Cost Containment Strategies

  • headshot

    Steve Meyer, Ph.D.

    President, Paragon Economics, Inc.

    Founder of Paragon Economics, Dr. Steve Meyer provides economic analysis of agricultural markets and business decisions. His experience bridges the livestock industry offering insight on pork, beef and poultry markets. He writes for the CME Group’s Daily Livestock Report, his own e-newsletter, and the National Hog Farmer’s Weekly Preview e-letter that focuses on economic issues in North America’s swine/pork sector.

    Prior to founding Paragon Economics, Dr. Meyer served as Director of Economics for the National Pork Producers Council and National Pork Board from 1993 to 2002. He spent two years as a swine business specialist with Moorman Manufacturing Company, two years as sales representative with Dow Chemical, worked as a sales manager for a Texas animal health and agricultural chemical distributor, and taught as an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia. His responsibilities at UMC included research in livestock marketing, agribusiness management, agricultural sales and alternative agricultural enterprises.

    Dr. Meyer obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agriculture economics from Oklahoma State University. He received a doctorate in that field from Iowa State University. He was a National Science Foundation Research Fellow while attending both schools. Dr. Meyer served on the Executive Committee of USDA’s NEC-63 Research Committee on Commodity Promotion in 2001 and 2002 and as a Director of the Extension Section of the American Agricultural Economics Association from 2001 through 2003.

    Keynote

    Commodity Costs in Context

  • headshot

    Brent Cator

    President, Cardinal Meat Specialists Ltd.

    Brent Cator leads a dedicated team focused on being Canada’s leading burger and sealed environment cooked protein manufacturer. Operating two plants in Canada, Cardinal supplies top restaurateurs and major retailers with a range of high quality, consistent and safe meat products.

    Brent’s grandfather started the Cator family in the meat business more than 80 years ago, and his father, Ralph Cator, started Cardinal in 1966. Brent has worked at Cardinal for 30 years, learning every aspect of the business along the way. His training and experiences in all facets of the company have provided a well-rounded view with many insights into what makes it successful.

    Brent has invested and developed unique technologies for cooked proteins, served on a North American E-Coli task force, and represented the processing industry on a Canadian Food Inspection Agency task force that focused on best practices and regulatory changes for a safer food supply in Canada. Brent is a regular contributor to national magazines where he shares his findings on leading edge technologies and advancements.

    He is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, where he earned his B.A. in Administrative & Commercial Studies. Brent is a past-president of the North American Meat Processors (now North American Meat Association) and has actively been involved in Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFÉ) for many years.

    Processor Case Study

    Adding Value, Trimming Costs

  • headshot

    Stephen Goglia

    President and COO, The David Burke Group

    Stephen M. Goglia joined The David Burke Group (DBG) in late 2011. Prior to join DBG, he was the founder of SMG Partners, LLC. Recently he held the position of president and chief operating officer for Bowlmor Lanes/Strike Holdings, LLC based in New York City, where he developed eight multi-faceted bowling/arcade/entertainment properties throughout the U.S. In addition, he developed and opened various lounge and nightclub concepts which included; Pressure, Lucid, Carnival, Luna Park, Tribeca Loft and Inferno. Prior to his service at Strike, he worked with National Restaurant Consultants, a company he founded. From 1997 to 2000, he was a joint venture partner with PF Changs China Bistro Inc., locating, acquiring, developing, opening and operating restaurants throughout the east coast. Prior to joining PF Changs, Goglia was director of Operations for Buffets Inc., overseeing 42 restaurants. He also held various positions with Host International, W.R. Grace Inc., the Restaurant Enterprise Group, The Reise Organization and the Marriott Corporation. Goglia graduated in 1983 from Florida International University in Miami with a degree in hospitality management. He is also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.

    Foodservice Case Study

    Creative Cost Controls

    Panel Discussion

    Supply Chain Survival Strategies

  • headshot

    Jim Milkovich

    Director of Purchasing, Hyatt

    Milkovich has more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality business. He started his career as a chef for Marriott Hotels, working his way through hotel operations to become general manager. In 2008, Milkovich joined Hyatt as the corporate director of purchasing. In his role as purchasing director he works closely with the operations team at Hyatt to establish specifications, source products and set terms with suppliers. Hyatt and Milkovich partner with Avendra for their expertise in contracting and supply chain management. In addition to his role as purchasing director, Milkovich oversees Hyatt’s Process Improvement team. In his spare time he loves cooking, a good golf game, and enjoys playing softball.

