Food is Life: A Sustainable Food Festival

The Food is Life festival has been postponed but sign up for our e-mail newsletter to stay tuned on other happenings at The CIA at Copia this spring and summer!

 

In Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

April 22–26, 2020, Napa, CA

Join us in Napa for Food is Life, a five-day festival from April 22–26, 2020 celebrating all things food, beverage, and sustainability with cooking demonstrations and tastings, live talks, film screenings, music, and the awe-inspiring, three-dimensional Gaia art installation—a 23-foot wide NASA floating image of the Earth’s surface. Festivities kick off on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and bring together leading chefs, winemakers, and sustainable food producers for fun, hands-on experiences for all ages.

Our global food system has an enormous impact on the environment and climate change. If you are looking for events to celebrate Earth Day 2020, this food and wine festival focused on the role of food and its far-reaching impact on the planet is not to be missed.

We look forward to welcoming you to The CIA at Copia for the Food is Life festival in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22–26, 2020.

 

  • Program Schedule

    Wednesday, April 22

    All Day
    Gaia Earth Exhibit and Garden Experiences
    10:30–11:30 a.m.
    Earth Day 50th Anniversary Commemoration
    11:30 a.m.–Noon
    Lessons from the Garden: A Conversation with Chef Thomas Keller
    1–3 p.m.
    Movie Screening: Growing Cities
    3–6 p.m.
    Food is Life Marketplace

     

    Thursday, April 23

    All Day
    Gaia Earth Exhibit and Garden Experiences
    9:30–10:30 a.m.
    Garden Tour with Farmer Jon
    10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
    Hands-on Class CIA Skills: Farm to Table
    11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
    International Wineries for Climate Action Panel
    1–3 p.m.
    Movie Screening: The Pollinators
    3–6 p.m.
    Food is Life Marketplace
    5–6:30 p.m.
    Next Generation Green Winemakers: Panel Discussion
    6:30–8:30 p.m.
    Next Generation Green Winemakers—Walk-Around Tasting and Reception
    6–8 p.m.
    Long Meadow Ranch and Willakenzie Dinner

     

    Friday, April 24

    All Day
    Gaia Earth Exhibit and Garden Experiences
    9:30–10:30 a.m.
    Garden Tour with Farmer Jon
    10 a.m.–1 p.m.
    A Celebration of Northern California Bounty with Chef Matt Accarino
    11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
    Kendall-Jackson Culinary Garden Demo & Book Signing
    1–4 p.m.
    Hands on class: Cooking Wild with Chef John Ash
    4–7:30 p.m.
    Sustainable Sushi with Chef Ed Metcalfe
    4–7:30 p.m.
    Food is Life Marketplace
    5–6:30 p.m.
    Movie Screening: Wasted! The Story of Food Waste
    5:30–7 p.m.
    Women-Led Sustainability in Food and Wine
    6:30 p.m.
    East Meets West: A Seafood Dinner with Chefs John Ash and William Dissen
    6:30–9:30 p.m.
    Food is Life Concert: Rupa and the April Fishes

     

    Saturday, April 25

    All Day
    Gaia Earth Exhibit and Garden Experiences
    9 a.m.–2 p.m.
    Hands on class: Creative Plant-Based Meals with CIA
    9:30–10:30 a.m.
    Garden Tour with Farmer Jon
    10–11:30 a.m.
    Oysters 101
    10 a.m.–7:30 p.m.
    Food is Life Marketplace
    10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
    Earth-friendly Eating with Chef Jehangir Mehta
    11 a.m.–Noon
    Nature’s Blueprint: Food and Wine Pairing from the Garden
    Noon–1:30 p.m.
    Hog Island Oyster Co. at the Grove
    1–2:30 p.m.
    Getting Scrappy: Creative Conservation at Home with Chef Matthew Dolan
    3–5:30 p.m.
    Film Screening: The Biggest Little Farm
    4:30–6 p.m.
    Beer to the Rescue!
    4–7:30 p.m.
    CIA Skills: CIA Farm to Table
    6:30–8:30 p.m.
    Guest Chef Takeover with Jehangir Mehta and Anthony Myint
    6:30–9:30 p.m.
    Food is Life Concert: Trapdoor Social

