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NEWS | Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Innovation Summit

NEWS | Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Innovation Summit

Art inside of the Marriott Pavilion of the Culinary Institute of America

Plant-based cuisine is the food of our future (and the word “vibrant” was used!); sake will be joining the burgeoning upstate craft beverage industry; and kosher food is not just for Jews anymore, especially where vegan and gluten-free meet pareve. New York Makers learned all this and more when we attended the Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Innovation Summit held on May 14 at the Culinary Institute of America (the “CIA”) in Poughkeepsie.

Opening speaker, food wizard Dr. Tim Ryan, President of the CIA, invited attendees to peek inside the world’s top industry and to discover the CIA’s cutting edge role, especially as it has become fully accredited as a four-year college and has grown to include an overseas campus in Singapore and a new center in Barcelona to connect its students and future chefs to ultimate sources for cuisine study, and as it is developing edu/innov/entrepre partnerships, such as with Asahi Shuzo, brewer of Dassai sake, to open a sake distillery in Hyde Park. Dr. Ryan even revealed the results of its “Blended Burger Project,” which found that the ideal amount of mushrooms to include with traditional burger ingredients to maximize taste, moistness, and health, is at 30% of each patty.  

Lively breakout sessions followed that delved into the big business of food innovation, the importance of sustainable production, wellness and food justice issues. We discovered during the networking and tasting session a pulsing community of makers across New York State previously and largely unknown to us, including those making Ayurvedic condiments, a wide array of cashew nut cheese products, and creative, delicious “salts” made out of waste leftover from production sauerkraut and other fermented products.

Soon-to-be available on New York Makers: Small Town Cultures

We hope to bring you some of these products through the New York Makers Marketplace soon, along with more maker stories and some delicious recipes!

Dr. Ryan is right. The constantly evolving food industry is at the center of our lives, our enjoyment, and our economy -- with the Hudson Valley and the CIA at the epicenter of tectonic shifts underway.

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