As Kleiman first noted in our conversation with her before last year's event, the convergence of design and food has never been so culturally relevant. "The Good Food agenda is finally at the center of the plate where it belongs," says Kleiman. "It is, after all, at the center of our lives. At the Good Food stage we'll be working our way through tastes of that plate, from seafood sustainability to food and justice and new techniques of molecular gastronomy—it's a full plate and we'll taste it all!"
Design has a hand in every part of our dining process, from food production to tableware. If you look at trends like pop-up restaurants and the ubiquitousness of food trucks, design is even changing the places we eat. "The Changing Shape of the Modern Restaurant," moderated by Bargar Suter at 3pm, will address our hunger for new dining models and ask if traditional brick-and-mortar spaces are indeed on the outs. On the panel will be Ludo Lefebvre, the renegade chef behind white-hot LudoBites, a roaming restaurant that transcends the typical dining experience in every way; Nick Bognar from Border Grill, which operates both regular restaurants and a truck; a purely mobile eatery (above), the ooey-gooey Grilled Cheese Truck; and Josh Hiller, the founder of RoadStoves, the company that customizes most of the food trucks you see roaming L.A.'s streets.
Even if we might take some of our meals on the go, we always love ourselves a groovy modern restaurant, and that's the focus of another panel, "Modern Restaurant Design: Mid Century and Today," moderated by the one and only Chris Nichols, author, certified Googie expert and in-house L.A. expert at Los Angeles Magazine. Nichols and a team of architects and historians will address the importance of modern architecture in L.A.'s dining culture, especially since many mid-century institutions are hitting middle age and are in need of major preservation efforts. Nichols also helped us create a guide to his favorite modern restaurants around L.A. with this map of dozens of local modern highlights, from boomerang-roofed diners to sleek culinary hotspots.
But it's not all dining and decor when it comes to food and design: Two panels in the afternoon will address issues around urban farming and social justice. "Feeding the City: School and Community" will tackle issues around hunger and obesity, asking if designing better outdoor classrooms is the best path to healthier families. Immediately after that, the "Food and Justice" panel will address issues of how to bring nutritious, local, and responsibly-produced food to urban residents.
Throughout the day, presenting sponsor Organic Valley will be serving up a discussion on sustainable food systems and how factors from government subsidies to distribution channels decide what we eat and when. Sustainability has been exceptionally key to one food discussion, especially in light of the Gulf Coast oil spill: The safety and stability of our seafood. "Beyond Bluefin: Sustainable Seafood," moderated by Kleiman, will address the complicated issues around the fish we eat with a series of chefs, fisherman and environmental experts.
And what would a day-long discussion of food be without a few drinks thrown in? At 12:30pm, beer sommelier Christina Perozzi will moderate a discussion on the growing craft beer movement here in L.A., featuring brewers, writers and restauranteurs who are dedicated to serving and sharing the best locally-produced brews. Whether you're a design enthusiast who knows a good IPA or a foodie who loves great design, we hope to see you this Sunday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Cheers!