Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

2nd Annual Roots Conference at Culinary Vegetable Institute to Focus on Connections Through Food

Posted By on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 1:30 PM


For years, the Veggie U Food & Wine Celebration lured thousands of foodies out to the grounds of the Culinary Vegetable Institute in tiny Milan, Ohio, for the event of the summer. After a successful 10-year run, Veggie U and the Chef's Garden made the decision to discontinue hosting the annual bash, instead opting to refocus their efforts on matters of more importance.

Last year, they kicked off the first annual Roots Conference, “an event that tackles social, environmental and political issues as they relate to culinary,” explains Farmer Lee Jones of the Chef's Garden. “Our goal was not to host a food and wine event that caters to food enthusiasts, but rather an event that brings value to our chefs.”

For the 2nd Annual Roots Conference, which will take place October 19-20 at The Culinary Vegetable Institute, the stakes have been raised significantly. The two-day conference is loaded with compelling speakers and topics that aim to address some of the most important issues of our time as they relate to food, sustainability and feeding a growing population.

This year’s theme is “Connect and Unite Through Food,” about which Jones notes, “We’ve seen chefs’ ability to influence change by the resurgence in farmer’s markets and a reconnection between farmers and consumers. This conference will explore new ways that chefs can make a positive difference in the world.”

The keynote speaker is José Andrés, an internationally recognized chef, innovator and advocate. Celebrity and author Ted Allen will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.

The conference will kick off with a farm tour and roll right into two days jam-packed with panel discussions. Topics range from “Policies and Actions that Promote the Growth & Success of Organic Seed Systems” and “How To Combat Food Waste & Obesity” to “Who Are The Future Generation of Farmers and What Resources Do They Need to Thrive” and “Insects: The Protein of the Future?”

The event is limited to only 200 guests and caps off with a very special dinner for all in the farm greenhouse.

“We were blown away from the MAD conference [a food symposium held every summer in Copenhagen] and felt that some of the conversations taking place overseas were timely and relevant, and we wanted to propel those conversations into the our space,” explains Jones. “This is an opportunity to host something we believe in.”

Click here for more information on speakers, topics and tickets.

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.