    A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Milkovich holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University, College of Business Administration.

    Panel Discussion

    Supply Chain Survival Strategies

  • headshot

    Tom Johnston

    Managing Editor, Meatingplace

    Johnston has three Jesse H. Neal Awards to his credit for contributions to Meatingplace, for which he manages production of the magazine and serves as a lead news writer for Meatingplace's twice-daily newsletter and a lead features writer for the magazine. His work for a suburban Chicago paper prior to joining Meatingplace earned him several awards including Suburban News papers of America’s award for best feature writing and best in-depth reporting.

    Panel Discussion

    Supply Chain Survival Strategies

  • headshot

    Jocelyn Totty

    Director of Strategic Supply Chain Management, Avendra

    Jocelyn Totty began her career at Smithfield’s pork division in both R & D and Sales. Totty started with Avendra in 2005 and currently manages all of the strategic planning for the meat and poultry categories. Ensuring a safe, cost effective supply chain is her mission. She has a master’s degree in Food Service from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).

    Panel Discussion

    Supply Chain Survival Strategies

Food Politics — Perceptions and Realities

  • headshot

    Jeffrey Allen

    Executive Director, Social Media, Wagstaff Worldwide

    Allen brings a background in technology and more than 10 years of diverse experience in hospitality marketing, social media, and branding to Wagstaff Worldwide’s Social Media Department. With a keen perspective on experiential and influencer marketing, he spearheads Wagstaff’s growth in the digital arena and builds on the company’s dedication to creating dynamic, multifaceted marketing campaigns for its clients. Before joining Wagstaff, Allen worked at several respected New York City agencies, supporting a wide variety of consumer brands, restaurants, high-profile celebrated chefs, and key culinary industry events. A native of Northern Virginia, Jeffrey grew up on an inspirational diet of bánh mi, Peruvian chicken, souvlaki, and his mother’s Southern cooking, setting an early stage for his ongoing love of food. Since graduating with a B.S. in psychology from Tufts University, he has traveled and eaten his way across nearly 30 countries, always in search of interesting street food and spice markets.

    Keynote

    Social Media: Do You Know What You’re Doing?

  • headshot

    Rita Jane Gabbett

    Executive Editor, Meatingplace

    Janie Gabbett has earned two Jesse H. Neal Awards for her work on Meatingplace. She oversees the industry-leading daily news operation of Meatingplace as well as writes and edits in-depth features for the magazine. “I believe Meatingplace can be an ‘early warning system’ for the industry by choosing the most relevant stories to cover and writing them in a balanced, intelligent way,” said Gabbett. In May 2012 Gabbett spoke at the Animal Agriculture Alliance annual conference about media perceptions of animal agriculture. Raised on a farm in Illinois, Gabbett started her journalism career covering the agriculture industry in Washington, D.C. and held several positions with Reuters, including managing editor of Reuters, North America.

    Case Study

    Slimed: How Social Media Swamped the Science

  • headshot

    Peter Bohan

    Editor, Reuters America Service

    Born in Galesburg, Ill., surrounded by corn, beans and hogs, Peter Bohan joined Reuters in 1983 in Chicago as a commodities reporter and copy editor. From 1988, he spent five years in Asia with Reuters working on the copy desk in Hong Kong and later as bureau chief in Singapore. From 1993, he spent a decade as the first Commodities Editor in the Americas for the agency, overseeing agriculture and agribusiness as well as metals for breaking news, analysis and feature coverage. From 2004, he was Midwest Bureau Chief overseeing all news from a 13-state region in the central United States, including all top news from floods to food scares, corporate mergers to farm lending. He has led the RAS domestic service – focused on breaking general news for U.S. newspapers, websites and broadcasters – since 2009. A graduate of Northwestern, he is the author of Grains, Oilseeds & Livestock, a four-part Reuters online training course used by the agency’s journalists around the world.

    Panel Discussion

    Crisis Control: What Would YOU Do?

  • headshot

    Lisa Keefe

    Editor, Meatingplace

    Lisa Keefe joined Meatingplace as editor in 2008 and has since led the editorial team to six Jesse H. Neal Awards. She is proud of the magazine’s coverage of the “pink slime”/lean finely textured beef controversy in Spring 2012. Prior to joining Meatingplace Keefe held key editorial positions at the American Marketing Association, Crain’s Chicago Business, Forbes and the Orlando Sentinel. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

    Interactive Discussion

    Crisis Control: What Would YOU Do?

  • headshot

    Bill McDowell

    Vice President & Editorial Director, Marketing Technology Group

    McDowell oversees editorial operations for Meatingplace, CarneTec, CarneTec Brasil, Plate and HOTELS. Previously, he was editorial director of the Food & Beverage Group at VerticalNet and associate publisher/editor-in-chief of Chain Leader. McDowell has won several awards from the American Society of Business Press Editors and three Jesse H. Neal Awards.

    Interactive Discussion

    Crisis Control: What Would YOU Do?

  • headshot

    Erik Connolly

    Partner, Winston & Strawn

    Erik Connolly is a litigation partner in Winston & Strawn’s Chicago office who concentrates his practice on commercial litigation. He is currently representing the largest producers of lean finely textured beef in a defamation and disparagement lawsuit against ABC News and others. The lawsuit focuses on a month-long campaign against plaintiffs and their product that included the publication of more than 200 alleged false statements. Plaintiffs seek more than $1 billion in actual and statutory damages.

    Connolly has represented clients operating in a variety of industries in some of their most complex and high-profile cases. His experience includes representing companies and their executives in securities fraud class actions, ERISA class actions, product liability litigation, defamation and disparagement claims, auditor liability, breach of contract disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims, and negligence claims. In 2013 Chicago magazine recognized Connolly as a Rising Star in litigation. In 2010 he was part of the team that received Cisco System’s commercial litigation law firm of the year award Connolly received a B.A., with honors in History and Political Science, from Northwestern University in 1996. He received a J.D., cum laude, from Northwestern University School of Law in 1999, where he was a member of the Journal of International Law and Business. Connolly is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.

    Interactive Discussion

    Crisis Control: What Would YOU Do?

Trends, Technologies & Opportunities

  • headshot

    Chandra Ram

    Editor, Plate

    As the editor of Plate Chandra Ram lives and breathes food and what’s hot in restaurants today. She spent more than 15 years in the foodservice industry as a cook and consulting chef before turning to food writing and editing. Ram holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Loyola University Chicago, an associate's degree in culinary arts from The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), and has passed the certificate level of the Court of Master Sommeliers exam. This year she’s honored to be giving the commencement address at her culinary alma mater. Ram is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and the James Beard Foundation Award chef/restaurant judging committee and co-chair of the annual Meals on Wheels Chicago Celebrity Chef Ball. What would this esteemed food editor have for her last meal? Fried chicken and champagne of course.

    The Future of Food – More than Just a Trend

  • headshot

    Gerald Lessard

    Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, West Liberty Foods

    Gerald Lessard holds more than 30 years of knowledge and expertise of the manufacturing and food industry. Throughout his career, he has had progressive management experience starting with turkey live production through processing and further processing. Prior to his time at West Liberty Foods, he has held leadership roles with Zacky Farms and Butterball Turkey Company.

    He serves as an active Board member and participant of industry trade groups such as the National Turkey Federation, Iowa Turkey Federation, and the Midwest Poultry Consortium. He is also an Executive Board member of West Liberty Foods.

    Gerald obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University majoring in Animal Science with an emphasis in Animal Nutrition, Chemistry, and Physiology. He has also completed course work at Harvard Business School and the University of Chicago.

    Case Study

    Process Innovations: The Future is Now

  • headshot

    Jen Cafferty

    Founder and CEO, The Gluten & Allergen-Free Expos
    President, Gluten Free Classes, LLC
    Corporate and Restaurant Consultant Host, Living Free TV

    As founder and CEO of the Gluten & Allergen-Free Expo (www.gfafexpo.com) and host of Living Free (www.livingfreetv.com), Jen Cafferty is a nationally recognized expert on cooking and living gluten and allergen free. Her mission is to help those who follow a restricted diet learn delicious, nutritious and convenient ways to live a happy and healthy life. Cafferty, her husband and two children follow a restricted diet due to a variety of health concerns. Cafferty is a certified health coach and chef.