     

    Sunday, April 26

    All Day
    Gaia Earth Exhibit and Garden Experiences
    9:30–10:30 a.m.
    Garden Tour with Farmer Jon
    10 a.m.–1 p.m.
    Hands-on Class: CIA Skills: Waste Not, Want Not
    10:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
    Brown Sugar Kitchen Brunch—Guest Chef Takeover with Tanya Holland
    10:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
    Food is Life Marketplace
    11 a.m.–2 p.m.
    Family Fun Day Earth Day Experience
    12:30–1:30 p.m.
    Lessons from the Farm: A Conversation with Chef Kyle Connaughton and Farmer Katina Connaughton
    1–3:30 p.m.
    Movie Screening + Panel Discussion: Fantastic Fungi

    Food is Life icons

  • Featured Events and Exhibits

    Featured Events and Exhibits

    We look forward to welcoming you to The CIA at Copia for the Food is Life festival in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22–26, 2020.

     

    Guest Chef Experiences

    In addition to CIA trustee and Napa’s own chef Thomas Keller, The CIA at Copia is proud to host more than a dozen guest chefs and winemakers for one-of-a-kind, hands-on culinary experiences and tastings to help guests learn simple ways they can help to advance a more sustainable food system through every day choices. Additional guest chefs and sustainability leaders include fellow three-Michelin-star chef/restaurateurs Kyle and Katina Connaughton, owners of SingleThread in Healdsburg; Anthony Myint, founder of The Perennial and Zero Foodprint; CIA alumni including Matt Accarrino ’98 (Michelin-star chef), William Dissen ’03 (StarChefs Rising Star Chef Award), Matthew Dolan ’98 (Michelin-star chef), Jehangir Mehta ’95 (runner-up on Next Iron Chef 2009), John Ash (two-time James Beard Foundation Award winner), Tanya Holland (Michelin Bib Gourmand Award), Ed Metcalfe (Shiso Modern Asian Kitchen), and CIA’s own, Sandy Sauter.


    Gaia Earth Exhibit (Free)

    The lighted Gaia art installation by Luke Jerram will be on display throughout the Food is Life festival. Measuring 23 feet in diameter, Gaia features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface, providing the opportunity to see our planet on this scale, floating in three dimensions. Hanging in the black emptiness of space the Earth seems isolated, a precious and fragile island of life.


    Food is Life Marketplace (Free)

    The Food is Life Marketplace is a free admission experience where visitors of all ages can learn how to play a meaningful role in advancing sustainability. Through our exhibitor experience inspired by local farmers markets, come discover how you can make healthy food choices and meet some of the most forward-thinking companies and food producers right here in California, and beyond—and collect free CIA recipes along the way to complete your own sustainable cookbook.

    The Food is Life Marketplace will run throughout the festival.


    Family Fun Day

    Sunday, April 26 is Family Fun Day, with dedicated programming and interactive experiences for little ones and their parents to learn about food choices, responsible agriculture, honeybees, and other pollinators, gardening and more.

    Tickets $15/person


    Food is Life Concerts

    Join headliners Rupa and the April Fishes, Trapdoor Social, and other bands on Friday and Saturday night for our outdoor concerts in The CIA at Copia’s Jackson Family Wines amphitheater featuring stunning views of the Gaia Earth exhibit. In the Food is Life Concerts VIP Terrace you’ll enjoy Jackson Family Wines and a selection of bites prepared by CIA chefs featuring organic produce from The CIA at Copia culinary gardens. Presented by Jackson Family Wines and the Mushroom Council.

    Tickets $30 General Admission, $100/person VIP or $180/person VIP for two nights
    Friday, April 24: 6:30–9:30 p.m.
    Saturday, April 25: 6:30–9:30 p.m.


