Taking place on Friday, June 9, and Saturday, June 10, this year’s Food Lab Conference at Stony Brook Southampton will revolve around “50 Years of Food in America: 1970-2020.” The exciting two day event will feature engaging and enlightening talks and tastings, cocktail parties and a gala dinner.
“Food has become a prime-time topic of interest, not just on television but culturally, socially intellectually, throughout America, and for that matter, around the world,” said Geoffrey Drummond, Executive Director of The Food Lab at Stony Brook Southampton and Emmy and James Beard Award winning producer and director of food television shows starring Julia Child, Jacques Pépin, Eric Ripert, Lidia Bastianich, and America’s Test Kitchen. “Right here on the East End of Long Island, we have developed some of the finest food and drink production in the nation.”
The event will kick-off with a cocktail/cold bar reception on Friday featuring Bobby Flay, celebrity chef, food TV star and East End resident, who will speak about his personal view of food, cooking and a present a brief personal history of food television.
“The Food Lab Conference’s mission is to convene and engage the community in a meaningful conversation around food and drink,” Drummond explained. “Our goal, consistent with being part of a great University, is to be the hub of ideas, issues and opportunities in food, bringing together leading voices from farming and fishing, brewing and distilling, food making and food eating.”
Saturday’s programming will begin with a keynote speech from David Barber – of Blue Hill restaurants and the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture – with Stephanie Strom, who will speak about farm to table and beyond. Blue Hill at Stone Barns was recently named the 11th best restaurant in the world by World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Nancy Hopkins – the Editor of Cooks Illustrated and host of America’s Test Kitchen – will moderate the first panel, CIY: The Joys of Cooking It Yourself featuring Jack Bishop, Marge Perry, Julianne Feder, and Alex Prud’homme. Next, Brian Halweil – the Editor of Edible Manhattan, Brooklyn, East End – will moderate Unscrambling Nutrition: Fad, Fashion and Functional Foods with panelists Heather Carlucci, Robin Berzin MD, and Max Lugavere. After a lunch break featuring bites by Hamptons Aristocrat and Luca’s Pizza Truck, three-time James Beard Foundation Award winner and keynote speaker Michel Nischan will lead Changing the World Through Food. The third panel, Looking Ahead: Increasing Access to Healthy Food, will be moderated by Kathleen Masters – Executive Director of the Amagansett Food Institute – and feature Tanya Steel, who co-founded Michelle Obama’s Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids State Dinner, Ron Tanners, Pierre Friedrichs, and Michel Nischan. The Future of Restaurants: From Fine Dining to Food Halls and Food Trucks with Vicki Freeman, Colin Ambrose, David Loewenberg, Jennifer Baum and moderator Florence Fabricant – of the New York Times – will follow. The panels will culminate with Drinking Long Island: A wrap-up panel about the growing world of fine wines, beers and distilled products of Long Island featuring moderator Daniel Lerner and panelists Roman Roth, Han Shan, Vaughan Cutillo, Leslie Merinoff, and Louisa Hargrave.
Once the riveting presentations have finished, attendees are invited to have drinks in the lounge and nosh on food provided by Calissa’s restaurant. The Lab will wrap up with a Gala Dinner featuring delicious culinary creations provided by Chef Cheryl Stair.
Conference tickets are $150, or $75 for students and farmers. Saturday dinner-only tickets are also available for $75.
Stony Brook Southampton is located at 39 Tuckahoe Road in Southampton. For more information, visit thefoodlab.org.