The University of Barcelona and The Culinary Institute of America Launch Joint Academic Center

Healthy Mediterranean Diet to be Focus of New Master’s Degrees Linking Nutrition
Science and Public Health Strategy, Sustainability Imperatives, and Culinary Insight

Barcelona, September 12, 2018.

Today, the University of Barcelona (UB) and The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) announced the creation of the Torribera Mediterranean Center (TMC), a joint initiative and new academic center focused on Mediterranean food, health, and culinary innovation. 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.

The TMC is based at the Food and Nutrition Campus of the University of Barcelona at Santa Coloma de Gramenet. The Center 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.

Through its conferences, symposia, and digital media initiatives, the Center will host chefs, culinary scholars, public health leaders, journalists, policy makers, and other international experts to develop strategies to translate the existing scientific evidence for the health and sustainability of the Mediterranean Diet into action.

“While the Torribera Mediterranean Center will have a strong, physical presence here at the University of Barcelona, the work of the Center will embrace the entire Mediterranean Basin and will have impacts internationally as we work with other collaborators to enhance the health and sustainability of global food systems and dietary patterns,” says Dr. Joan Elias Garcia, rector of the University of Barcelona. “At the same time, working with our colleagues at The Culinary Institute of America, we have to redouble our efforts to preserve this gift of heritage that is the Mediterranean Diet, for this and future generations worldwide.”

“The traditional Mediterranean Diet is the most heavily researched and documented cultural model for healthy eating,” says Culinary Institute of America President Dr. Tim Ryan. “This ground-breaking academic center will, for the first time, bring together academics, chefs, other professionals, and business leaders from around the world to accelerate positive impacts tied to this delicious UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.  As part of our continuing global outreach, we are honored to co-launch this partnership with the University of Barcelona to underscore the enhanced role that interdisciplinary scholarship, translational research, and marketplace innovation needs to play in advancing healthy, sustainable food choices.”

The Center builds on the recent experience in the creation and development of the UB-UPC interuniversity undergraduate degree in Culinary and Gastronomic Sciences, affiliated to the University School of Hospitality and Tourism CETT-UB, in collaboration with Alicia Foundation and 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 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.

For more information, or to register for the Master’s Degrees Program at the Torribera Mediterranean Center (TMC), please visit

TMC Initial Academic Offerings


Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, University of Barcelona in collaboration with Faculty of The Culinary Institute of America. November 5, 2018 – June 28, 2019. The learning objectives of this master’s program include:  to deepen knowledge of the Mediterranean diet and food systems of the region as a model of healthy eating; to understand the impact of this diet on the prevention and the treatment of chronic diseases; to introduce health professionals to both traditional and innovative culinary practices of the Mediterranean; and to enrich understanding of the development of public health strategies to preserve and enhance the strength of these dietary patterns in society.


Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Science, University of Barcelona in collaboration with Faculty of The Culinary Institute of America. January 9, 2019 – June 28, 2019. The learning objectives of this master’s program include:  to broaden knowledge of the historical and anthropological antecedents of Mediterranean food systems, the birth of the global, modern concept of the healthy Mediterranean diet, and the culinary cultures of the Mediterranean area as a sustainable dietary model; to understand the interplay between the Mediterranean diet and the evolution of culinary techniques, restaurant concepts and structures, food product development and retail, agricultural innovation, and communication patterns; and to explore patterns of globalization and adaptation of the Mediterranean model.


Faculty of the School of Culinary Arts, The Culinary Institute of America in collaboration with Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Science, University of Barcelona. The proposed concentration (now in development) would run for 13 weeks in the fall and spring semesters. This immersive semester-away concentration designed for bachelor’s students from The Culinary Institute of America will provide an in-depth focus on the Mediterranean diet and the cuisines and cultures of the Mediterranean region.  Through kitchen, classroom, and field work—together with regional travel—students will benefit from an unparalleled academic experience discovering the food cultures of Southern Europe, North Africa and the Levant.