Stony Brook Southampton’s annual Food Lab Conference is back for 2017 with a new theme, “50 Years of Food in America: 1970-2020,” and keynote speakers including celebrity chef and East End resident Bobby Flay, and David Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns restaurant and the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture.
The two-day conference—scheduled for Friday, June 9 and Saturday, June 10—joins food enthusiasts, cooks, celebrity chefs, farmers and food producers together with beer, wine and spirits makers for entertaining and informative talks and tastings, cocktail parties and a gala dinner created by chef Cheryl Stair of Art of Eating.
Other food for the conference will be prepared by Hamptons Aristocrat, private chef Martine Abitbol, and Bex Waffles specialty food truck.
The weekend begins on Friday, June 9, with a reception for VIPs and key media, followed by an opening cocktail reception at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (SoMAS) field station on Shinnecock Bay. There, Flay will discuss his personal view of “Food, Cooking and a Brief Personal History of Food Television.”
A successful chef and restaurateur, Flay became one of the first celebrity chef stars of the Food Network, introducing food as sport in the original Iron Chef America series. An Iron Chef America reboot as Iron Chef Gauntlet is currently in production.
On Saturday, June 10, the second keynote speaker, Barber, will talk about future directions in the food world, and opportunities to incorporate new technologies in shaping them. Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns was recently named the 11th best restaurant in the world by World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Other notable guests taking part in the Food Lab Conference include Tanya Steel, former Editor in Chief at Epicurious.com and founder of the Obama White House Kids Healthy Cooking initiative; Jack Bishop, Editor in Chief of Cooks Illustrated and host of America’s Test Kitchen; author and Julia Child biographer Alex Prud’homme; Nancy Hopkins, editor of Better Homes and Gardens; Matchbook Distilling founder Leslie Merinoff; Wolffer Vineyards winemaker Roman Roth; and Ron Tanner, the executive vice president of the Specialty Foods Association; along with a number of additional East End-based speakers and panelists.
Topics for panels on Saturday include: CIY: The Joys of Cooking It Yourself; Unscrambling Nutrition: Fad, Fashion and Functional Foods; Looking Ahead: Social Responsibility, Food Security, Farming, Fishing and Food Making; and The Future of Restaurants: From Fine Dining to Food Halls and Food Trucks.
Early Bird tickets for the two-day conference, including all meals, are $100 before May 15. After May 15, conference tickets, available at various levels, go up in price. Visit thefoodlab.org for tickets and more info.