The Culinary Institute of America has just completed presenting Menus of Change 2016 and once again the Conference was outstanding. With chefs from across the nation in attendance, the Conference focused on the urgent issues facing the Hospitality Industry today.

Chief among the concerns addressed was the need for chefs to adapt a recommended “Protein Flip” and “Plant Forward” approach into their menu development. Because of limited farmland in the face of exploding global meat demands and the rising levels of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, America’s traditional meat-heavy meals are unsustainable and equally unhealthy.

While presenters recognized the popularity of meat in the American diet, they recommended that (1) meat portion sizes be scaled back, (2) that meat be viewed as a flavor enhancer – not as an entrée, and (3) that other proteins, such as beans and seafood, be considered as a meat replacement.

Chefs such as Andrea Reusing, chef-owner of North Carolina’s The Lantern in Chapel Hill, chose shellfish and seaweed as her demo of a modern and healthy menu approach. Taylor Shellfish Farms was honored to provide the sea fresh clams for her inspiring presentation.