncertainty
- Thank you Chef Kevin Gaudreau, owner of KG Kitchen Bar and chef & F & B Manager at Bonnet Shores Beach Club and Fisherman Corey Forrest for your seafood demonstration and robust dialogue discussing the daily trials and tribulations on running a family business as a female fisherman and the symbolic relationship between the community and chefs they serve. They both make Rhode Island proud as their stewards of the land and sea. Below is a video showcasing Corey Forrest’s family business as the last trap fishing family in Maine.
- ICCA Benefits – I wanted to take a minute to share the value and learnings I continue to gain from the ICCA. I continue to be amazed at the innovative prowess and expertise amongst the members who represent the top restaurant chains in the world. We are able to learn quickly, share stories and problem solve on the obstacles we face in this industry as the guest represents the same consumer for all of us. We are able to foster open dialogue on what trends are proliferating and being adopted and where others might have seen their lifecycle end because we are the insiders who are closest to the product – customer experience. We are able to gain knowledge, gather insight and expertise into suppliers and manufacturers current product and service line-ups, but also to be privy to new products and ideas that lie ahead. These interactions reinforce our relationship with the sponsors.
- A heartfelt thank you to Kevin, Susan, Meagan and Mike for putting together an awesome conference in such a quick time with all the obstacles and audibles you had to overcome. A special thank you to all the sponsors for your products, support and dine arounds. A final welcome to all the new members and hope you enjoyed the summit. A big thank you to the team here at the Graduate Providence for making each venue special and your team has been awesome! Thank you to RJ Harvey, Director of Culinary for Potatoes USA for coordinating the food with the kitchen staff. If you are interested in sponsor recipes, please email us at rsvp@ICCAchefs.com. Thanks.
The Annual ICCA Dinner is the finale for the 18th Annual ICCA Summit and this event was an amazing traditional clambake with 5th generation bakemaster TR McGrath. This is the ultimate networking event of the year where members, sponsors and speakers recap their take-aways from our New England experience. The Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum plays a significant role in the history of Rhode Island as does the McGrath family heritage on traditional clambakes. See the Day 1 Closing Video below to hear more about this clambake.
The ICCA Culinary Road Trips are also one of the highlights for the annual ICCA Summit. The attendees were split into three groups with one going to Boston to work with Chef Jeremy Sewell, chef owner of Row 34 and self-proclaimed fish nerd. Another group went to Newport and stopped at American Mussel Harvesters along the way and the last group stayed in Providence to dine at an institution called Wes’s Rib House after touring Johnson & Wales and their new facilities.
ICCA Sponsors treat members to dinners each night at the best restaurants in the city. The restaurants included: Pane e Vino, Bacco Vino & Contorni, Al Forno, Andino’s Italian Restaurant, Cassarino’s Restaurant, Costantino’s Venda Bar & Ristorante, Massimo Ristorante, Hemenway’s Restaurant, Providence Oyster Bar, Circe Restaurant & Bar, Capriccio, KG Kitchen Bar, Kleos, Rosalinda & Gracie’s.
Below are the videos we use to begin and end each general session. They give you a short description of the day’s educational elements and feature many of our speakers including Simon Majumdar, Darryl Mickler and others: