Can We Actually Make the Future Better?

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The last decade has seen massive changes in the business, technological, and social environments in which we all do our work, and the pace of change seems only to be accelerating. So, where do we want to be at the end of the next decade, and how do we shape that trajectory? Join New York Times reporter Kim Severson as she interviews some of the most active and inspirational figures in the food space today to learn where they are focusing their future efforts to exact change.

Listen to this keynote presentation from IACP’s 2018 conference here. 

Kim Severson is a New York Times correspondent covering food trends and news across the United States. She previously wrote about cooking and the culture of food for the San Francisco Chronicle. Before that, she was an editor and reporter at the  the Anchorage Daily News and covered crime, education, social services and government for other daily newspapers on the West Coast. She has won several regional and national awards and has written four books.

Kat Kinsman is the author of Hi, Anxiety, founder of Chefs With Issues, and Senior Food & Drinks Editor at Extra Crispy and Time Inc. Food. She is the former Editor in Chief and Editor at Large at Tasting Table and the founding editor of CNN Eatocracy. Kinsman is a frequent public speaker on the topics of food and mental health.

Michael W. Twitty is a noted culinary and cultural historian who recreates the American slave experience through food and its preparation. He created Afroculinaria, the first blog devoted to African American historic foodways and their legacy, and was honored by First We Feast.com as one of 20 greatest food bloggers of all time. He has appeared on Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern, Many Rivers to Cross with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, and has lectured to more than 250 groups including at Yale, Oxford and Carnegie Mellon Universities, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Smithsonian Folklore Festival. Michael has been invited to speak around the world, from the MAD Symposium in Copenhagen to the Guardian Festival of Ideas in London to film festivals in Jerusalem, all on culinary justice and the African American impact on Southern foodways. His work has been featured in many publications and websites Ebony, the Guardian, Eater.com and NPR’s Codeswitch blog. He has appeared on NPR on a number of occasions including being interviewed on the acclaimed food program, The Splendid Table.  He has also served as a judge for the James Beard Awards and is a Smith fellow with the Southern Foodways Alliance. He was recently named one of “Fifty People Changing the South” by Southern Living and one of the “Five Cheftavists to Watch” by TakePart.Com. HarperCollins will release Twitty’s first major book in 2016: The Cooking Gene, which traces his ancestry through food from Africa to America and slavery to freedom.

Melissa J. Rodriguez is Executive Chef at Del Posto. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America where she earned a degree in Culinary Arts, Melissa spent time cooking with Elaine Bell Catering and at Oceana. In 2006, she was hired as a line cook at Daniel Boulud’s flagship Restaurant Daniel, where she quickly rose the ranks to sous chef. Melissa joined the team at Del Posto in 2011 where she was promoted to Chef de Cuisine in 2015. Two years later, she was tapped to succeed Mark Ladner as Executive Chef making her the first woman at the helm of a restaurant awarded four stars by the New York Times. Melissa lives in Jersey City with her husband Garrett.


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