    Cafferty founded the Gluten & Allergen-Free Expo in 2008 to introduce some of the leading culinary and health experts in the field to attendees dealing with restricted diets. The annual Expo has grown to 20,000 attendees throughout the U.S. and Canada. Cafferty and her team of notable chefs, cookbook authors and nutritionists present cooking demonstrations and educational sessions.

    Through her award-winning website (www.gfreelife.com) and culinary classes, Cafferty teaches others how to prepare healthy and delicious gluten-free meals at home and educates them about the wide variety of ingredients that are readily available. Through the consulting division of her company, Cafferty consults with numerous food retailers and restaurants to ensure they follow proper allergen procedures, while offering the most delicious and safe foods.

    Interactive Breakout Session

    Flavor without Compromise: A Tasting of Allergen and Gluten-Free Recipes

  • Bob File

    Pat McLaughlin

    Executive Chef, Parkers’ Restaurant & Bar, Downers Grove, Ill.

    Pat McLaughlin brings his commitment to local and sustainable sourcing to his role as executive chef of Parkers’ Restaurant & Bar. McLaughlin began his culinary journey at a little bakery outside of Philadelphia, Pa., at the age of 12. As a line cook at age 16, he discovered a passion for dishes derived from an eclectic mix of styles and cultures, a passion that is expressed today in the dishes he creates for guests at Parkers’ Restaurant & Bar.

    Chef McLaughlin continued the pursuit of his passion at the three-star Park Hyatt, Chicago, where he was firmly entrenched in French technique; the search for quality ingredients and the proper components of a dish. Over the next several years, McLaughlin enhanced his understanding of multinational styles and techniques. A stint at the four-star Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colo. and the four-star Silvertree Hotel in Snowmass Village, Colo., resulted in a love of southwestern cuisine and high altitude cooking. McLaughlin returned to Chicago with a desire to continue his education in French cuisine with a focus on simple, slow cooking and whole roasting. Later, he found a model of hospitality and professionalism in kitchens at Nieman Marcus on Michigan Avenue and discovered the joy of improvisational cooking at the University Club of Chicago. At Parkers’ Restaurant and Bar, McLauglin supports charitable organizations, instructs culinary students, and educates staff and guests on sustainable practices.

    Interactive Breakout Session

    Flavor without Compromise: A Tasting of Allergen and Gluten-Free Recipes

    Panel Discussion

    Promise and Pitfalls Serving Special Dietary Needs

  • Bob File

    Kellie Young

    President, AllergyFree Foods

    Kellie Young grew up in the “Chicken Capital” of Gainesville, Ga. where her family was involved in the poultry business. After graduation she went to work for a Fortune 500 company and was employed there for 15 years while raising her family. When her son was diagnosed with ADD, Young sought out food companies to meet his needs and found most to be uncooperative.

    In 2008, Young became involved in AllergyFree Foods (AFF), a company creating poultry products for the gluten-free community. She was appointed president in 2009. The company’s goal is to distribute great tasting products, free of the top eight allergens (including corn), to consumers through restaurants, grocers, and school food programs.

    AllergyFree Foods is distributed nationally and internationally and has partnered with organizations like Generation Rescue, Rock the Spectrum, Talk About Curing Autism (TACA), and several Celiac groups and foundations.

    Panel Discussion

    Promise and Pitfalls Serving Special Dietary Needs

    Interactive Breakout Session

    Flavor without Compromise: A Tasting Of Allergen and Gluten-Free Recipes

  • headshot

    Renee Zonka, C.E.C., R.D., C.H.E., MBA

    Dean, Kendall College School of Culinary Arts

    Renee Zonka was appointed dean of the School of Culinary Arts in 2011. She joined the program in 2007 as associate dean and was also named managing director in 2010. She was responsible for launching a nutrition concentration in the School of Culinary Arts’ bachelor’s program in 2009. Prior to joining Kendall College, she was a lecturing instructor at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and a chef instructor at the Illinois Institute of Art—Chicago.

    An acknowledged authority on nutrition issues, particularly childhood obesity and special diets, she is a regular consultant and speaker and in demand as an author on topics that promote the critical relationship between culinary and nutrition.

    She began her career practicing clinical dietetics at Christ Hospital and Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., where she also hosted cooking classes for patients and their families. Zonka made a career leap to executive chef of the hospital, and then opened a 90-seat public restaurant in the hospital’s lobby. To gain experience in restaurant operations, Zonka joined Marriott Management Services, where she ran multiple foodservice operations for 11 years. Zonka was named Registered Young Dietitian of the Year by the American Dietetic Association and Educator of the Year by the ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians. She is a Certified Hospitality Educator through the American Hotel & Lodging Association and a Certified Executive Chef through the American Culinary Federation. Zonka holds a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition from Loyola University in Chicago, and an M.B.A. from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, also in the Chicago area.

    Interactive Breakout Session

    Sous Vide: Bathed in Potential

  • headshot

    Joe Monastero, Jr.

    Director, Strategic Initiatives at Kendall College

    Growing-up deeply embedded in the operations of his family’s 50-year old business, Monastero’s Ristorante & Private Dining, Monastero worked in all areas of the business becoming general manager in 2001. He launched Joseph S. Monastero private events in 2005, orchestrating social and corporate events around the world, including a wedding set on a national reality television show.

    In 2008, Monastero turned his attention to Monastero’s kitchen, succeeding his father as executive chef. Complementing that position, he joined Kendall College in 2010 as Operations Manager of their Events Department and as an adjunct chef instructor for the School of Culinary Arts. In April 2012, Monastero was promoted to director of food & beverage event operations at Kendall College overseeing ancillary revenue programs, and in December became director of strategic initiatives.

    Monastero is currently serving his second term as President of the Catering Executives Club of America, is the Treasurer of the Bel Canto Foundation for Young Opera Singers, and is a member of Les Amis d’ Escoffier Society of Chicago.

    Studying for his MBA, and preparing to sit for the ACF’s Certified Executive Chef exam, Monastero has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Loyola University Chicago with majors in marketing and international business.

    Interactive Breakout Session

    Sous Vide: Bathed in Potential

  • headshot

    Kari Underly

    Butcher/Author/Principal, Range, Inc.

    Kari Underly is a third generation meat cutter, author, merchandising and marketing specialist and principal of Range®, Inc. Underly utilizes her expert meat knowledge, cutting techniques and merchandising insights to help retailers, foodservice operators, associations, chefs and farmers promote their products. As a consultant for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Underly helped develop both the Flat Iron Steak and Denver Cut. She has touted the benefits of beef on the Today Show, in Better Homes and Gardens and many other media outlets. Her first book, The Art of Beef Cutting: A Meat Professional’s Guide to Butchering and Merchandising, was nominated in 2012 for both a James Beard Foundation award and an International Association of Culinary Professionals award. Underly holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University. She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and National Association for Agricultural Marketing.

    Interactive Breakout Session

    Cutting Demo: A Fresh look at Beef Value Cuts

  • headshot

    David Newman, Ph.D.

    Newman Consulting, LLC, Professor, North Dakota State University

    David Newman is an animal scientist, meat scientist, butcher and agriculture advocate. He has a diverse background in farming, science, and the art of butchering. Newman consults with livestock producers, meat processors, and culinary professionals around the country. He works as a professor in the Animal Sciences Department at North Dakota State University where he conducts research, teaches, and facilitates extension programs in pork production and meat science. Newman serves on several committees with the National Pork Board including domestic marketing, retail advisory, and foodservice advisory. In 2012 Newman was the winner of the national Cochon-555 Butcher competition. He is a staunch advocate for agriculture.

    Interactive Breakout Session

    Cutting Demo: A Fresh look at Pork Value Cuts

  • headshot

    Doug Piper

    Master Butcher, NSW/ACT Business Development Manager, Domestic Marketing, Meat & Livestock Australia

    Piper’s 34-year career includes an impressive array of managerial and butchery positions. He joined Meat and Livestock Australia in 2007. By 2009 he was promoted to his current position focusing on both retail and foodservice. His team facilitates beef and lamb workshops that include meat appreciation training, paddock-to-plate tours and educational tours for chefs and butchers. Piper’s expert butchery skills have been highlighted in an interactive DVD for both butchers and chefs to be used worldwide.

