About TMC

The Torribera Mediterranean Center: Food, Health, Culinary Innovation (TMC) is a joint initiative and new academic center of the University of Barcelona and The Culinary Institute of America based at the Food and Nutrition Campus of the University of Barcelona at Santa Coloma de Gramenet. The Barcelona-based partnership leverages the strengths of two leading educational institutions to address vital public health and sustainability issues through expanded academic, professional, and business collaboration.

The Center will work to preserve and advance adoption of Mediterranean dietary patterns, focusing on connecting leading-edge food and nutrition research with culinary, agricultural, and business innovation. TMC is open to Mediterranean, European, and other international partners.

Despite the UNESCO World Heritage status of the Mediterranean Diet, its worldwide appeal with chefs and the public, the depth and breadth of scientific research confirming the efficacy of the diet, and the alignment of traditional Mediterranean dietary patterns with global sustainability imperatives, no other academic center currently exists to preserve and broadly advance the Mediterranean Diet with a specific focus on connecting leading-edge food and nutrition research with best-in-class culinary insight, food and agricultural business innovation, and translational strategies across multiple sectors of society—all within a pan-Mediterranean cultural reference framework.



Academic programs


Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences University of Barcelona

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Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences University of Barcelona

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Activities of the Torribera Mediterranean Center

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).

The University of Barcelona and the Food and Nutrition Torribera Campus

The University of Barcelona is the leading public institution of higher education in Catalonia, catering to the needs of the greatest number of students and delivering the broadest and most comprehensive offering in higher educational courses. The UB is also the principal center of university research in Spain and has become a European benchmark for research activity, both in terms of the number of research programs it conducts and the excellence these have achieved.

Its own history closely tied to the history of Barcelona and of Catalonia, the university combines the values of tradition with its position as an institution dedicated to innovation and teaching excellence: a university that is as outward-looking and cosmopolitan as the city from which it takes its name.

The Food and Nutrition Torribera Campus is the fruit of an agreement between the Barcelona Provincial Council, the Town Council of Santa Coloma de Gramenet and the University of Barcelona to establish a centre of university teaching on the Torribera site in the district of Santa Coloma, at the foot of the Serralada de Marina mountains. The campus focuses primarily on the teaching of food sciences and related disciplines through a range of bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as overseeing extensive research activities, coordinated by the Nutrition and Food Safety Research Institute (INSA-UB), and the transfer and diffusion of knowledge and research results to the production sector and to society in general.

The University of Barcelona intends this site to be an open space for collaborative work with other stakeholders involved in the diverse areas of food and nutrition, in particular the University School of Hotel Management and Tourism (CETT), and for the creation of strategic alliances to merge the capabilities of Catalan stakeholders in the sector. The Food and Nutrition Torribera Campus is also integrated into the frameworks of the two Campuses of International Excellence in which the UB participates: the HUBc health sciences campus, through its work in the area of food and health, and the BKC knowledge campus, through the teaching activities of the Faculty of Pharmacy.

The incorporation of TMC (UB-CIA) to the Diputació de Barcelona Torribera compound, together with the recent inauguration of the Restoration School of the Municipality of Santa Coloma (Grameimpuls), consolidates this location as a food and gastronomy center, as approved in the Modification of the Metropolitan General Plan of 2015.

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The Culinary Institute of America

Widely recognized as the world’s premier culinary college, The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) has an international reputation for excellence and nearly 50,000 accomplished alumni whose leadership, influence, and professionalism are a reflection of the quality of a CIA education.  The Culinary Institute of America has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of foodservice and hospitality education, and has had a significant impact on the growth and development of these industries.

The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard in professional culinary education since its founding in 1946. With campuses in New York, California, and Texas, and an additional location in Singapore, the college’s 3000 students are enrolled in a master’s degree in food business,  bachelor’s degrees in applied food studies, culinary science, food business management, culinary arts, and hospitality management, and associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts. The college also offers executive education, certificate programs, and courses for professionals and enthusiasts.  

In addition, the CIA’s flagship strategic initiatives, conferences, and consulting services have established the college as a thought leader throughout the food industry in areas ranging from innovation practices and global exchange to health and sustainability.  

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