I’m pleased to announce that the Project Gastronomia’s Future of Food report has been released and can be downloaded at the Project Gastronomia website. I had a fun time writing and editing this report, and hope you’ll have fun reading it.
In April 2018, Project Gastronomia, an initiative led by the Basque Culinary Center’s BCCInnovation, held a two-day event and workshop in London on the future of food. From philosophers to hospitality designers, a range of experts were brought together to think about possible futures of food for London in 2050.
My role as a writer and futurist was to distill key actionable learnings of the workshops into a report that can help people imagine different possibilities for London’s Food System. The event was led by Project Gastronomia, co-organized with Kitchen Theory, and with facilitation support from John Sweeney (COO & Futurist at Etch).
Here are some of my favorite parts of the report…
The Raise of the Rest Challenges Fine Dining
When talking about megatrends shaping the future, Estefania Simon-Sasyk from the Project Gastronomia team made a very interesting observation: As the middle class raises in the Global South, they will reshape our supermarkets – as agriculture is shaped by global demand – and likely replace the Euro-centric view of fine dining.
Considering that this year’s “World’s 50 Best Restaurant” sadly “remains over 50 percent European, shockingly expensive, inexcusably male, and with strong neo-colonialist overtones“, I hope this change is coming soon!
The Three Big Ideas
Out of the creation of the food systems map, three big ideas were chosen that appeared to have the most disruptive potential for the future of food. I helped choose these three big ideas:
1. Chefs Step Outside the Kitchen
“The role of the chef in 2050 goes beyond menus and kitchens; they will be guides and educators for the food system. As AI-driven automation takes over farms and kitchens, the chefs of 2050 London will focus on helping communities shape the food system within the context of the communities’ social values and nutritional needs.”
2. Returning to Communal Kitchens
“The communal neighborhood kitchen becomes a center of community for Londoners, while their kitchens at home disappear. Just as the family sewing machines gave way to prêt-à-porter clothing, so will the private kitchen give way to accessible, personalized, on-demand meals. Cooking is transformed into a community communal kitchen.”
3. Personalized Health reinvents Processed Foods
“A revolution in personalized health ushers in the reinvention of processed food as nutritious, delicious, and affordable. Health-conscious Londoners will see no contradictions between a macaroni cheese or a fattoush salad for dinner. Advances in nano-cuisine and personalized health will mean that each dish, no matter how it is created, will be customized, personalized for one’s health and flavor preference.”
Food Systems Game
The Project Gastronomia team, along with John Sweeney, developed a foresight game to help the experts use a systems thinking approach to explore different possibilities for the future of food systems. Similar foresight games have been used by the European Commission, Canadian Government’s Policy Horizons, and UNICEF.
For UNICEF Tajikistan, my team created a foresight game as a tool to generate insight that would inform policymakers and also as a way to inspire futures-focused thinking among children in Tajikistan.
What’s your favorite part of the report?
If you have questions or comments please do let me know, I’d be happy to hear from you at Hello@DanielRiveong.com.