Food Loves Tech: What you’ll find at this year’s futuristic expo

Calling all geeky gourmands: Food Loves Tech returns for the second year this week, with demos, products and panels that explore the future of food and drink.

The two-day expo, held Nov. 3 and 4 at Brooklyn’s Industry City, is organized by the magazines Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn.

“We view technology not only as gadgets and gizmos, but also, what companies are doing the best in innovation and sustainability practice and using alternative ingredients,” said Meg Savage, one of Food Loves Tech’s organizers.

Savage walked us through what to expect at this year’s expo.

Greater food offerings

One of the biggest changes this year is that the event is more (no pun intended) “edible,” Savage said, with all-you-can-eat offerings at its expo.

“I would say 95 percent of the exhibitors are featuring some type of food or drink for people to be consuming,” she said. “While it’s a learning experience and an experiential experience, you’re going to leave with a full belly.”

Dishes from top chefs

Helping create that culinary experience at the expo are a few top chefs, Savage said.

Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony will be setting up a table to serve visitors a custom dish made with products featured at the expo: the sustainable seabass Australis Barramundi with mushrooms from “minifarm” Smallhold and a salad using ingredients from urban farm Gotham Greens.

Seamore’s Michael Chernow will also be serving sustainable fish, with greens from urban farm platform Square Roots and indoor farm Bowery Farming.

Untitled’s Suzanne Cupps is serving roasted beets with whipped feta and an almond-arugula pesto with garnishes from SproutsIO, an indoor gardening system.

And Saxon + Parole’s Brad Farmerie will be putting his spin on the meatless, “bleeding” Impossible Burger.

Innovative products

Entrepreneurs on hand at the expo range from Seek Food, which makes snacks using crickets as an alternative protein source, to Food Loves Tech returnee SeedSheet, dubbed the “Blue Apron of agriculture,” which makes kits for growing your own food at home.

“SeedSheet was just a startup last year; since then they’re now in Home Depots around the entire country and were on ‘Shark Tank,’” Savage said. “It’s just crazy within a year how much their product has changed.”

Tech in action

Expo attendees will be able to check out advances in food technology, from 3-D menus by KabaQ to 3-D-printed cookies by BeeHex. There will also be some virtual reality, including an experience by Loacker where you can see how the company sources ingredients for its wafers in Europe.

Panel discussions

Across both days, a dozen panels will address questions facing the food industry, from “How can tech help save our oceans?” to “How should we grow food for the future?” Other panels will look at ways consumers might one day engage in the industry, from “How will be buy groceries in 2050?” to “What’s the future of the restaurant?”

Panelists include chefs and companies featured in the expo, as well as prominent food figures such as former White House chef Sam Kass (in the panel “CRISPR, GMO or No: Genetics’ Role in the Food Supply”).

Industry City spotlight

This year, the expo moves from Manhattan’s The Tunnel to Brooklyn’s Industry City, which makes for a better fit, Savage said.

“There’s a lot of creators and innovators there,” she said. “It’s like a mecca for change and future-forward thinking.”

A few Industry City tenants will also be represented at Food Loves Tech, including avocado bar Avocaderia, whole-animal salumeria Ends Meat and artisanal beverage product Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, all of which are participating in the sold-out kickoff event Future of the Cocktail on Nov. 3.


Food Loves Tech is Nov. 3-4 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Industry City | 274 36th St., Sunset Park | tickets $75 each day at foodlovestech.com