In 1993 Kurt H. Fischer, then Vice President of Food & Beverage for Westin Hotels & Resorts, with the support of three Food & Beverage Vice Presidents and one Beverage Consultant founded "The International Food & Beverage Forum™". Those five friends wanted to create a global association of Food & Beverage industry representatives with the purpose to form a truly global think tank for this industry and to foster the education of young hospitality professionals.
To cover all aspects of the upscale section in the Food & Beverage industry, they recruited individuals representing segments such as upscale hotels, cruise lines, airlines, independent restaurants, education, Food & Beverage publications and others. Each individual had to be recognized internationally for his achievements and high standards.
In order to keep this association a close circle of highly recognized individuals, the total active membership is limited to 50 active members.
Today, The International Food & Beverage Forum™ has an active membership based on five continents and has participated in panel discussions and industry events in major cities on four continents.
Once they had outlined the structure of the association, the mission was formalized and reads: "The mission of the International Food & Beverage Forum™ is to enhance global dialogue, knowledge, viable creativity and to foster the education of young hospitality professionals".
From the mission statement, the challenge of how to foster the education of young hospitality professionals emerged. First, the association set up a special endowment fund with the help of major Food & Beverage related companies. Thereafter, a series of special awards was created and linked to a scholarship system. The next step was to select an educational institution which would provide the pool of students eligible for such scholarships. Once the International Food & Beverage Forum™ members got actively involved in lecturing and culinary demonstrations at Johnson & Wales University, we decided the open in April 2002 the first "International Food & Beverage Forum™ Hall of Fame" at the Culinary Archives & Museum at Johnson & Wales University in Providence. During the April 2003 annual meeting it was decided to encompass other educational Institutions as beneficiaries of our scholarship contributions. On November 6, 2008 we inaugurated "The International Food & Beverage Forum™ Hall of Fame" at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas.
Since 1996, the International Food & Beverage Forum™ has honored 17 Restaurateurs of the year, inducted 31 persons into the Hall of Fame and distributed more than US $ 600,000 in scholarship awards. On June 9, 2009 the International Food & Beverage Forum™ received the official notification from the Internal Revenue Service that the association was recognized as a public charity and that we are exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c) (3) of the internal revenue code. On October 27, 2009 The International Food & Beverage Forum™, Inc. was registered as a nonprofit corporation in Las Vegas, Nevada.
During November 2012 The International Food & Beverage Forum™ organizes their tenth annual International Food & Beverage Forum Hall of Fame Auction which with the help of over hundred hoteliers, wineries, restaurants and tableware suppliers from around the world. The proceeds from this auction goes to students from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas, the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne and the Garth Groebel Culinary Academy in Cape Town, South Africa.