Almond Board of California hosts an annual summit at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone in Napa Valley where an intimate group of chefs from national dining chains and suppliers come together to work alongside one another in hands-on culinary and educational sessions. For this year’s theme of “Meeting Menu Demands of Modern Consumers,” the event explored the trends that resonate with various target audiences—from Gen Z to boomers—and how California Almonds can help chefs meet the menu demands of their customers.

To complement a custom curriculum developed by CIA chef educator Bill Briwa, Almond Board welcomed expert speakers on the topics of consumer trends, nutrition tips related to menu planning and regulations, and environmental sustainability.  The group then has multiple opportunities to bring classroom learnings into the kitchen, utilizing almonds in many forms, formats and day parts, in culinary sessions where they can unleash their creativity with almonds and other ingredients.

  • One highlight this year was a consumer trends in foodservice presentation by Andy Ford of Brado Creative. Andy delved into the generational dining habits of the Gen Z, Millennial, Gen X and Boomer demographics with an eye to how the chefs in attendance can reach each one in unique and forward thinking ways. Andy identified top trends across these four generations and how the impact of each trend varies by demographic. You can view the full presentation, by clicking here.
  • An interactive cooking demonstration by California native Neal Fraser, chef/partner at Redbird and Vibiana, featuring the following recipes. You can also view a video of Chef Neal’s demonstration on Instagram @AlmondsOnTheMenu, along with photos from the event.

For a taste of scenes from past Almond Board culinary summits, watch this video and check out the following recipes from the course curriculum:

Please contact if you have questions or would like to recommend someone for the 2018 program.