The TMC offers two master’s degrees with a focus on the Mediterranean Diet—past, present, and future—and a proposed Mediterranean concentration program for CIA bachelor’s students. The academic programs at TMC are inspired by the traditional food cultures of the Mediterranean region and led by faculty from the UB and CIA, in collaboration with other universities and organizations around the world. The Center will also develop and conduct joint research projects combining nutrition and health, sustainability, food experience design, and food preference and food behavior change.
TMC’s programming is designed with a strong outreach to Mediterranean, European, and other international academic, foundation, business, and professional communities. TMC will work to conduct food studies field research within the Mediterranean region, capture best practices, and foster innovation around especially the plant-forward core of the Mediterranean Diet that is disappearing even within the Mediterranean region, and share that learning globally through various digital media and social media platforms, academic journals, and other publications. The Center will also endeavor to stimulate dialogue around issues of quality, excellence, and innovation in and with Mediterranean ingredients in order to preserve and scale these values as a critical strategy in expanding adoption of traditional, healthy Mediterranean dietary patterns.
TMC will host chefs, other culinary experts, scholars, public health leaders, journalists, policy makers, and others from around the Mediterranean region and internationally at TMC conferences and symposia. These gatherings will encourage collaboration and co-develop strategies to translate the existing scientific evidence for the health and sustainability of traditional Mediterranean dietary patterns into action, from better informed policy innovation to changed consumer preferences; enhanced professional competencies; and re-imagined restaurants, menus, and food products.
The TMC’s will enable resident and visiting health and culinary researchers to collaborate. Chefs and other culinary experts from around the Mediterranean—together with their international counterparts—will have the opportunity to conduct R&D to establish best practices and spur innovation. Outcomes of these collaborations and R&D projects will provide practical applications for public health, foodservice, and food manufacturing.
The TMC draws from the recent experience in the creation and development of the interuniversity (UB-UPC) undergraduate degree in Culinary and Gastronomic Sciences, a joint project of the University of Barcelona, the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the University School of Hospitality and Tourism CETT-UB and Alicia Foundation, attached to the Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences of the UB.
The development of the Center and its programs will be guided by three stakeholder councils: leading scientists and technical experts from around the world (Scientific and Technical Advisory Council); chefs, food critics, regional cooks, food studies scholars, and other food and drink experts (Culinary and Foods Studies Council); and representatives of top Mediterranean institutions, companies, and producers in agriculture, food, beverage, public health, and other hospitality disciplines (Business Leadership and Innovation Council).