    Interactive Breakout Session

    Cutting Demo: A Fresh Look at Beef Value Cuts

  • headshot

    Dirk Flanigan

    Former Executive Chef, The Gage and Henri

    For the past seven years Celebrity Executive Chef Dirk Flanigan successfully developed, launched and achieved profitability with the popular Michigan Avenue restaurants The Gage and Henri. Flanigan’s creative and vehement approach to his craft has garnered prestigious notoriety both locally and nationally including the The James Beard Foundation “Best Chefs Great Lakes Semi-Finalist, 3 stars from Phil Vettel of the Chicago Tribune and 3 stars from the Chicago Sun-Times. He will leverage his experience to again offer revolutionary cuisine that is distinctive yet unpretentious, to a broad swath of customers.

    Flanigan began his career as a 13-year-old dishwasher to buy his first surfboard. Shortly thereafter, he was a Chef de Partie at the Ritz-Carlton of Naples, Florida, rocketing him into a love and passion for cooking that has brought accolades to Blue Water Grill, Blue Plate, Meritage Café and Wine Bar, Echo, Madam B, and La Tour.

    Flanigan has achieved national and international notoriety cooking for politicians and VIP’s, celebrities and rock stars. Chef Dirk’s constant desire to expand his knowledge and hone his traditional and molecular avant-garde skills has resulted in innovative and acclaimed dishes such as saddle of elk and chicken fried lobster dishes, which are exemplary of his trademark, “refined rusticity.”

    Interactive Breakout Session

    Cutting Demo: A Fresh Look at Beef Value Cuts

  • headshot

    Brian Polcyn, CEC

    Chef Owner, Forest Grill, Birmingham, Mich.

    Brian Polcyn is an award-winning chef, charcuterie expert and owner of the Forest Grill restaurant, located in Birmingham, Mich. Chef Polcyn honed his skills at two of Michigan's most prestigious restaurants, The Golden Mushroom under Certified Master Chef Milos Cihelka and The Lark. He is the winner of three gold medals from the American Culinary Federation.

    He was a major character in Michael Ruhlman’s, “The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection” and co-authored, with Ruhlman, “Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing.” The book was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Book Award in 2006. That same year, the Foundation made Polcyn one of five nominees for Best Chef in the Midwest.

    Chef Polcyn has been featured in national publications and contributes his time and talent to charitable organizations, including the Taste of the NFL, a fundraiser for hunger relief charities, held before each Super Bowl.

    Interactive Breakout Session

    Charcuterie 201: Old World Flavors for Modern Palates

  • Bob File

    Kim M. Koeller

    Founder, Allergy Free Passport and Gluten Free Passport

    Kim M. Koeller founded Allergy Free Passport and its affiliate Gluten Free Passport. She is an internationally acclaimed speaker, global consultant and award-winning creator of the Let’s Eat Out Gluten & Allergy Free! series of books, e-books and mobile applications. An expert on gluten & allergy free market trends, product manufacturing, food labeling, technology and lifestyles, her advice has appeared in numerous worldwide television and print publications including National Geographic Traveler, NBC, USA Today, Food & Drink and Allergy New Zealand. Koeller and her team are endorsed by celiac and food allergy organizations around the world.

    After overcoming years of misdiagnosis and 12 orthopedic surgeries, Koeller manages her celiac disease and several food allergies including dairy, fish, shellfish, preservatives and chemicals on a daily basis. She and her team sponsored research entitled Understanding Gluten and Allergen-Free Experiences Worldwide: Global Perspective of Consumers, Hospitality & Food Service. It provides industry-leading market trends, best practices and insights about special diet lifestyles based on quantitative data and qualitative analysis of thousands of consumer and business experiences across the globe.

    Prior to establishing her business, Koeller was a partner with Accenture, a leading management consulting firm. She earned her masters degree in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Purdue University and the University of Strasbourg, France.

