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Monday, April 15

  • 11:00 AM – 1:00 P.M.


    Product sampling, networking, passport stamping

  • Containment Strategies: Managing cost, preserving profits in the plant and on the menu

    The combined impact of drought, ethanol policies and herd management has tightened livestock supplies and spurred unprecedented price spikes for commodity beef, pork and poultry. Companies at all points of the supply chain are scrambling to trim costs and, in some cases, alter their product mix. Our kickoff session will offer processors and foodservice operators an overview of market conditions impacting food costs and practical strategies to better manage them.

  • 1:10 – 1:40 P.M. Keynote

    Commodity Costs in Context

    Dr. Steve Meyer, founder, Paragon Economics

    One of the most respected authorities on agricultural economics, Dr. Meyer provides expert analysis to guide beef, pork and poultry producers in making crucial business decisions. In this kickoff keynote, the co-author of the CME Group’s Daily Livestock Report offers an overview of economic trends in commodity markets that affect the bottom line.

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  • 1:40 – 2:00 P.M. Processor Case Study

    Adding Value, Trimming Costs

    Brent Cator, president, Cardinal Meat Specialists

    For decades, Canadian processor Cardinal Meat Specialists pioneered product development and food safety. Its ascent as a top producer of frozen burgers and kettle-cooked beef, pork and poultry products is fueled by a commitment to quality and efficiency in processing operations. In this case study, Cator shares experiences on how Cardinal optimizes process efficiencies to create better products while cutting input costs.

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  • 2:00 - 2:20 P.M. Foodservice Case Study

    Creative Cost Controls

    Stephen Goglia, president and COO, The David Burke Group

    Goglia will present a case study on the various ways his multiconcept restaurant group combats food cost fluctuations, especially with center-of-the-plate proteins. Learn what a difference creative menu design, plating and dish construction can make. He’ll also review internal process controls, such as bidding, purchasing, receiving, storage, butchery and accounting tools, The David Burke Group uses to keep protein costs in check.

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  • 2:30 – 3:15 P.M. Panel Discussion

    Supply Chain Survival Strategies


    Tom Johnston, managing editor, Meatingplace


    Jocelyn Totty, director of Strategic Supply Chain Management, Avendra

    Stephen Goglia, president and COO, David Burke Group

    Jim Milkovich, corporate director of purchasing, Hyatt

    Brent Cator, president, Cardinal Meat Specialists; and a food service distributor (TBA)

    As the economy drives consolidation in the food industry, and large buying organizations gain power, survival for individual companies is increasingly dependent on smart procurement strategies and tighter cooperation up and down the supply chain. Our panel of experts represents the processing, distribution and procurement sectors. Learn how collaborative efforts can maximize margins for the industry as a whole.

  • Perception and Realities: Calibrating Your Digital Message in an Age of Food Activism

    Social media has emerged as a powerful communication and messaging tool for companies, their customers—and their critics. With all segments of the food industry increasingly in the public spotlight, you’re one click away from a public relations disaster. This segment will examine how to effectively use these tools and how to avoid having your message spin out of control.

  • 3:30 – 4:00 P.M. Keynote

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

    Jeffrey Allen, executive director, social media, Wagstaff Worldwide

    How does Facebook’s new graph search affect your business? How can Instagram help you connect with your customers? What do you do when a few clicks on social media starts something viral? Jeffrey Allen, executive director for social media of Wagstaff Worldwide, explains how to keep up while avoiding a Twitter disaster.

  • 4:00 – 4:30 P.M. Case Study

    Slimed: How Social Media Swamped the Science

    Rita Jane Gabbett, executive editor, Meatingplace

    In the spring of 2012, the editors of Meatingplace found themselves in the eye of a media storm, in which mainstream news outlets recast Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB) as “Pink Slime.” This case study presents a front-line account of how misinformation, competing agendas and the power of social media took a safe, healthy product off the market and nearly brought down a food company.

  • 4:30 – 5:15 P.M. Interactive Discussion

    Crisis Control: What Would YOU Do?


