We will have a diverse group of speakers that touch every segment of the food industry, drive trends and challenge the status quo from culinary arts to food science and everything in between.


Lori Rothman
Lori Rothman Consulting

Lori Rothman is an experienced professional in the areas of Consumer Science and Sensory Evaluation, specializing in consumer products and packaging.   She is known for leveraging consumer and sensory insights to drive product innovation and business growth.  Her experience includes strategy development, department creation and staffing, sensory facility/infrastructure, cross-functional and cross-country relationship building, budgeting, and delivering business relevant results.

Bob Ryan
Shields Meneley Partners

Bob left his corporate career 5 years ago to follow his passion of advising others on career and life journeys.

Maeve Webster
Menu Matters

Maeve Webster, President of Menu Matters, is a leading consultant and thought leader for the foodservice industry. She has spearheaded hundreds of major industry studies during her 18 years as a foodservice specialist, and today runs a private consultancy focused on working with foodservice professionals to analyze, understand, and leverage food and consumer behavior trends. It’s less important to understand what’s growing or declining than the why and the what does this mean for us.

In addition to her consulting work, Maeve owns a café in Bennington, VT, running the kitchen and designing the menu. This has not only been a labor of love but has brought to life the issues she has consulted on for nearly two decades. She is a sought after speaker, appearing at top industry events such as Flavor Experience, World of Flavors, MISE, RCA, National Restaurant Association Show, and New Products Conference; and has contributed to major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, NPR, CNBC, MSNBC and CBS. She is a regular contributor to several industry publications.

Zak Weston
Foodservice Analyst
Good Foods Institute

Zak works at the Good Food Institute (GFI), an international nonprofit focused on creating a healthy, just, and sustainable foodsystem through plant-based protein innovation and cellular agriculture. He consults with leading foodservice operators and food companies to help increase the quality and quantity of their plant-based offerings and meet the growing consumer demand for plant-based foods.

An active member of the Effective Altruism community, Zak holds a B.A. in Business Management from Cedarville University, and joined GFI after several years of experience in sales and working with startups.


Suzy Badaracco
Culinary Tides

Suzy Badaracco is the President of Culinary Tides, Inc. and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminalistics, Associate degree in Culinary Arts, and Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition. Suzy has been trained in military intelligence, Chaos theory, and predictive analysis techniques and has been practicing trends intelligence and predictive forecasting for more than 15 years. Using these techniques, she has been able to successfully predict and profile government, technology, adversary and ally, food, flavor, consumer, industry, and health trends.

Culinary Tides, Inc. helps food industry partners navigate trends by revealing relevant patterns so they can create products that connect with customers. They specialize in foretelling a trend’s birth and forecasting its trajectory, personality and longevity. The forecast results are used to create entrance, navigation, and exit strategies.

Ann Barrett, Ph.D.
Soldier Center

Ann Barrett is Senior Food Engineer with the Combat Feeding Directorate of the US Army Combat Capability Development Command—Soldier Center in Natick. Massachusetts. She has pioneered food engineering research projects concerning numerous processing, preservation and characterization technologies. These efforts have included: nutrient densification and food compression; preservation of vitamin retention in long-stored products developed for a Mars mission; controlling the rate of starch digestion through inhibition of digestive enzymes using natural ingredients; enhancing the stability of omega-3-fortified ration components; moisture management and control of moisture migration in complex foods; extrusion and infusion technologies; and mathematical texture characterization and textural optimization of novel army ration components.

She is senior author of over one hundred technical publications and presentations describing results from this research, and has been a recipient of the Army Achievement Award, an Army Fellowship for graduate study, and numerous Natick Soldier Center awards. Dr. Barrett graduated from Williams College with degrees in Chemistry and English, and received her PhD in Food Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. She has prior industrial experience in powder processing operations at Brady Enterprises, Inc., in Weymouth MA.

Lou Cooperhouse
President & CEO

Lou Cooperhouse is recognized as a leading global authority in food business innovation and technology commercialization, with extensive leadership experiences throughout his 35-year career in the food industry. He is a results-driven professional, and has led cross-functional teams in a wide array of industry settings that include: multinational corporations, foodservice and retail operations, new business startups, mid-sized and family-run companies, university entrepreneurship and innovation centers, and industry trade associations. With his deep and diverse understanding of the food industry, Lou has spoken at hundreds of conferences throughout his career, specializing in food trends, disruptive technologies, and global best practices in business innovation and incubation.

