National Honey Board Unites with Leading Chefs & Mixologists at 2016 Honey Food & Beverage Summit

Posted by National Honey Board on July 06, 2016

2016 Honey Summit Group Photo 170626 071704

St. Helena was the place to "bee" for the 2016 Honey Food & Beverage Summit, targeting high-volume foodservice operations. Approximately one dozen participants enjoyed several days of immersive honey education and kitchen time at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Greystone campus, nestled in the beautiful Napa Valley. Designed to explore the versatility of honey, from sweet to savory and across various day parts, the summit inspired food and beverage professionals to find new and innovative ways to highlight this golden ingredient.

The chef and mixologist attendees hailed from across the country and represented a variety of restaurant chains and other operations. From Rubio's to Texas Roadhouse to Disney, participants had a crash course in everything from honey varietals to a honey and spirit pairing with cocktail demonstrations from Master Mixologist Kim Haasarud. Beekeeper, author, and honey sommelier Marina Marchese was on also hand to lead the group in a Honey 101 session followed by an eight varietal honey tasting, along with whipped honey and honeycomb.

But it wasn't just a hive of activity in the classroom. The participants were also able to take a field trip to Long Meadow Ranch for an apiary tour. In keeping with the "hive to table" theme, the food and beverage professionals also enjoyed a lunch at Farmstead Restaurant incorporating Long Meadow Ranch honey, which served to only inspire them more for when they would be able to take their newfound knowledge and start applying it in the kitchen.

With a range of honey varietals from which to choose, the chefs and mixologists had two opportunities (one on the second evening and one the following morning) to let their creativity run wild in the kitchen. Guided by CIA Professor, Chef Almir Da Fonseca, the attendees both reimagined existing recipes incorporating honey as well as produced new dishes. From alfalfa to buckwheat honey and curries to cocktails, the dishes that came from those meals were tasty, inspiring, and certainly highlighted the nuances and flavor profiles of each honey and the participants' newfound learnings.

We look forward to seeing what other exciting recipes these chefs and mixologists come up with based on their 2016 Honey Summit experience!