Attendees at TASTE

October 2021: Letter from the Director

Optomistic End of Year

With the first rain of the season in Davis this week, we turn toward winter with optimism.

Last Saturday, we hosted TASTE, our first in-person event in almost two years! Two hundred fifty supporters, colleagues, and friends gathered under the olive trees at the heart of the Institute for a beautiful evening of food, beer, wine, and conversation. The energy was refreshing, and it was apparent that we’ve all missed connecting in this way. View our Facebook photo album for event pictures.

We raised approximately $8,200 for our beneficiary, Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center. We’re proud to support students in need and encourage you to visit their website to help them directly. One of the students supporting the event told us she had used the food pantry numerous times in the last year.

As much as we enjoyed being in person, most of our events will remain virtual until indoor face-covering requirements begin to relax. At that time, we will start our hybrid model with a small local audience in conjunction with live streaming to a national audience.

I am particularly excited about next week’s virtual program, Savor: Our First Superfood and the Infant Microbiome. An interdisciplinary research team at UC Davis discovered that gut microbes are essential for infants to digest breast milk properly. Our three speakers developed a fast-paced format to share their research that I doubt you’ve experienced in an academic lecture! It will be particularly fun and informative. Join us on October 27.

Registration is now open for our winter Sips and Bites. November 17, we will showcase and taste UC Davis-made gifts and products-just in time for the holidays! December 15, we will explore the world of artisanal tea with the Global Tea Initiative. You can find my tasty barbeque rub that uses products from all four of the UC Davis-made participants on our website.

We hope to see you at an event soon. In the meantime, enjoy the much-needed rain!


Andrew Waterhouse
Director, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science
Professor, Department of Viticulture and Enology

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