The food and beverage industry has evolved over the past decade, and no one understands that better than these industry insiders. Uncover key insights from each of our distinctive spotlight speakers who are experienced chefs, product developers and powerful forces for change.

MEET CHEF EDWARD LEE        Click the Image Above to Learn More


My Cuisine is the Culture that Surrounds Me

Wednesday, March 13 from 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.


Chef Edward Lee is an acclaimed Louisville chef and restaurateur whose recipes explore the intersection of Korean food and Southern culture. Lee has racked up an impressive six James Beard Award nominations for his work at 610 Magnolia, MilkWood, Whiskey Dry, and Succotash—all while appearing frequently in print (Have you read his new book “Buttermilk Graffiti”?) and on television, including on the Emmy winning series “The Mind of a Chef.” Lee will chronicle his unique journey through stories and the recipes he learned along the way.

Chef Lee will talk will be about how, as a chef, he has struggled to find his own personal voice. Being a chef starts out by learning techniques and recipes, but at some point, we have to internalize the cultures around us and form a unique and personal cuisine that tells our story.

He found that voice in Kentucky, and used the ingredients and the traditions around him as a source of inspiration, while combining that with the Korean heritage of his youth and the training he received working in fine dining restaurants in New York City.

Chef Lee will tell his story and also give some background to the many ingredients in Kentucky that are unique and tasty. Now, many of these ingredients are enjoying wider popularity, and it is a fascinating case study to see how obscure homegrown ingredients can spread around the country and also the world.

MEET BARB STUCKEY        Click the Image Above to Learn More


10 Macro Trends Driving Food & Beverage Innovation in 2019

Wednesday, March 13 from 2:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Barb Stuckey of Mattson is the president and CIO of the country’s most successful, independent developer of foods and beverages for the retail foods and chain restaurant industries. Her expertise in food trends, taste and product development spans more two decades—serving as the basis of her 2012 book “Taste What You’re Missing.” Stuckey will share how she’s honed her tasting skills to teach fellow culinologists how to create better tasting foods.

Each year, food and beverage innovation firm Mattson scans the horizon to arrive at 10 Macro Trends they believe will impact food and beverage consumption, behavior, attitudes, and innovation. Mattson President Barb Stuckey will walk through the trends with passion, energy, and humor, highlighting innovation opportunities.

MEET DONNIE SMITH        Click the Image Above to Learn More


Changing Lives in Africa

Thursday, March 14 from 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.


Donnie Smith's passion for leadership has been the hallmark of his 36-year career in the food business. As president and CEO of Tyson Foods from 2009 to 2016, he led the company to focus on feeding the world great, affordable food, while also making a positive difference in people’s lives. Under his leadership, Tyson Foods achieved four straight years of record profits, multiplying stock value six times in seven years.

Throughout his career, Donnie worked to learn every angle of Tyson Foods’ business. He joined the company in 1980, working in poultry operations for seven years in Tennessee before moving to the company’s headquarters in Springdale, Ark., where he started as a commodity buyer. He was named director of commodity purchasing in 1991 and during the next several years added complementary responsibilities to his management portfolio: logistics, purchasing and information systems in 2006; and engineering, food safety and quality assurance, and environmental health and safety in 2007. He moved into the company’s consumer products division in 2008 and was named senior group vice president of poultry and prepared foods in early 2009, the same year he was appointed as president and CEO.

He now serves as a consultant for Tyson Foods, while also focusing on his continued work to feed the world. He and his wife Terry are native Tennesseans and have three children and one grandchild. He earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and continues to be involved in his alma mater.

Donnie's presentation will beg the question: Have you ever thought about the impact you could have on the poorest of the poor?

MEET ANA MARIA BASURTO        Click the Image Above to Learn More


Culinary Impact in KFC’s Global Innovation Journey

Friday, March 15 from 9:00 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.


Ana Maria Basurto is the head of the Global Food Innovation and Technology team for KFC Global. Since 2015, Ana Maria has helped shape, drive and execute global innovation and food strategies to support KFC’s 22,000 restaurants in 135 countries around the world. Prior to this international role, she led menu strategy and new product development for Yum! brands (KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut) in Mexico for 15 years. Her extensive knowledge, expertise and collaborative partnership with R&D and culinary teams at global suppliers has been key to the brand’s continued success.

KFC is an iconic, global brand, operating in more than 135 countries. KFC’s famous recipes, distinctive brand assets, and regional and cultural culinary differences help drive our continued global success. During this session, attendees will learn more about the KFC brand and the impact culinary partnerships with suppliers have on our global menu. Through examples and case studies, attendees will learn how KFC leverages culinary teams around the globe to continuously evolve the food innovation journey.