    Lisa Keefe, editor, Meatingplace

    Bill McDowell, editorial director, MTG Media Group


    Jeffrey Allen, executive director, social media, Wagstaff Worldwide

    Erik Connolly, partner, Winston & Strawn, Chicago

    Peter Bohan, former Chicago bureau chief and chief commodities correspondent, Reuters USA

    A reporter's on the phone and your customers are screaming on social media. The decisions you and your team make to respond to a controversy or food safety incident can save or destroy your business. In this interactive discussion, attendees will vote on how they would react to a hypothetical public relations crisis. A panel of experts including a PR executive, a reporter and an attorney, will critique responses and offer proscriptive suggestions to keep a bad situation from getting worse.

  • 5:15 – 7:30 P.M.

    Reception/Trade Fair

    Product Sampling, networking, passport stamping

Tuesday, April 16

  • 7:00 – 8:00 A.M.


    Product sampling, networking, passport stamping

  • Untapped Potential: Mining trends and emerging markets for new product and menu development

    What are the emerging menu, process and market segments that will drive your company’s new product development? In this segment, we’ll separate the trends from the fads and offer an inside look at one of the meat industry’s most progressive innovators.

  • 8:05 – 8:30 A.M. Keynote

    The Future of Food – More than Just a Trend

    Chandra Ram, editor, Plate

    We could spend hours debating what the next steak or slider will be, but it doesn’t matter once a Korean beef taco suddenly appears and completely changes the conversation. Plate editor Chandra Ram shares why menu forecasts are flawed, and how it’s more important to look at the broader economic and sociological movements that drive meaningful food trends to the forefront.

    Download presentation here.

  • 8:30 – 9:00 A.M. Keynote

    Process Innovations: The Future is Now

    Gerald Lessard, vice president and chief operating officer, West Liberty Foods

    From individual slicing cells and high-pressure processing to a landfill-free initiative, West Liberty is known throughout the industry for its leading-edge innovations. In this keynote, the former vice president of operations for Zacky Farms and director of live operations at ConAgra Foods will offer his perspective on which processing innovations will drive growth in the coming decade.

    Download presentation here.

  • 9:00 – 10:30 A.M.

    Interactive Breakout Sessions

    Attendees can select from the following concurrent sessions each rotating three times. This will give chefs and processors the opportunity to attend three of the four sessions and focus on those topics that are of particular interest to them in an intimate and interactive setting. Several sessions offer demonstration and tastings to enhance the discussion.

    Session 1

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


    Kellie Young, president, Allergy Free Foods

    Pat McLaughlin, executive chef, Parkers’ Restaurant & Bar

    Jen Cafferty, consultant and founder, The Gluten and Allergen-Free Expos

    Taste, then discuss how the challenges of allergen- and gluten-free formulations, such as flavor and texture, are addressed to meet the needs of a growing segment of customers.

    Session 2

    Sous Vide: Bathed in Potential


    Renee Zonka, dean, Kendall College School of Culinary Arts

    Joe Monastero, director, strategic initiatives, Kendall College

    Preview highlights of Kendall College’s new sous vide curriculum. This session will explore the many flavor, cost and product consistency benefits of sous vide in volume kitchens and demonstrate best practices for maximizing its potential.

    Download presentation here.

    Session 3

    Cutting Demo: A Fresh look at Beef and Pork Value Cuts


    Kari Underly, founder, Range, Inc. – Beef Value Cuts

    David Newman, Ph.D., North Dakota State University – Pork Value Cuts

    Doug Piper, master butcher, Meat & Livestock Australia and

    Dirk Flanigan, former executive chef, The Gage and Henri – Beef Value Cuts

    Now more than ever, cuts that extract greater value from underutilized (and lower-priced) sub-primals of beef and pork are worth a second look from processors and foodservice chefs alike. These interactive butchery demos will explore muscle groups in search of hidden gems.

    Session 4

    Charcuterie 201: Old World Flavors for Modern Palates


    Chef Brian Polcyn, Forest Grill, Birmingham, Mich.

    Artisan charcuterie has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years. Dry, smoked and cured meats once considered exotic are now in the mainstream. During this interactive tasting and discussion sample some old- and new-world applications that will spice up your sausage repertoire.

    Download presentation here.

  • 10:45 – 11:15 A.M. Keynote

    Food Allergies: Meeting Needs, Tapping Opportunities

    Kim Koeller, author, Let’s Eat Out with Celiac / Coeliac and Food Allergies!

