Our keynote speaker is the distinguished Dr. Tim Ryan, who has served as the president of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) since 2001. He is both a Certified Master Chef and a Culinary Olympic Champion, and the first alumnus and faculty member to rise through the CIA to become president.
When asked about his keynote address at Roots 2017, he shared how he plans to “show innovative techniques that chefs and restaurants can use and apply, using the concepts of music and art.” He added that the presentation is likely to be different from what you might expect of a typical keynote presentation at a culinary conference.
When Farmer Lee Jones of The Chef’s Garden and Culinary Vegetable Institute asked him to present at Roots 2017, he said he knew right away that he would accept. “I consider Lee to be a good friend and I have a lot of respect for him,” Dr. Ryan said.
While Dr. Ryan understandably doesn’t want to give away too much of his presentation ahead of time, we did ask if he could give us a few hints. In response, he said that, “because there is a premium nowadays for chefs to be creative and to differentiate themselves, I plan to provide them with historical context and references on creativity and innovation, along with insights into how to become more creative and innovative.”
This will include information about how some all-time great chefs have “gone about doing what they do,” as well as recommendations to help chefs bolster their confidence as they fuel their own creativity.
You can find more information about him here. Highlights include how he has brought the CIA to the forefront in the arenas of health and fitness, food ethics and sustainability, and cuisine flavors from around the world. Educational programs launched under his leadership include the Healthy Kitchen, Healthy Lives initiative in collaboration with Harvard University. Another Harvard collaboration is the World of Healthy Flavors culinary conference. This is often considered to be the country’s influential world cuisine forum.
Dr. Ryan served as the youngest national president of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) – chosen at the age of 36 – and the youngest to receive its Master Chef Certification (at the age of 26). He was named the ACF Chef of the Year in 1998. He is on the boards of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and the National Restaurant Association. And he was also selected by Nation’s Restaurant News as one of the 50 most powerful people in food.
He also established two additional campuses at the CIA. One is located in San Antonio, Texas, and it emphasizes Latin American cuisines. The other is the CIA’s first international campus. Located in Singapore, this allows CIA to have a presence in Asia.