On Wednesday, May 22 2013, Meridian and THIS for Diplomats cohosted a roundtable discussion on ʺCulinary Diplomacy across Borders: Highlighting the Importance of Nutrition,ʺ as part of the Insights at Meridian series for the diplomatic community. The U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Chief of Protocol joined Meridian and THIS to support this nutrition-focused program to further highlight their initiative, The Diplomatic Culinary Partnership.
Meridian's Ambassador Stuart Holliday opened the program, recognized the Ambassadors and Embassy Chefs in the audience, and welcomed Natalie Jones, Deputy Chief of Protocol to the U.S. to share remarks. Ms. Jones turned the program over to a member of the American Chef Corps, Chef Nora Pouillon, a pioneer and champion of organic, environmentally conscious cuisine. Chef Pouillon provided insights on how she embarked on a crusade to promote a healthy lifestyle in the U.S. upon arriving from Vienna, including opening the first certified organic restaurant in America: Restaurant Nora. Following Chef Pouillon’s remarks, a panel of experts took the stage, with moderator His Excellency György Szapáry, Ambassador of Hungary to the U.S. guiding the conversation. Speakers included The Honorable Ann M. Veneman, Co-Chair, Bipartisan Policy Center's Nutrition and Physical Activity Initiative and Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture; Jonathan Shrier, Acting Special Representative for Global Food Security, Deputy Coordinator for Diplomacy for Feed the Future, U.S. Department of State and Robert Earl, Global Public Health Policy Director, Corporate Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, The Coca-Cola Company. A question and answer session with the audience followed, with comments from Warren Brown, Founder of Cake Love, gently chastising participants to not forget “taste” as part of the discussion.
Dr. Phyllis Kaplan, President of THIS for Diplomats, closed out the program and thanked the participants, speakers, and the ongoing support of Ambassador Walter and Didi Cutler through the Cutler Endowment for Global Understanding. An informal reception followed…with healthful cuisine provided, of course.