    As an international business consultant to food processors and foodservice clients in 35 countries, Koeller also personally manages her own celiac disease and several food allergies. She will present global research on market trends, best practices and insights about special diet lifestyles. Learn about the business opportunity and how foodservice and food processing professionals can successfully serve this growing population of customers.

    Download presentation here.

  • 11:15 - Noon Panel Discussion

    Promise and Pitfalls Serving Special Dietary Needs


    Kim Koeller, author, Let’s Eat Out with Celiac / Coeliac and Food Allergies!


    Carlyn Berghoff, chief executive officer, Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group

    Michael Fiddler, executive chef, Trump International Hotel & Towers, Chicago

    Pat McLaughlin, executive chef, Parkers’ Restaurant & Bar

    Kellie Young, president, Allergy Free Foods

    Lance Youngs, executive chef and director of research and development, John Soules Foods

    A panel of processors and foodservice chefs will share their own experiences in working with allergen- and gluten-free formulations. Chefs will discuss what has worked well, how they avoid cross-contamination and what they need from processors to better serve their customers and consumers. Processors will discuss what it takes to produce these products and which ones they see as most in demand.

  • Noon – 1:15 P.M.

    Lunch/Trade Fair

    Product sampling, networking, passport stamping

    Dining Degree: Getting Schooled in College Foodservice Trends

    Want an advance look at tomorrow’s restaurant menu trends? Look no further than your local college campus, where the next generation of consumers is fortifying its globally inspired dining preferences. In this session, you’ll hear how dietary and flavor trends are playing out on college menus; how foodservice directors are challenging their suppliers to deliver better product at lower costs; and how students perceive their relationship with food.

  • 1:20-1:45 P.M. Keynote

    College Dining: A Global Perspective

    Rob Morasco, senior director, offer development, Sodexo Education USA

    With more than 30 years of experience in all facets of foodservice management, Rob Morasco shares his knowledge of campus foodservice trends and menu development on a global scale. He’ll discuss what administrators are looking for from their suppliers, and what students are looking for from on-site restaurants. He’ll also examine how colleges are attacking issues of waste, menu engineering, maintaining portion sizes and how students consider cost, quality or convenience in their ingredient choices.

    Download presentation here.

  • 1:50 – 2:10 P.M. Case Study

    How a Big Ten University Repositioned Protein on the Menu

    Frank Turchan, executive chef, Residential Dining Services, University of Michigan

    The former executive chef of Opus One restaurant in Detroit and Ford Motor Company, Turchan will discuss what it takes to make cost-effective choices while turning out almost 3 million meals a year. He’ll focus on the cost and health effects of presenting smaller portions of protein, and positioning proteins as a garnish. He’ll also talk about how and why the university strives to keep things local by supporting Michigan ranchers; how they deal with issues of cost, safety and quality, and the story behind this mission.

    Download presentation here.

  • 2:10-2:30 P.M. Case Study

    Ivy League Eats: A Look at Protein Quality versus Quantity

    Rafi Taherian, executive director, Yale Dining Services, Yale University

    The former executive director of Stanford University Dining, Rafi Taherian focuses on issues from energy-saving opportunities, expanding global cuisine offerings and sourcing local, seasonal and sustainable products. In this case study, Taherian tells his story of protein quality over quantity. In the last four years he’s focused on sourcing higher quality and overall better options for all animal-sourced protein, and shares his findings. He’ll also explain how his organization has mitigated cost impact through menu engineering, portion control and waste reduction.

    Download presentation here.

  • 2:30 – 2:55 P.M. Panel Discussion

    Beyond Ramen—What College Students Really Want To Eat


    Martin Breslin, director of culinary operations, Harvard University

    Liz Grossman, managing editor, Plate

    A diverse panel of students will offer a comprehensive look at what college students want and expect from their campus foodservice programs. Long gone are the days of cooking ramen noodles in their dorm room. Students are looking for late-night dining options, healthy alternatives, pop up dinner options, budget-friendly dining, and globally inspired dishes.

  • 2:55 – 3:00 P.M.

    Wrap-Up / Closing Statements /iPad Giveaway