Panel Features Top Chef Host Padma Lakshmi, Other Notables, on Future of Food

Source: Presence Marketing News, November 2017
Author: Steven Hoffman, Compass Natural Marketing

Due to the power of social media, even young audiences in remote parts of the world know about “Top Chef,” said the hit food show’s co-host Padma Lakshmi, noting that children are more aware of food at a younger age, and engaging them in cooking and passing recipes down is important to food’s future. Home Economics “should be brought back” into the school curriculum, she suggested.

Padma spoke at The Next Big Bite: How We Will Eat & Drink, held October 16 at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. The event was hosted by Les Dames d’Escoffier New York, a professional women’s culinary organization with members who are leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage, and hospitality. Lakshmi joined other panelists including Melissa Clark, New York Times food columnist and cookbook author; Kerry Heffernan, executive chef, Grand Banks Restaurant, New York; Pascaline Lepeltier, instructor, Court of Master Sommeliers at the International Culinary Center, master sommelier, and author; Missy Robbins, chef and owner, Lilia Restaurant, Brooklyn, NY; and Susan Ungaro, president, The James Beard Foundation. Dana Cowin, DBC Creative, host of the podcast Speaking Broadly on Heritage Radio Network, and former editor-in-chief of Food & Wine, moderated the panel.

Here are food trends to watch, according to the panel and as reported in Specialty Food News:

  • Vegetables and plant-based foods. Stem to stalk is the new nose to tail. “Wasting food is going to become like not buckling up,” predicted Ungaro.
  • Untapped resources of the ocean such as algae or dogfish. “Dogfish is very plentiful and now we’re sending it to the U.K. because they know if makes good fish and chips. People here don’t understand that it’s a great resource,” said Heffernan.
  • Increased interest in the origins, content, and production methods of wine and spirits. “We can know what we eat, but we don’t always know what we drink,” noted Lepeltier.
  • Demand for healthier fare will have chefs rethinking traditional favorites. “We’re going to see a trend toward healthier, but with balance,” said Robbins, who created her restaurant with a health-oriented menu in mind. “People will give themselves the authority to indulge when they want to.”
  • Foods to watch: seaweed; beans, pulses, and legumes; oysters; and hemp.

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Steven Hoffman is Managing Director of Compass Natural, providing brand marketing, PR, social media, and strategic business development services to natural, organic and sustainable products businesses. Contact steve@compassnatural.com.