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Montclair State University to Host International Conference of the Culinary Arts and Sciences

International Conference of the Culinary Arts and SciencesMONTCLAIR, NJ – The International Conference on Culinary Arts and Sciences (ICCAS) will take place at Montclair State University from June 3 to June 5, 2015. The conference — the first of its kind to be held in the United States — will bring together food scholars from around the world, local and national chefs, food scientists, food enthusiasts and members of the food trade.

This year’s conference, titled “Opportunities and Challenges for Food and Eating in Society,” will explore the central role food and eating play in the health and well being of societies and individuals. The conference is open to the public.

“We have invited scholars from the U.S. and around the world to attend the conference,” says the U.S. conference chair and chair of the conference’s International Scientific Advisory Committee, Montclair State Health and Nutrition Sciences Associate Professor Charles Feldman. “This includes nutrition, dietetics, culinary, hospitality and cross-disciplinary scholars, as well as all the nutrition and culinary programs in the New York and New Jersey area. We have also invited people from the food industry, including members of the New Jersey Restaurant Association.” In addition, the conference will be open to food enthusiasts.

Sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Cooks of London, a trade guild that received its Royal Charter in 1482, and the Paul Bocuse Institute in Lyon, France, considered by many to be the world’s premier culinary academy, the conference will offer many opportunities for the sharing of ideas, networking and formation of future collaborations. Renowned culinary, food science and nutrition scholars — as well as students — will present their research papers during scheduled sessions. Vendors will also be able to share product ideas with experts from world markets.

“We have put together an exciting, cross-disciplinary program headlined by an outstanding group of internationally recognized keynote speakers. Their talks are sure to spark a lively investigation of what food and eating mean in our daily lives,” says Feldman.

On Wednesday, June 3, Dr. Maricel E. Presilla, the first Latin American woman to have served as a guest chef at the White House, will deliver the conference’s opening keynote address. A four-time James Beard Foundation Award nominee, she won as Best Chef Mid-Atlantic in 2012. The 2013 James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the Year, Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America, authored by Presilla, was chosen as the best general book by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Chef and co-owner of Cucharamama in Hoboken, NJ, Presilla specializes in the foods of Latin American and Spain. She holds a Ph.D. in medieval Spanish history from New York University and has been trained in cultural anthropology.

Dr. Catherine Woteki, U.S. Department of Agricultural Undersecretary, will be the lunchtime keynote speaker on Thursday, June 4. As the USDA’s chief scientist, she supervises its Research, Education and Economics mission.

Brian Wansink, former executive director of the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion and best-selling author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, will also deliver a keynote address on June 4. Perhaps best known for his groundbreaking studies in consumer behavior and food, Wansink is currently the John Dyson Professor of Consumer Behavior at Cornell University and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

On Friday, June 5, Paul Herbage, of the Worshipful Company of Cooks of London, will speak. The Company, which traces its origins back to two medieval guilds of cooks, fosters training and excellence in cookery.

Internationally recognized expert in sensory and consumer research and product development, and 2005 Presidential Award recipient, Dr. Herbert L. Meiselman will deliver the conference’s closing address. He retired as senior research scientist at Natick Laboratories, where he was the highest-ranking research psychologist in the U.S. government. He currently serves as president of the Research Committee of the Paul Bocuse Institute and is also a member of the Research Committee for the Culinary Institute of America.

The roots of the ICCAS extend back to 1993, when the Worshipful Company of Cooks of London established a Centre for Culinary Research at Bournemouth University. The first International Conference of the Culinary Arts and Sciences took place at the university in 1996 in response to a need for a forum when culinarians and scientists could meet to present research and discuss ideas in a multicultural, multidisciplinary environment. It was so successful that subsequent conferences were hosted by Bournemouth University in 1998; the University of Cairo, Egypt, in 2001; Sweden’s Örebro University in 2003; Warsaw Agricultural University in Poland in 2005; the Norwegian Hotel School, University of Stavanger in 2008; Bournemouth University in 2011; and the University of Porto Portugal in 2013.

“While Europe has a deep history in culinary production and academics, this will be the first time a scholarly conference of this type will take place in this country,” explains Feldman, who invited the conference to Montclair State. “The intention is to bring together a world body of culinary scholars and practitioners, who in some respects have been working separately, to explore shared areas of interest and concern.”

Feldman notes that holding a conference of this type in this country reflects the growing academic respect for food research here. “It will also put the Montclair State University food programs on the world map, which will open the door to tremendous opportunities for scholarly and academic exchanges.”

The current Montclair State academic exchange programs with Bournemouth University and the Paul Bocuse Institute are a direct result of Feldman’s participation at an ICCAS conference. Other conference collaborations include joint publications by University faculty and international colleagues, as well as campus visits from Dr. Laure Saulis and Chef Jean Phillipon of the Paul Bocuse Institute. In February, Brazilian scholar Dr. Marcela Vieros began a yearlong stay at the University’s Health and Nutrition Sciences department, a visit arranged at an earlier conference.

“I look forward to seeing the many colleagues who I have met at the last conferences and the growing opportunities for productive academic collaborations and exchanges,” Feldman adds.

The conference is open to the public. For more information and to register, please visit

Montclair State University
Building on a distinguished 107-year history, Montclair State University is proud to be a leading institution of higher education in New Jersey. The university’s six colleges and schools serve over 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students in more than 300 doctoral, master's, and baccalaureate level programs. Situated on a beautiful, 250-acre suburban campus just 14 miles from New York City, Montclair State delivers the instructional and research resources of a large public university in a supportive, sophisticated and diverse academic environment.