Saturday March 8th saw the first-ever food track of programming at SXSW. Sponsored by iconic appliance brand KitchenAid, food enthusiasts flocked to The Blackheart on Rainey Street in Austin for four engaging panels on all things food and technology.
The first panel of the day featured Caleb Harper of MIT CityFARM, Marion Swaybill of The Food Lab at the University Of Texas and Mohammad Jhaveri of AgriPak, and they shared emerging trends in the agritech space during “AgriTech's Promise: Food For 10 Billion and Beyond.”
Next, Addie Broyles from the Austin American-Statesman, Andy Potter of Austin Eats Food Tour and Brian Bordainick of Dinner Lab discussed how chefs and food entrepreneurs can keep up with the expectations of their customers in the digital world during “Sous Vide in the City: How Digital Dining Feeds Us.”
Fan-favorite chef Paul Qui was a special guest at the third session of the day, and he was joined by Ned Elliott of Foreign & Domestic, Meghan McCarron of Eater Austin and Laura Sawicki of Launderette & Angry Bear and the topic of conversation was around smaller, more personable, minimal frill dining experiences.
The final panel, “Straight to the Source: From Farm to Table” investigated how local and organically grown produce shapes Austin cooking and dining. Panelists included Brenton Johnson of Johnson's Backyard Garden, Megan Giller of Zagat, Sam Hellman-Mass from Odd Duck, Sean Henry of Houndstooth Coffee and Tolly Moseley from Austin Eavesdropper.
After the panels, KitchenAid hosted a Happy Hour for attendees, and although the weather didn't fully cooperate, the panels received great attendance and paved the way for future food programming at SXSW.
Photo Courtesy of KitchenAid