About the MDR®

The Mediterranean Diet Roundtable® (MDR) is a think-tank designed to inform, inspire and promote the appreciation of ingredients and cuisines distinctive of the Mediterranean region, and to translate the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet into commercial opportunities within the United States.

The Mediterranean Diet has been recognized by UNESCO as a Global Intangible Cultural Heritage (2010), a symbol of a unique synergy between nature and the culinary culture distinctive of the Mediterranean countries.  This designation is regarded as a universal value worldwide. The MDR is a healthy, delicious and sustainable choice for the planet, as well as a meaningful way to reduce obesity and other diseases in America.

The MDR is playing a key role in repositioning the Mediterranean Diet as a competitive driving force to shape the offerings in high volume commercial and non-commercial food services, as well as to retailers and restaurants. By attending our programs, you can learn more about the #1 diet in the United States from world-class scholars and insights from leading food industry icons! Gain a deeper understanding of the health values, uses, commercial benefits and market trends from our dynamic, informative and interactive settings.

Meet our founder:

Daniela Puglielli

Daniela Puglielli is the founder of the Mediterranean Diet Roundtable® (www.MDRproject.com) a think tank dedicated to the promotion of healthy products and lifestyle in America and principal of Accent PR, selected by Forbes Magazine as a leading PR agency in the country. With an extensive experience in branding, marketing and international partnerships, Daniela holds a Master’s Degree in Communications from the University of Turin (Turin, Italy) and a Master’s Degree in Performing Arts from the Conservatorio di Musica (Pescara, Italy).

She is also a founding member of Associazione Gamma Donna (Turin, Italy), former Director of the Global Business Roundtable (NYC), former Executive Director of The Center for Italian & Italian-American Culture (NJ), among many other boards. She recently became advisor to Gruppo Italiano, a non-profit nurturing the appreciation of authentic Italian cuisine in America. Among many recognitions, Daniela is the recipient of the Dean Martin Award and the prestigious Zimei Award from Pescara, her hometown in Italy. Daniela holds dual citizenship in both Italy and the U.S. and lives in Boston with her family.

Past Events

Team 2023

Rafi Taherian

Yale Hospitality


Matthew Tremblay

Northbridge Companies


Yvonne Maffei, MA

My Halal Kitchen


Terry Nipp

Research Consultant with Columbia University’s Center, Senior Scientist at Texas A&M University


Seta Dakessian

Seta’s Cafe


Kathryn Simon

Food and sustainability evangelist


Nicholas Coleman

Grove and Vine


Francesco Marra

Marra Forni, Pizza University & Culinary Arts


Allyson Browne McKithen

Executive Director of the World Trade Center, Washington DC and Vice President of International Programs at Trade Center Management Associates (TCMA)


Phil Kafarakis

President International Food Manufacturing Association


Chef Fabrizio Facchini

Chair Cooks Alliance Slow Food USA


Daniela Puglielli

Founder of MDR®


Team 2022

Coley Anderson

Director of Industry and Government Relations, Registrar Corp.


Marco Andreoli

Consiglio Regionale del Veneto


Fabio Auguadro

Altomonte's


Celine Beitchman

Director of Nutrition,
Institute of Culinary Education


Dennis M. Bier, M.D.

Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine


Anita Trajkovska-Broach, PhD

CSI - Create. Solve. Innovate. LLC


Alessio Fasano, MD

MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Harvard Medical School


Midgie Cajayon

World Bank


Lucy Calautti

American Italian Food Coalition


Hugo da Costa Ribeiro

Full Professor at the Department of Pediatrics at the FMB at the Federal University of Bahia


Lorenzo Maria Donini, MD

Full Professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the Sapienza University


Paul Gately

Professor at Leeds Beckett, Director of MoreLife


Sabrina Hafner

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, UMass Dining


Joshua Holmes

Corporate Sales Executive
Spiceology


Stefanos N. Kales MD, MPH, FACP, FACOEM

Harvard Medical School & Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health


Richard D. Mattes, MPH, PhD, RD

Distinguished Professor of Nutrition Science, Purdue University


Ronald E. Kleinman, MD

Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School


Diane Kochilas

My Greek Table


Dr. Daniela Martini

Assistant Professor, University of Milan


Angelo Mojica

Johns Hopkins Hospital


Hon. Susan Molinari

American Italian Food Coalition


Terry Nipp

Columbia University, Texas A&M University


John Moysoglou

Director, Sales & Business Development
One Point


Emily Murphy

Baldor Specialty Foods


David Neuman

CEO, EVOOGuy.com, Professional Olive Oil Taster


Alexandra Papadopoulou

Ambassador of Greece to the U.S.A.


Chiara Remonti

Senior Regulatory Advisor, Registrar Corp


Stephanie Pixley

America’s Test Kitchen


Daniela Puglielli

Founder of MDR


Roberta Re, Dpharm PhD MBA

Director of Cambridge Food Science


Francine Segan

food historian


Thomas Sheridan

Kensington Food Company


Alessandra Sponda

Consiglio Regionale del Veneto


Rafi Taherian

Yale Hospitality


Ken Toong

Executive Director of University of Massachusetts, U-Mass Dining


Ori Zohar

Co-founder of Burlap & Barrel


Cara Warren

Certified Cheese Professional and Certified Cheese Sensory Expert


Food Crossroads

Allison Arnett, MS, RD, CD-N

Dietitian specializing in chronic disease prevention


Amy Riolo

Writer and TV personality


Anne E. McBride, PhD

Vice President of Programs at the James Beard Foundation


Team 2021

Alessio Fasano, MD

MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Harvard Medical School


Stefanos N. Kales MD, MPH, FACP, FACOEM

Harvard Medical School & Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health


Maria Loi

Chef, restaurateur, Greek food ambassador, author, healthy lifestyle expert


Dr. Orlando V. Gonzalez M.D.

Sports Medicine & Anti-Aging Specialist


Lisa Eberhart

Director of Nutrition and Wellness at North Carolina State University


Randy Lait

Senior Director of Hospitality Services at North Carolina State University


Paul Rice

Founder & CEO, Fair Trade USA


Ron Green

The Urban Environmentalist


Ken Toong

Executive Director of University of Massachusetts, U-Mass Dining


Rafi Taherian

Yale Hospitality


Hon. Aristos A. Constantine

Trade Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus, North America


Mary Flynn

The Miriam Hospital


Maria Psoma

Medical School of Athens


Dr. Artemis D. Morris

Naturopathic Physician and Licensed Acupuncturist


Nicholas Gonring

Gordon Food Service


Anne Mills

Director, Consumer Insights at Technomic


David Neuman

a/k/a EVOOGuy


Midgie Cajayon

Food Services Officer, World Bank Group


Fil Bucchino

Founder of Abandoned Grove


Daniela Puglielli

Founder of MDR


Jocelyn Brown Hall

Director of FAO North America


MDR Connect

Alexander Athanassoulas

Founder and CEO of STIRIXIS Group


Coley Anderson

Director of Industry and Government Relations, Registrar Corp.


David Neuman

a/k/a EVOOGuy


C. Marina Marchese

Honey Sommelier


MDR Kitchen Stories

Mary Angela Miller, MS, RDN, LD

Mary Angela has spent over 30 years leading and feeding people


Brynn McDowell

The Domestic Dietitian


Elena Paravantes

Nutrition and Communications


Amy Riolo

Writer and TV personality


Maria Loi

Chef, restaurateur, Greek food ambassador, author, healthy lifestyle expert