    Keynote

    Food Allergies: Meeting Needs, Tapping Opportunities

    Panel Discussion

    Promise and Pitfalls Serving Special Dietary Needs

  • Bob File

    Lance Youngs

    Executive Chef, Director of Research and Development, John Soules Foods

    From the time Lance Youngs was big enough to balance himself on a kitchen stool at his Grandmother’s house in New Orleans, he has been tasting and cooking Gumbo. During high school and college he worked in restaurants including Del Frisco’s and Flip’s in Dallas. After studying fine arts and photography for two years at the University of North Texas he was accepted into the Culinary Institute of America.

    Graduating from CIA in 1993, Youngs moved to Houston and began working in the acclaimed kitchen at Tony’s. He later worked with Georges Guy and became the executive chef of Houston’s premier catering company, A Fare Extraordinaire. He returned to Dallas to open the Roaring Fork Restaurant and a catering company M.Y. House of Fine Eats and Catering.

    After selling the catering company Youngs joined the culinary staff at the Anatole Hotel as executive sous chef, overseeing a staff of 300 cooks and nine kitchens. In 2001 he was recruited to resurrect Houston’s landmark restaurant, The Rainbow Lodge. His efforts in revitalizing the restaurant brought its rankings back into Houston’s Top Five. Now in the Tyler, Texas area, Youngs has settled in at John Soules Foods as executive chef and director of Research and Development.

    Panel Discussion

    Promise and Pitfalls Serving Special Dietary Needs

  • Bob File

    Carlyn Berghoff

    Chief Executive Officer, Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group

    Carlyn Berghoff is a multi-faceted businesswoman committed to her work, family, and community. Her best-selling cookbook, The Berghoff Family Cookbook was published in 2007, followed by The Berghoff Café Cookbook: Berghoff Recipes for Simple, Satisfying Food in 2009. Her third cookbook is set to come out in April of 2013 –Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen: Everyday Foods the Whole Family Will Love, written from the perspectives of Carlyn and her teenage daughter, Sarah.

    In 1986 Berghoff opened Artistic Events, a premier off-premise catering company that she has operated ever since. In 2006, after her parents closed the Berghoff restaurant, she purchased the assets, moved her catering company to the historic Berghoff building, and now operates the bar, dining room and café there. In 2008, Carlyn renamed her company Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group.

    A 25-year catering veteran, her company has staged events for heads of state, celebrities, and Fortune 500 companies. Raised and educated in the restaurant business, Berghoff is committed to her industry, playing a lifelong role in hospitality and Chicago tourism. She is an active member of the National Restaurant Association, Culinary Institute of America, Washburne Culinary Institute, DePaul University College of Commerce Advisory Board, as well as the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center Advisory Board.

    Berghoff graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, one of six females in the class of 1982 and president of the student body. She received her bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from Florida International University.

    Panel Discussion

    Promise and Pitfalls Serving Special Dietary Needs

  • Michael Fiddler

    Michael Fiddler

    Executive Chef, Trump International Hotel & Tower, Chicago

    Brooklyn-born Executive Chef Michael Fiddler was lured into the culinary world when, at age seven, he learned to cook breakfast for his family. He worked in local restaurants as a teenager and in college with the kitchen program at his fraternity house.

    After graduating with a B.S. in Finance, Fiddler worked six years for one of the world's leading financial firms. But he found his way back to the kitchen and enrolled in the Culinary Arts Program at the French Culinary Institute in New York. Following graduation he cut his teeth in top New York hot spot restaurants like the Russian Tea Room and Judson Grill. He continued his career working with five-star and Michelin-rated restaurants in luxury hotels like the Ritz Carlton New Orleans, Mandarin Oriental Washington DC, and Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago where he is currently the Executive Chef.

    Michael's culinary philosophy and passion reflects on the growing importance of knowing where our food comes from. Developing relationships with local farmers, producers, and purveyors to seek out the finest in regional and local ingredients blends well with his culinary style which is rooted in classic technique and comforting flavors presented in new and unexpected ways.

