The Future of Food Revealed at LDNY's The Next Big Bite 2017

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How Americans will Eat and Drink Sparks Lively Discussion.

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(L-R) Pascaline Lepeltier, Susan Ungaro, Dana Cowin, Padma Lakshmi, LDEI Founder Carol Brock, Missy Robbins, Melissa Clark, Kerry Heffernan, LDNY President Joan Brower

What’s next in food according to top players in the ever-evolving business of food, drink and the media was the highlight of The Next Big Bite: How We Will Eat & Drink, a panel presented Monday by Les Dames d’Escoffier New York (LDNY –

LDNY is the preeminent professional women’s culinary organization with members who are leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage, and hospitality. Their event, the organization’s third annual, was held at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) at Brookfield Place in New York City.

The evening’s program provided a forum for consumers and hospitality industry professionals to engage in a provocative discussion about food’s future in the world, at home, on TV, and in social media. Also explored and debated: how we will eat at restaurants, how business will change, and how the food community will embrace sustainability.

Panelist, and President of the James Beard Foundation, Susan Ungaro remarks, "Food is fuel. Food is medicine. Food is community. Food is happiness.” She adds, “In spite of futurists forecasting a technology-gone-wild world in which we're eating faster, popping food pills or even consuming meals in squeeze tubes, I believe the only joyful human contact decades from now will be good old-fashioned platefuls of colorful, delicious real food --- and sex."

Culinary authority Dana Cowin, DBC Creative, host of Speaking Broadly, and former Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine magazine moderated the panel. Panelists included:

  • Melissa Clark, The New York Times food columnist and cookbook author
  • Kerry Heffernan, Executive Chef, Grand Banks restaurant, NY
  • Padma Lakshmi, Co-host Top Chef; actress, food expert, model, and award-winning author
  • Pascaline Lepeltier, MS, Instructor, Court of Master Sommeliers at the International Culinary Center, Master Sommelier, and author
  • Missy Robbins, Chef/Owner, Lilia Restaurant, Brooklyn, NY
  • Susan Ungaro, President of The James Beard Foundation    

What are the next big bites? Here are the top ten trends to watch for 2018, according to the panel:

  • Plant-based food kicked up a notch. First it was nose to tail. Now it is stem to stalk.
  • Culinary leaders will use the untapped resources of the ocean to introduce new foods and species to consumers, all with sustainability in mind. Think algae and spiny dogfish.
  • Staff happiness will top the list of restaurateur concerns.
  • Consumers want to know what’s in their food and where it came from. On tap is increased interest in the origins, content, and production methods of wine and spirits.
  • Natural wines from Croatia and Georgia will gain respect.
  • Put a pretty face on it. Sustainable seafood meets savvy marketing. Montauk sea bream sounds tastier than plain old porgy.
  • Demand for healthier fare shows no signs of slowing. Chefs will rethink traditional favorites.
  • The future of food is cooking. It can be a piece of toast or an entire meal.
  • Culinary education for kids at home and school will be key to a healthy future.
  • Foods to watch: seaweed, hemp, pulses, cricket flour, grass-fed beef.

The Next Big Bite event sponsors included: Cabot Cheese; Cuisinart; Emile Henry; Heritage Radio; The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE); Abigail Kirsch; KVL Audio; Microplane; Plymouth Gin; Princess House; Range Meats – Patagonian Grass Fed Beef; Winebow, and Wüsthof.

About Les Dames d’Escoffier New York (LDNY):
Les Dames d’Escoffier is the preeminent organization of women who are leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage, and hospitality. The New York chapter (LDNY) is the founding and largest of the 38 chapters in the United States and abroad. Established in 1976 by Carol Brock (food reporter for the Sunday New York Daily News at the time), LDNY has 160 members.

Visit; follow on Twitter @LesDamesNY. #NextBigBite2017

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Joyce Appelman
Blue Sky Communications
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