Robert Danhi
Curator of Cultures
Flavor360 Solutions

Chef Danhi current mission is to curate, document, codify, archive and share the worlds culinary cultures hence has been working for the past four years to create a software system, to blend qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and capture the 360° Flavor Experience.

The Flavor360 team partners with organizations to efficiently capture the tribal knowledge of their organization during F&B field research, food tours, tastings, cuttings, recipe & formula R&D and collaborative flavor evaluations.

Ken Rubin
Chief Culinary Officer

Ken Rubin is an internationally recognized culinary executive with expertise in training & development, culinary wellness, content production, online & mobile learning, culture and behavior change, lifestyle health, ethnography, special diets, food preferences, nonprofit advocacy, media and content strategy, food-centered design, product ideation, plant-based product development, and sensory analysis.

Chef Gerard Viverito
Corporate Chef and Culinary Advisor

Chef Gerard Viverito is Corporate Chef and Culinary Advisor to BlueNalu, and provides his expertise in the creation of delicious recipes and flavor combinations for our cell-based seafood products, with preparations for both foodservice and retail formats.

Chef Gerard also serves on the prestigious faculty — as an Associate Professor in Culinary Arts — at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, where he teaches the Seafood Identification & Fabrication class. In addition, he is the Co-founder and Director of Culinary Education for PassionFish.org, a non-profit organization in San Diego dedicated to teaching and promoting environmentally sound alternatives to endangered seafood species. He travels around the world educating, consulting and demonstrating cooking, using sustainable seafood products to ensure fish for our future.

Chef Gerard has dedicated a large part of his career to what he terms “functional cooking.” This is where he adds nutritional ingredients to dishes to gain healthful results. He is well known for his ability to lower the glycemic index value of food, and add omega fatty acids and whole proteins to dishes without compromising the texture or taste. He appears regularly on radio and television programs demonstrating his expertise and consulting clients on their dietary needs.


Chef Stephen Kalil, CEC®, CRC®
Chef and Culinary Expert
Flavor Design Studio, LLC

Led by acclaimed chef and culinary expert Stephen A. Kalil, Flavor Design Studio provides independent consulting and strategizing services for major food brands and companies across the globe. Chef Stephen excels at drawing from his vast network to assemble the bespoke team best suited to each client's unique project requirements. From collecting consumer insights, to improving operations, to structuring the research and development process for new products and menus, Flavor Design Studio is adept at bringing together the best minds in every category to produce measurable, mouthwatering results.

Chef Stephen is both a Certified Executive Chef (CEC) with the American Culinary Federation and a Certified Research Chef (CRC) with the Research Chefs Association. His career in food service began as a teenager in the late 1970s at Steve’s Backroom, his family’s business in Detroit, Michigan, which specialized in freshly prepared Middle-Eastern food. As manager and later as executive chef of Steve’s Backroom, Stephen managed the restaurant, wholesale, and catering kitchens and was integral in developing new food products and increasing sales by 200% over three years. This experience led him to California in 1997, where he expanded his knowledge of food, flavors, and menu development for casual dining as chef de cuisine for Culinary Research and Development at The Cheesecake Factory.

Mike Kostyo
Trendologist and Managing Editor
Market Intelligence team at Datassential

Mike Kostyo is the resident Trendologist and Managing Editor on the Market Intelligence team at Datassential, the food industry's leading market research and trends company. At Datassential, Kostyo oversees the company's seven TrendSpotting magazines, custom client publications, and he leads trend immersion tours and ideation sessions across the country. Kostyo was a recurring guest on Fusion TV's "The AV Club Show"; has been featured on WGN Radio, CBS Radio, and Gimlet Media's "Why We Eat What We Eat" podcast; is regularly featured in newspapers and magazines; speaks at numerous conferences across the country annually; and he was a judge on Food Network's "Eating America." He has a master’s in gastronomy from Boston University, plus certificates in the culinary arts, baking arts, wine, and artisan cheese production. In his spare time he teaches cooking classes and co-founded a monthly food swap in Chicago.