The new Global Culinary Innovators Association (GCIA) was created for the leading menu developers within the nation’s fastest growing multi-unit foodservice operations based on the success of the International Corporate Chefs Association (ICCA), the first chefs association designed exclusively for corporate chefs from the nation’s largest chains and multi-unit operations. The ICCA was created in 2002 for the lead menu developers from the top 200 chains based in the USA and North America. The GCIA is for the lead menu developer for chains ranked 201 – 400 in annual sales.
Mission Statement: The Global Culinary Innovators Association is an organization of multi-unit menu developers coming together to form a network that educates and elevates all aspects of the restaurant business and experience.
The GCIA board of directors has been assembled to include nearly every major industry segment. Membership is limited to the highest ranking menu developer from the multi-unit foodservice operations in the nation ranking 201-400 in annual sales. The members will assemble every year at an annual national conference we call the GCIA Culinary Combine and two regional conferences we call GCIA Culinary Connections. At these events we will immerse ourselves into the marketplace of the hottest culinary cities in the nation. Activities will include visiting farms, processing facilities, wineries, breweries and roundtables with the most prominent chefs in independent restaurants and within chains. Networking opportunities also take place at some of the nation’s largest foodservice events where our members gather.
GCIA events are smaller and more conducive to networking and best of all there are no trade shows, booths or selling at our events. Only members, select members of the media and a very small sponsor community are invited to all GCIA events. This provides the members with an environment that is casual and productive. Benefits include access to up-to-date information on trends, training techniques, current issues, menu development and other topics that affect your menu development staff and daily operations. This will be done through a variety of education programs and hands-on training at the GCIA Culinary Combine, plus ongoing web-based news and information. Your commitment to become a member of GCIA is a unique opportunity to help create a new association in our growing multi-unit foodservice industry.
GCIA President Jeff Sinelli, Founder of Which Wich Superior Sandwiches, stated, “The GCIA created a culinary culture that is passionate about food in the world and how these menu items are created and sourced.” He added, “GCIA has already helped me with menu development and innovation … food taste better when it is made with love and passion”.
For additional information on the GCIA please watch our introductory video:
Global Culinary Innovators Association Board of Directors
Jeff Sinelli, GCIA Immediate Past President
Which Wich Superior Sandwiches
Matt McMillin, GCIA President
VP of Culinary & Beverage Innovation
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants
Steven Sturm, GCIA Vice President
Firebirds Wood Fired Grill
Shane Schaibly, GCIA Treasurer
Corporate Chef & Director of Culinary Operations
First Watch Restaurants
Jeff Mann, GCIA Secretary
VP of Culinary
Alamo Draft House & Cinema
Director Culinary Services
Sodexo North America
Corporate Chef and Head of R & D
SVP Purchasing & Culinary
Tony Roma’s/ TR Fire Grill
Director of Culinary Innovation
Luby’s – Pappas Restaurant Group
Chief Culinary Officer – VP Culinary Operations
Lazy Dog Restaurants
Kevin L. Ryan
CEO & Executive Director
Global Culinary Innovators Association
Many leading food manufacturers and trade association marketing boards have lent their support to help this association become a reality. There are two levels of sponsorship available for food, beverage, equipment or service organizations to support this dynamic association and our mission. Their generous donations have helped establish the organization and fully funded the activities including the educational Culinary Combine and the upcoming Culinary Connections. Founding and Corporate Sponsors who have committed resources to help create the Global Culinary Innovators Association include:
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
California Avocado Commission
Dole Packaged Foods Company
Idaho Potato Commission
Jennie-O Turkey Store
True Aussie Beef & Lamb
Sweet Street Desserts
Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin
Ambassador Meat Distributors, Inc.
Barilla America, Inc.
Fresh Concepts Inc.
Kikkoman Sales USA
The Mushroom Council
Tuxton China, Inc.
Global Culinary Innovators Association
PO Box 2005 Winter Park, Florida 32790-2005
To request an application for membership, please contact the Global Culinary Innovators Association national headquarters at:
Post Office Box 2005, Winter Park, Florida 32790
Phone 407.539.1459 Fax 407.985.4538