    Earth Day 50th Anniversary Commemoration

    Join CIA, state and local leaders, community members, and school children in the Jackson Family Wines Amphitheater at The CIA at Copia for a special commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, the official unveiling of the Gaia Earth exhibit, and the kick-off of the Food is Life festival. Free event.

    Wednesday, April 22: 10:30 a.m.


    Copia Culinary Gardens

    The CIA’s own culinary gardener “Farmer Jon” teams up with Kendall-Jackson’s culinary gardener Tucker Taylor for a series of garden tours, hands-on demonstrations around composting, beekeeping, and more. Fun for all ages.

    Food is Life icons

  • Events by Category

    Events by Category

    Culinary Experiences

    In addition to CIA trustee and Napa’s own chef Thomas Keller, Food is Life will include demonstrations and appearances from fellow three-Michelin-star chef/restaurateurs Kyle and Katina Connaughton, owners of SingleThread in Healdsburg; other renowned guest chefs and CIA alumni including Anthony Myint, founder of The Perennial and Zero Foodprint, Matt Accarrino ’98 (Michelin-star chef), William Dissen ’03 (StarChefs Rising Star Chef Award), Matthew Dolan ’98 (Michelin-star chef), Jehangir Mehta ’95 (runner-up on The Next Iron Chef 2009), John Ash (two-time James Beard Foundation Award winner), Tanya Holland (Michelin Bib Gourmand Award), Ed Metcalfe (Shiso Modern Asian Kitchen), and Sandy Sauter (CIA).
    View Culinary Experiences >


    Beverage Experiences

    Celebrated wineries and leaders in environmental stewardship including Kendall-Jackson, Stonestreet Estate Vineyards, Cambria Estate Winery, Seismic Brewing as well as other leading beverage companies will help bring to life key issues in sustainability through a series of unique and engaging tasting experiences.
    View Beverage Experiences >


    Concerts

    Join headliners Rupa and the April Fishes, Trapdoor Social, and other bands on Friday and Saturday night for our outdoor concerts in The CIA at Copia’s Jackson Family Wines amphitheater featuring stunning views of the Gaia Earth exhibit. In the Food is Life Concerts VIP Terrace you’ll enjoy Jackson Family Wines and a selection of bites prepared by CIA chefs featuring organic produce from The CIA at Copia culinary gardens. Presented by Jackson Family Wines and the Mushroom Council.

    Tickets $30 General Admission, $100/person VIP or $180/person VIP for two nights
    Friday, April 24: 6:30–9:30 p.m.
    Saturday, April 25: 6:30–9:30 p.m.

    View Concert Experiences >


    Film Screenings

    The CIA at Copia is proud to host a variety of thought-provoking environmental films throughout the festival. Certain films also include a Q&A with the filmmakers. Screenings include:

    • Wednesday, April 22: 1–3 p.m.: Growing Cities
    • Thursday, April 23, 1–3 p.m.: The Pollinators
    • Friday, April 24, 5–6 p.m.: Wasted! The Story of Food Waste
    • Saturday, April 25, 3–5:30 p.m.: The Biggest Little Farm
    • Sunday, April 26, 1–3 p.m.: Fantastic Funghi

    View Film Screenings >


    Garden Experiences

    Join three-star Michelin chef-restaurateurs Thomas Keller and Kyle and Katina Connaughton (SingleThread), culinary gardeners from Jackson Family Wines and CIA for a variety of unique, informative and hands-on experiences in the bountiful Copia culinary gardens.
    View Garden Experiences >


    Family Friendly Experiences

    From the awe-inspiring Gaia Earth exhibit to hands-on learning opportunities in the culinary garden, there will be plenty of activities for little ones throughout the Food is Life Festival.
    View Family Friendly Experiences >
     
    Questions about ticketing? Contact customer support at 707-209-7052.

    Food is Life icons

  • FAQs
    Below are a few frequently asked questions about the Food is Life festival.
     

