CIA At Copia Celebrates 50th Anniversary Of Earth Day With ‘Food Is Life’ Food-Sustainability Festival

Key Partners Include Sierra Club, Chef and CIA Trustee Thomas Keller, Chef Kyle Connaughton of SingleThread, Jackson Family Wines for Five-Day Event in Downtown Napa with Food, Live Music, Art and Film Screenings

— The CIA at Copia, The Culinary Institute of America’s global destination for dining, culinary classes and experiences, today announced its inaugural “Food is Life” food and sustainability festival to launch on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, 2020.

Taking place in downtown Napa, the five-day event will celebrate Earth Day and inform the public about the connections between our food choices and the environment through a series of world-class dining experiences, food and wine tastings, art installations, live entertainment, and conversations led by food and beverage industry leaders. CIA is teaming up with environmental organization the Sierra Club on a “Changemaker” campaign, with on-site experiences designed to educate and inspire audiences to take action in their daily lives through food and lifestyle choices. 

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 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).

Food is Life is an immersive culinary experience to give attendees inspiration, recipes, and measures they can take at home every day to lead a more healthy, sustainable, and delicious life. Jackson Family Wines, a leader in environmental stewardship across its wineries and estate vineyards, will sponsor a number of the festival’s experiences through its celebrated wineries including Kendall-Jackson, Stonestreet Estate Vineyards, and Cambria Estate Winery. Key elements of the event will be:

  • The CIA at Copia Culinary Garden – which will feature garden tours, a chicken coop, beekeeping lessons, tastings, and more
  • Food is Life Marketplace – hands-on, interactive experiences bringing to life key food issues such as food choices, creative conservation, and healthy ecosystems
  • Hands-on cooking classes with CIA and guest chefs leading demonstrations ranging from sustainable seafood and sushi-making to creative plant-forward, and farm-to-table cooking
  • Live music performances by Trapdoor Social, Rupa and the April Fishes, among others
  • Film screenings including The Biggest Little Farm (2019), Fantastic Fungi (2019), The Pollinators (2019), and Wasted! The Story of Food Waste (2017)
  • Next Generation Green Winemakers – special reception and walk-around tasting experience featuring NextGen green vintners
  • Lighted 3D Earth Installation, “Gaia” – created by artist Luke Jerram using 120 dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface, this 23-foot-wide art installation floats overhead and will be on display throughout the Food is Life festival
  • Roots of Peace “Mines to Vines” reception – Breaking Ground book launch, reception, and panel conversation on the non-profit Roots of Peace global movement to turn minefields into sustainable farmland and vineyards
  • Hands-on food photography and content creation opportunities

The event will be held April 22-26, 2020 and features a variety of both free and ticketed experiences available for purchase. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit

Source: The Culinary Institute of America

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