The American Institute of Wine and Food is one of the few national organizations with the unique combination of dedicated wine and food enthusiasts and professionals. These enthusiasts get to meet and learn from renowned chefs, winemakers, authors, culinary historians, and food producers, while industry professionals have the opportunity to know and understand their core consumers. AIWF is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to promoting health and well-being through the enjoyment of good food and drink.
The AIWF is a nationally recognized leader in wine and food education across America. Its goal is to enhance the quality of our lives by providing education about what we eat and drink, supporting budding wine and food professionals with internships and scholarships, combined with a message of joy for life and a healthful and nutritious balanced diet. Today, the AIWF has over 30 chapters in the United States and one in France, with more than 7,000 members who are restaurateurs, food industry professionals, food educators, nutritionists, chefs, wine professionals and dedicated lovers of good food and wine.
The AIWF has vibrant prospects as of year 2006 and beyond. The fundamental belief that food and wine enhance the quality of lives remains the guiding force behind all of its activities. Each AIWF chapter organizes local specialized events designed to explore and celebrate the many aspects of good food and drink, from preparation and presentation to eating habits and table etiquette. Recent programs have included a barrel-tasting in a private wine cellar, a behind-the-scenes tour of an organic farm, a symposium on taste and a healthy diet, wine component tasting and an ethnic pantry-tasting series.
One of AIWF's primary national programs is "Days of Taste," a program that teaches children across America the fundamentals of healthy food choices by providing tasting experiences and lessons by farmers and chefs. The Days of Taste is a discovery-based program for fourth and fifth graders to learn about food and how it weaves its way through daily life from the farm to the table. The program teams up chefs, food professionals, farmers and teachers to guide the school children through an exploration of food and nutrition, giving them the opportunity to discuss, savor and compare different taste sensations and flavor from locally grown foods.
Each chapter develops their own unique program, but they all share the common thread of encouraging children to appreciate the taste of locally grown, fresh, good food. Students compare and contrast tastes and textures as well as develop understandings about different foods and basic nutrition principles that will remain with them into adulthood. This is vital for the future of children and for preparing better adult consumers.
Understanding more about food allows each of us to make more informed food choices to meet personal preferences and health needs. Eating well is more than just good food and nutrients; it must nourish body and soul.