     
    Q: When and where is this festival taking place?
    A: The festival takes place at The CIA at Copia at 500 1st Street in downtown Napa’s Oxbow District on April 22–26, 2020.
     
    Q: How much are tickets?
    A: Admission to the festival is free of charge. Individual ticketed events within the festival range in price from $15–$175 for hands-on guest chef experiences. Contact customer support at 707-209-7052.
     
    Q: What is the parking situation?
    A: There is parking available in the South Parking Lot located across the street from Copia and the Oxbow Public Market but plan for limited parking. Additional parking is available at the Napa County Fairgrounds, a five-minute walk from The CIA at Copia. As parking will be limited, we encourage carpooling and bicycling.
     
    Q: Where and when can I buy tickets for Food is Life?
    A: Tickets can be purchased online here.
     
    Q: Are tickets refundable?
    A: No, all tickets are final sale.
     
    Q: Who should I contact about ticket questions?
    A: Contact [email protected] or call 707-209-7052 for ticket customer service support.
     
    Q: Do you allow children? What about pets?
    A: We welcome children, always in the company of an adult, but please note any events involving alcohol are for ages 21 and over only. Pets are welcome in our outdoor areas but per health code, only service animals are permitted indoors.
     
    Q: I have a dietary restriction. Can you accommodate me?
    A: Absolutely! There will be a variety of food options available.
     
    Q: Who does the festival benefit?
    A: Net proceeds from the Food is Life festival and all activities hosted by the CIA benefit our culinary degree program students in the form of scholarship funds and investments in our educational offerings.
     
    Q: How do I volunteer?
    A. Thanks for asking! Please contact [email protected] for volunteer opportunities.
     
    Q: What measures is CIA taking to ensure this festival is sustainable?
    A: The CIA is committed to sustainability on multiple fronts. We are partnered with Napa Recycling & Waste to ensure a minimal environmental footprint for the Food is Life festival, as well as throughout all our programming.

    1. Our goal is to divert 95% of waste from the Food is Life festival from landfills through the use of composting, recycling and reusing. Refillable water bottles and reusable tote bags will be available for purchase.
    2. All service wear utilized for cooking demonstrations and tastings is reusable or compostable. There will be no single-use plastics distributed at the festival. We encourage you to bring your own water bottles and use the refill stations located throughout the festival.
    3. We encourage carpooling, biking or taking public transit to the festival if possible.
    4. A limited number of Volta electric vehicle charging stations are available in the parking lot directly in front of The CIA at Copia.
    5. Learn more about sustainability initiatives across the CIA’s campuses.

     
    Q: What criteria are in place to evaluate sponsors and partners on their own sustainability efforts?
    A: In the spirit of fostering dialogue, cross-pollination of ideas and learning, The CIA has deliberately sought to welcome a variety of perspectives and viewpoints around advancing sustainability in our food system to participate in the Food is Life festival. All festival presenters and sponsors have been individually identified and invited by The CIA in recognition of the leadership role they are playing in the space but this does not necessarily mean their views are shared by the CIA.
     
    For specific details around the CIA’s own position around sustainability in our food system, refer to the CIA Menus of Change® and Global Plant-Forward Culinary Summit sites. The CIA takes a science and evidence-based approach to identifying best practices and making recommendations to the industry at large.
     
    Q: Do you offer media passes?
    A: If you are a member of the media interested in covering the Food is Life festival you are welcome to contact us at [email protected].
     
    Q: If I’m coming from out of town, where can I stay?
    A: The CIA at Copia is within walking distance of numerous hotels in downtown Napa. These include the Archer Hotel, Westin Verasa Hotel and Spa, Andaz Hotel, Napa River Inn and numerous other boutique and independent hotels.
     
    Q: How do I get to The CIA at Copia?
    A: The Culinary Institute of America at Copia is located at 500 1st Street in downtown Napa, approximately an hour and a half north of San Francisco and Oakland airports. Driving directions to the CIA at Copia.
     
