The Food Meets Talent line-up is announced!

Mark Sansom - 06/09/2021


One of the key events of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021 programme in Antwerp, Flanders will be Food Meets Talent, by S.Pellegrino. Taking place on Monday, 4th October, the day before the reveal of the 2021 50 Best list, the event will bring together the great and the good of the global restaurant scene to look at the people defining the future of gastronomy. Here’s who they are and what they’ll be talking about

The ‘Food Meets’ event series – pioneered by S.Pellegrino as a means of connecting contemporary restaurant trends with the assembled gastronomic experts when The World’s 50 Best Restaurants comes to town – returns this year for its fourth instalment in Antwerp, Flanders on 4th October. Following from Food Meets Art in Bilbao, Spain in 2018, Food Meets Future in Singapore in 2019, and the virtual Food Meets Hope in 2020, Food Meets Talent will take place in Antwerp’s historic Zuiderpershuis at 11:30 CET.

Talent in all its forms will be in the spotlight at the event, which will take guests on a journey through the past, present and future. If you’re not going to be in Antwerp, no matter: the key takeaways will be distributed across the 50 Best social media channels in the days following the event.

Introduction: Watching Talent in Action
One of Antwerp’s master chocolatiers, Oliver Van Nueten, will be creating a statement piece of chocolate sculpture for guests to interact with when they arrive at Zuiderpershuis. He will be working to a briefing of ‘nurturing talent’ – we look forward to sharing the inspirational designs that he will create.

Part one: If I Knew Then What I Know Now…
Hindsight is famously a wonderful thing, but what advice would some of the world’s finest chefs give to themselves and future cooks starting out in the restaurant industry if they were to have their time again?

As part of this epic video filmed on location in their restaurants, Clare Smyth from Core in the UK, Ana Roš from Hiša Franko in Slovenia and Micha Tsumura from Maido in Peru will look back on their glittering careers and share their learnings with the next generation of 50 Best cooks. Expect raw emotion, positive leadership and insightful guidance.
Food Meets Talent will take place on Monday 4th October at 11:30 CET

Part two: Meet The Next Generation
Get ready to meet the people changing the game today and setting the agenda for tomorrow. 50 Best and S.Pellegrino have selected some of the leading lights from the entire food ecosystem to take you through their spheres of expertise and why they believe it is vital for us all to act now to secure a better future. They will each give a presentation, followed by a Q&A session from the floor.

Adelaide Lala Tam
Twenty-seven-year-old Lala Tam is one of the most exciting artists of her generation. She has chosen to make the world of food her muse and through her art she confronts the problems surrounding mass production in food head on. She was recently named among the inaugural group of 50 Next, which revealed young people under the age of 35 who are shaking up gastronomy. Lala Tam made it into the collection thanks to some statement pieces of art she has produced from her studio in Rotterdam, following a move from her native Hong Kong.

For Food Meets Talent, she will be speaking about the key issues with the food ecosystem at large and how we can confront them to preserve the natural world for tomorrow. Do you think you have what it takes to be in the next cohort of 50 Next? Apply now, or nominate someone for 50 Next 2022.

Kurt Evans
Philadelphia-based Kurt Evans is fighting for reform in the US, using food as his medium. Through the ground-breaking End Mass Incarceration dining series, the creation of a new restaurant business model and his community-focused activism, the Black American chef is driving change across the culinary landscape and beyond. Evans was announced as a Champion of Change, presented by S.Pellegrino, in July 2021.

Evans will be discussing how he created his new restaurant model, Project M.O.R.E, and how he believes it can improve the restaurant ecosystem in the US. He’ll be assessing why food insecurity is one of the greatest problems we are experiencing today and what we can do in our own communities to support under-privileged people.

Mark Moriarty and Manon Schenck
The two starlets of the cookery world will be taking to the stage together to explain their journey from starting out and learning their kitchen craft to opening their own restaurants. Moriarty was the first winner of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Award in 2015 and Schenck runs one of the leading new restaurants in Belgium. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to make it in a 50 Best kitchen, Moriarty and Schenck are here to tell you.
Heston Blumenthal will speak at Food Meets Talent on 'How to hack your own talent'

Part three: How to Hack Your Own Talent, by Heston Blumenthal
There are few chefs in the world that require no introduction, but Heston Blumenthal is one of them. The owner of The Fat Duck in England – which won The World’s Best Restaurant title in 2005 –  will be giving the keynote address at Food Meets Talent, delivered in a TED Talk-style session that will provide knowledge, inspiration and insight from the latest frontiers in science.

Known for his work at the vanguard of kitchen technique, in recent years Blumenthal has trained the crosshairs of his inquisitive mind on epigenetics, a nascent field of biological science that essentially tells us everything that we have been taught about DNA is wrong. For his talk, Blumenthal will be explaining how by controlling your environment and employing techniques of mindfulness, subjective thought and positive appreciation, we can influence how our body reacts and develops.

By sharing some of the research of his contemporaries and indeed some experiments that he has conducted himself, keen viewers of the talk will be able to go away and practice these skills themselves and, in turn, hack their own talent.

This section of Food Meets Talent will be released in full on the 50 Best Restaurants TV YouTube channel in the days after the event. Tune in and be ready to have your mind blown.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants is coming back in 2021, with an awards ceremony and hybrid event programme to be hosted in Antwerp, Flanders, in October. To be the first to hear about the latest news and announcements, join the community on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.