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

 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

“Our daily food choices have the greatest impact on how sustainably we live our lives and yet the general public does not necessarily realize all the everyday ways they can make a difference,” said Maryam Ahmed, Director of Public Programs for The Culinary Institute of America. “The Food is Life Festival at The CIA at Copia will connect the public with top chefs, wine leaders, and innovators that will help inform and inspire them around ways we can all live more sustainably—without sacrificing deliciousness.”

“Our family has long recognized that environmental stewardship and social responsibility are essential to building a thriving, multigenerational wine business,” said Katie Jackson, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and second-generation proprietor. “From cultivating our organic culinary garden at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens to crafting wines in the most responsible manner, we are committed to reducing our environmental footprint and giving back to our communities.  We are proud to partner with the CIA, leaders in culinary consciousness and culture by providing education and resources to the community.”

“The Sierra Club Napa Group is proud to join forces with CIA’s Food is Life Festival and its sustainable food leaders to drive change and grow our movement of Changemakers,” said Xulio Soriano, Chair of the Sierra Club Napa Group. “Food choices are important daily actions we can all take to help safeguard the health and well-being of our communities and the environment we all share. ” 

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

Event logos and images are available upon request.

Related posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.