James Beard Foundation EVP to discuss the evolving role of chefs at Cornell student-run conference

Mar 19, 2014

Contact: Maya Ginor, communications manager for the 89th Annual Hotel Ezra Cornell, mdg246@cornell.edu

Mitchell Davis, journalist, author, scholar, and executive vice president of the James Beard Foundation, is confirmed to speak at the 89th Annual Hotel Ezra Cornell, a student-run industry conference at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. This year's conference centers around the theme "Food for Thought" and focuses on healthy eating trends in the hospitality industry and the country as a whole.

Davis, who earned his PhD in Food Studies from New York University and his BS in Hotel Administration from Cornell University, will return to campus March 20-23, 2014, to discuss the evolving role of chefs in today's culinary world.

"The rarity of items enhances their preciousness and value," said Davis. We live in a society today where unhealthy products are so readily available and, as such, have become too integrated into our everyday diet.  "The externalities of health" are not included in product pricing, which supports our unhealthy habits. 

Davis, along with other industry leaders, believes that healthy foods should be available to people across economic strata. He firmly believes that it is "our basic right to eat well." It is the duty of politicians and industry leaders alike to "bridge the gap of human demarcation caused by food."

With chefs viewed as celebrities today, they now have a "platform to voice their opinions," said Davis.  The move toward less-processed, more-natural foods in today's most esteemed restaurants is the first step. "Chefs now have the opportunity for positive social and political impact."  If dining out becomes a healthy choice, the industry may evolve entirely.

Mitchell Davis will speak on Friday, March 21, during the conference. To find out more about Mitchell Davis and the rest of the HEC speakers, visit the event website.

About Hotel Ezra Cornell
Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC) is an annual student-run hospitality conference that has been an 89-year tradition at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. The conference attracts hospitality industry leaders and school alumni, faculty, and students to the Cornell campus and the Statler Hotel for a weekend of networking, education, entertainment, and culinary experiences. More information about the HEC organization and conference can be found at www.hotelezracornell.com.

About the Cornell School of Hotel Administration
The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration is shaping the global knowledge base for hospitality management through leadership in education, research and industry advancement. The school provides management instruction in the full range of hospitality disciplines, educating the next generation of leaders in the world's largest industry. Founded in 1922 as the nation's first collegiate course of study in hospitality management, the Cornell School of Hotel Administration is recognized as the world leader in its field. For more information, visit www.hotelschool.cornell.edu.