Culinary Council

Rafi Taherian

Associate Vice President

Yale Hospitality | Yale University New Haven, Connecticut

As the Associate Vice President of Yale Hospitality, Rafi Taherian leads with a strong belief and commitment to leverage Yale Hospitality’s operations in creating opportunities for engaged learning, innovation, and sustainable practices. Yale’s mission of research, teaching, preservation, and practice of knowledge is translated into the language of food and its supporting systems by all divisions of Yale Hospitality. Rafi’s ongoing engagement with food industry professionals and thought leaders results in many initiatives at the university, local, regional, national, and international levels that support a plant- centric approach. Recent initiatives include collaboration with The Mediterranean Diet Roundtable and support for the 2021 UN Summit; the 2022 White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, & Health; and China’s Forth Annual Good Food Summit. Yale Hospitality is a robust organization that serves more than 15,000 meals per day with a team of over 850, comprised of three operational divisions that continually deliver best-in-class hospitality practices. A recognized food systems thought leader with more 35 years of industry experience, Rafi is invited to present at national and international conferences and is a recipient of numerous industry awards and recognitions including the Silver and Gold Plate Awards by the International Food Manufacturer Association.

Culinary Tips

If you select a potato with great flavor, you don’t need to add much to it. My favorite add-ons are salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil or butter – that’s all you need. If you have some chopped fresh herbs nearby, go ahead, but don’t add too much! Appreciate your potato for the deliciousness for what it is, not what you want it to be.