Published on 10/26/20

Food Industry’s New Normal Summit

In these times of uncertainty and rapid change, chefs, restaurateurs, artisans, and manufacturers must prepare for what will has been referred to as the “new normal.” Valrhona Selection’s Industry Talks will gather international experts in the food industry, including chefs, journalists, distributors, and consultants, who have adapted as best they can to remain open during this unprecedented situation. These expert panels will share their lessons learned, best practices, and vision for tomorrow, based on their perspectives as part of the food industry in various parts of the world.

for an exchange of ideas about how stakeholders can empower themselves to thrive amidst evolving regulations and customer expectations.

“The hospitality industry has been strongly affected due to the COVID-19 situation,” said Emmanuelle Brun, COO of Valrhona North America. “We continuously ask ourselves how we can be the best partners to our consumers, and this has never been more important than it is now. It is imperative for us to have a positive impact on our value chain, and to be able to share our knowledge and experience with others.”


Tuesday, May 26: Change is the New Constant

  • Brady Williams, executive chef, Canlis, Seattle
  • Eve Turow-Paul, author, founder, food culture expert, public speaker, Chicago
  • Steve Pyle, CEO, Chef Middle East LLC, United Arab Emirates

As fear of COVID-19 spread around the world, it also introduced new challenges for the foodservice industry. We saw many establishments being flexible, changing their business models, and introducing new customer experiences to meet the current market needs and continue to function. Some establishments stand out for their incredible adaptability and creativity in finding new, engaging ways to serve their communities. This session will explore some of those new business models and experiences which exemplary businesses from around the world started in order to adjust to this new normal.

Wednesday, May 27: The New Tomorrow

  • Toby Malbec, managing director at ConStrata Technology Consulting, Hollywood, Florida
  • Shahbaz Tiavar, vice president, procurement, AccorHotels, Middle East & Africa
  • Denis Vergneau, general manager, Sinodis, China

The global health and economic crisis has dramatically changed the food industry, and it’s possible some changes might be here for good. Now more than ever, food safety, employee safety, and consumer safety is and will continue to be a top priority for foodservice establishments. In this session, we will recap the topics discussed throughout the week, talking about which changes are temporary, which ones could be here to stay, and how we can learn from other establishments around the world to emerge from this crisis stronger than ever. In this session, we will hear from establishments in communities that have already begun their recovery, learning tips on how we can prepare. We will also hear from others who are preparing to reopen, as well as industry experts who will share their thoughts on what they envision for the future of hospitality and the food industry.

Thursday, May 28: The Digital Uplift

  • Benjamin Mouflard, co-founder, ChatFood, United Arab Emirates
  • Antonio Bachour, chef and owner Bachour, Miami
  • Joey Gentry, vice president and CEO, Altamira Foods, Denver

The current crisis has accelerated the new era of digital integration in the food industry, with establishments big and small quickly adjusting to digital models to continue to serve and engage with their customers. In some ways, we can trace what’s happening today to a huge digital transformation that’s already well underway. As restaurants and artisans transition to online ordering and delivery, our guest speakers will share ideas to help food businesses increase their digital presence, engage with their customers online and adapt to new consumer behaviors.