    Panel Discussion

    Promise and Pitfalls Serving Special Dietary Needs

  • headshot

    Rob Morasco, CEC

    Senior Director of Offer Development, Sodexo Education

    Rob Morasco has more than 30 years of experience in all facets of food service management, including positions with the Kennedy Center and Capital Hilton Hotel. He joined Sodexo as executive chef at the University of Mary Washington in 1997 and became area executive chef in 2001. Morasco joined the Campus National Marketing Team in 2005 as Director of Product Specifications and Culinary Support, creating menus for both Campus and Schools Divisions, setting benchmarks for creative, nutritional and “on trend” offers. Rob assumed his current role of senior director of Offer Development at Sodexo in 2009. He and his team leverage consumer insights creating offers that resonate in the marketplace.

    Keynote

    College Dining: A Global Perspective

  • headshot

    Frank Turchan

    Executive chef, Residential Dining Services, University of Michigan

    Frank Turchan manages the operations of four different residential dining halls, providing menu and recipe development, staff training and development, and high quality kitchen standards for large and small dining operations. His specialized experience in multi-concept dining as well as ethnic and international cuisine was instrumental in the design and planning of Marketplace at Hill Dining Center and the North Quadrangle dining hall. Turchan shares his talents and flair in the culinary arts by developing and leading cooking classes for students and staff.

    He attended Ferris State University in the Hospitality Management program and received degrees in culinary arts and hospitality management from Henry Ford Community College and the Culinary Institute of America. He also sits on the Culinary Advisory Board for Henry Ford Community College.

    Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Turchan was the executive sous chef at Opus One restaurant in Detroit, and the executive chef for Ford Motor Company Conference & Event Center. He also brings valuable experience in procurement, having worked as a food broker and chef providing training and menu consultation for food distribution companies.

    Case Study

    How a Big Ten University Repositioned Protein on the Menu

  • headshot

    Rafi Taherian

    Executive Director, Yale Dining Services, Yale University

    Rafi Taherian’s work history encompasses more than 25 years of progressive expertise in hospitality leadership. As executive director for Yale Dining, Taherian builds and develops high-performing teams to direct the department with strategic planning and initiatives focused on ensuring operational excellence in the delivery of over 14,000 meals per day in 31 food service operations. Prior to Yale, he served as executive director for Stanford Dining at Stanford University for 13 years. Taherian has been nationally recognized for piloting industry leading sustainability initiatives and has received numerous awards for his vision and leadership in conceptualizing and implementing innovative hospitality programs.

    Case Study

    Ivy League Eats: A Look at Protein Quality versus Quantity

  • headshot

    Liz Grossman

    Managing Editor, Plate

    Before joining Plate as managing editor in 2007, Grossman spent six years covering Chicago’s dining, shopping, culture, and nightlife scenes for Modern Luxury, Inc., where she served as senior editor of CS magazine and editor-in-chief of the visitor guide, Front Desk Chicago. Her freelance writing has appeared in national publications including Newsweek and Robb Report.

    Panel Discussion

    Beyond Ramen—What College Students Really Want To Eat

  • headshot

    Martin Breslin

    Director for Culinary Operations, Harvard University Dining Services

    Martin Breslin sets the culinary standards and oversees all culinary operations at Harvard University Dining Services, which serves nearly five million meals annually. He manages all culinary, nutrition, and technical services that relate to food technology, food science, and food presentation. Chef Breslin oversees all recipe development at the Culinary Support Group (CSG - Commissary) and is responsible for the quality and cost of food, development of culinary staff, and sanitation standards. He has completed Clemson University’s Food Science certifications, meeting all FDA and USDA requirements for food manufacturing.

    A standing member of the Harvard School of Public Health’s nutritional round table, he presented at their World of Healthy Flavors Conference in Napa, Calif., and has been a presenter for the Harvard Medical School at the Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives Conferences. A native of Dublin, Ireland, and a graduate of the Dublin College of Catering, Breslin demonstrated his talents at prestigious restaurants, hotels and universities throughout the United Kingdom, in New York and in Boston, including the famed Russian Tea Room.

    Breslin was named Restaurant Associates' Chef of the Year for 2001, an honor earned during his leadership of the food service at Harvard Business School. With HUDS, Breslin won Five American Culinary Federation (ACF) gold medals. He is chairman of the board for Le Cordon Bleu’s culinary arts school in Boston, and a member of the Research Chef’s Association of America, the American Culinary Federation, and Slow Foods USA.

    Panel Discussion

    Beyond Ramen—What College Students Really Want To Eat