Frequently Asked Questions
Who is qualified to be a member?
The highest ranking menu developer within multi-unit restaurant companies who rank from 201 – 400 in Annual sales in the United States. This includes non-commercial operators, hotels, cruise lines and multiple concept restaurateurs as well.
If I am with a corporation that has multiple brands, is only one person qualified for membership?
In the case of multiple brands within one corporation, each brand can have their highest ranking menu developer apply for membership. In rare cases, more than one member can apply from an operating company. This must be approved by the GCIA board of directors.
Can I get a list of members?
The GCIA by-laws restrict publication of the membership list to avoid adding to the clutter received by our members every day.
Will the membership grow beyond the top 400 chains? At this point in time, there is not a plan for this, however once a member’s company grows and reaches a top 200 ranking, the membership can be transferred to the International Corporate Chefs Association (ICCA), a sister organization.
What is the difference between the GCIA and ICCA? The ICCA is for the highest ranking culinarian within the top 200 multi-unit restaurant companies in the United States. The GCIA includes the highest ranking menu developer within multi-unit restaurant companies ranked from 201 – 400 in annual sales, which can occur in many different positions other than culinary. In other words, if you have more than one title including menu development you can apply for membership within GCIA.
What are the key membership benefits? Networking and education are the key benefits of membership in the Global Culinary Innovators Association. This benefits you in your current position, helps prepare you for future challenges and elevates your company in all areas of menu and research and development.
Activities and Events
What major events do we hold each year?
We have one major educational event each year called our GCIA Culinary Combine. The locations and themes for this event change each year. Numerous other educational programs and networking events take place throughout the year.
What educational activities take place at our Combine?
We have recruited some of the nation’s foremost authorities including professors from Harvard University, Colorado State University, CNN and scientists to share late breaking developments that affect the foodservice industry. The goal of the GCIA Culinary Combine is it to host a unique event unlike all other educational programs offered to the foodservice trade. The topics focus on issues at the core of new menu development in high-volume operations and include the multifaceted challenges facing menu developers today.
What is unique about the GCIA Culinary Combine?
The annual Culinary Combine is a small and intimate environment created to help form a unique network of professional menu developers. This is done by creating unique programs that include farm tours, hands-on kitchen programs and utilizing regional chef experts who share the unique nuances of the cuisine from the region in which the Culinary Combine is held. This includes a look into the history of the cuisine and what influences the flavors or trends that are successful.
What other activities are hosted by the GCIA?
Other activities we host throughout the year include networking receptions at major gatherings of the industry including the NRA Show, COEX and Worlds of Flavors Conference. We also host singular focused educational programs that explore an ingredient’s complete lifecycle and in-depth hands-on experimentation in processing. These include pork and beef production, exploration of seafood harvesting, baking & pastry, food manufacturing and produce farm tours. We will also host two Culinary Connections, one spring and one fall, that are 48 hour events diving in to the city selected to gain insight and trends of that particular city and region.
Does the GCIA get involved with other associations?
The GCIA board of directors and members are also keynote speakers and panelists at events including COEX, NRA Show, Produce Marketing Association and other chefs association conferences each year.
How many sponsors do you have and what is their role?
The by-laws restrict the number of sponsors to a total of 18 companies. The sponsors’ role is to provide educational information and resources to our members. All GCIA events are non-selling activities and we never feature trade shows. Sponsor companies are restricted to one or two attendees at our events based on the sponsorship level.
The sponsor companies are as follows:
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
California Avocado Commission
Dole Packaged Foods
Idaho Potato Commission
Jennie-O Turkey Store
Meat & Livestock Australia
National Pork Board
Sweet Street Desserts
Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board
Wrigley/ Mars Foodservices
Barilla America, Inc.
LBP Manufacturing, Inc.
The Mushroom Council
United Soybean Board
Vulcan Food Equipment Group