    Food is Life icons


The Culinary Institute of America is deeply grateful to our program sponsors who help to make the Food is Life festival possible. Net proceeds from the Food is Life festival and all activities hosted by the CIA benefit our culinary degree program students in the form of scholarship funds and investments in our educational offerings.

logo for Jackson Family Wines
Founded in 1982, Jackson Family Wines is a family-owned, vineyard-based company with a penchant for exploration. Founder Jess Jackson placed his faith in farming and a meticulous expression of wine with his first landscape-changing vintage in 1982, an ethos that chairman Barbara Banke, the Jackson family, and our employees continue to uphold to this day. The  Jackson family’s collection of  40 wineries spans significant winegrowing regions, from California, Oregon, France, and Italy in the northern hemisphere, to Australia, Chile, and South Africa in the southern half of the globe. Vineyard ownership and sustainable practices remain key to consistent quality and artisan winemaking is built to scale, underscoring a steadfast commitment to making wines of character and integrity.


logo for the mushroom council
The Mushroom Council is composed of fresh market producers or importers who average more than 500,000 pounds of mushrooms produced or imported annually. The mushroom program is authorized by the Mushroom Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act of 1990 and is administered by the Mushroom Council under the supervision of the Agricultural Marketing Service. Research and promotion programs help to expand, maintain and develop markets for individual agricultural commodities in the United States and abroad. These industry self-help programs are requested and funded by the industry groups that they serve. For more information, visit www.mushroomcouncil.org.


logo for Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.8 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person’s right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.


logo for Clover Sonoma
Third-generation, family-owned and operated, Clover Sonoma is recognized as a leader at the forefront of the dairy industry. The Petaluma-based company in Northern California’s beautiful Sonoma County was the first dairy in the United States to become American Humane Certified and hold its partnership of family-owned dairy farms to a higher standard by developing its own unique Clover Promise of Excellence. Clover Sonoma is proud to bring conscious dairy products direct from its farms to consumers. Now a Certified B Corporation®, the company uses its business as a power to do good, and its passionate support of animal welfare, sustainable business practices, and local community have always been hallmarks of the business. Each year the company gives back at least five percent of its profits to support these passions under its Clover Cares program.


logo for Earth Day Network
Earth Day Network’s mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day in 1970, Earth Day Network is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 75,000 partners in over 190 countries to drive positive action for our planet.


logo for Connolly Ranch Education Center
Connolly Ranch Education Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working farm in Napa, California dedicated to connecting over 10,000 children and adults each year to nature through its many environment-based programs that include early childhood education, K-12 school field trips, summer and school break camps and community events. For more information, visit www.connollyranch.org.


Latest News:

> The New York Times

> Forbes

> Announcing the Food is Life Festival

Gaia Art Installation
The lighted Gaia art installation by Luke Jerram will be on display throughout the Food is Life festival. Measuring 23 feet in diameter, Gaia features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface, providing the opportunity to see our planet on this scale, floating in three dimensions. Hanging in the black emptiness of space the Earth seems isolated, a precious and fragile island of life.

 

To inquire about presenter opportunities, contact:

Maryam Ahmed
Director, Public Programs
[email protected]
707-967-2529

For sponsorship opportunities, contact:

Holly Briwa
Senior Advancement Officer
[email protected]
707-967-2400
 

Sign up for e-mail updates about the festival and other happenings

 

More background

The Culinary Institute of America has been a long-time leader in helping the food industry navigate ways to advance healthier, more sustainable food choices in a rapidly changing world through Menus of Change®, a joint initiative of the CIA and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Global Plant-Forward Culinary Summit, and other programs. Through our network of top chefs, faculty, and alumni, as well as other education and non-profit partners, the CIA is committed to creating engaging, meaningful, and celebratory avenues to connect people around food.

Our world-class food and wine destination in downtown Napa’s Oxbow District, The CIA at Copia provides the ideal setting for meaningful conversation, hands-on learning, and joyful food experiences.

Questions about ticketing? Contact customer support at 707-209-7052.