Here’s to Day 3 at Worlds of Flavor! I’m sharing a final look and a few of my own takeaways from this amazing international conference.
It’s been a lot of fun sharing some insight into the 2018 Worlds of Flavor conference that was held in Napa Valley last month. You can read all about it here and here. For this final post, I want to provide my main takeaways from the event. Being a young professional just starting out in this industry, it was an invaluable experience to attend this year’s conference.
But first, a look into the last general session on the Culinary Institute of America’s stage. The session focused on “next-generation flavors” in the modern Mexican kitchen. And really, topics were discussed that apply to any kitchen across the globe. One of the chefs explained how instead of looking for the next big thing, his team is going back in time. They’re looking back at the cultures and traditions that shaped certain cuisines in order to move forward.
This was one of the main themes of the conference, and it really is such a simple, yet profound approach to cooking.
For the breakout sessions of the last day, I attended a remarkable demonstration on cooking without waste using the flavors of Italy. The presenting chefs showed the audience ways they use different parts of the animal, whether it be incorporated into a stock, infused into a vinaigrette, or whipped into a luscious mousse.
Progressive cooking involves looking at our animals and ingredients in different ways to be less wasteful and more sustainable.
The day wrapped up with an inspiring discussion on the flavors and culture of west and north Africa. Seven different chefs spoke. Below are some of the most memorable quotes.
“A successful dish is when a local comes in and doesn’t recognize the dish, but as soon as they taste it, it reminds them of home…” -Mourad Lahlou
“The principle of my food is to celebrate the flavors of West Africa…that food was a connection to home…” -Zoe Adjonyoh
“All our food is about making everyone happy…the food has nothing to do with anything other than our feelings.” -Jeremy Chan
“It’s all about remembering everything and forgetting everything at the same time.” -Shola Olunloyo
For a young chef, I think exposure to world cuisines is incredibly invaluable. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in all that is new. But, by diving a little bit deeper and doing some research, you can find that there is a whole world out there that you never knew. And, that there is so much that is yet to be discovered when it comes to food.
My advice to everyone (and myself) pursuing this wonderful passion of food: keep reading, keep being curious, keep asking questions, and keep discovering new flavors.
I hope you enjoyed reading about Worlds of Flavor and are inspired to get cooking in a whole new way. Cheers!