CALIFORNIA WALNUTS: Culinary Institute of America Study Trip

CALIFORNIA WALNUTS: Culinary Institute of America Study Trip

There are many reasons why California Walnuts have proven to be so popular worldwide, and in particular in the UK hospitality sector over recent years. This interest led the California Walnut Commission to support a summer trip during August 2018 (17th to 24th), for four of the UK’s top professional chefs to attend The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Napa, California. All with a view to creating new recipes, featuring California Walnuts.

Attending the event to gain knowledge on California Walnuts; the four leading chefs have influence over menu items for a huge range of catering outlets and retail products across the UK and internationally.

[From left to right]
James Buckley, Development executive chef O2 and London Leisure Levy Restaurants.
Nick Vadis, Culinary Director of Compass Group.
Mickael Jahan, Innovation Development for UK and Ireland Aryzta.
Adam Busby, General Manager, CIA Greystone
Matt Hay, Chef Director at BaxterStorey.
CIA Chef Instructor Barbara Alexander

Chef James Buckley commented, “The trip was fascinating, the food and ideas I’ve seen and experienced really opened my eyes to what can be done with California Walnuts, I’m really keen to try some of my own inflections of some of the recipes demonstrated”.

The highlight of the trip was undoubtedly the CIA in Napa. CIA Chef Instructor Barbara Alexander hosted enlightening sessions focusing on novel ways to include California Walnuts in a wide variety of recipes and snacks. The culinary tour moved on to San Francisco where the chefs continued their food and menu sampling, helping to build on the CIA concepts for their return to their development bakeries and kitchens.

Trade representative Iain Forbes from The Garden (Marketing and PR), who accompanied the UK chefs, commented, ‘The ultimate goal of the activity is to create opportunities that lead to more California Walnuts being used in more retail products, mainstream meals and foodservice menus nationally in the UK, and possibly even internationally’.

To read the full article on the UK chefs trip to the CIA in California and details of the recipe creations, please visit

For further information please contact the California Walnut Commission.

c/o The Garden (Marketing & PR) Ltd, Bourne End Business Park,
Cores End Road, Bourne End, Buckinghamshire, SL8 5AS.
Tel: 01628 535 755