Stony Brook Matters

Southampton Food Lab Conference Features Bobby Flay, David Barber, Michel Nischan

Bobby flay
bobby flay
Bobby Flay will discuss his personal view of “Food, Cooking and a Brief Personal History of Food Television.”

World-famous chef and restaurateur Bobby Flay will deliver the first of two keynotes at the third annual Food Lab Conference hosted by The Food Lab at Stony Brook Southampton June 9-10, 2017. David Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns restaurant and the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, will give the second keynote. Michel Nischan, a chef and leader in the sustainable food movement, as well as a three-time James Beard Foundation Award winner will also give a talk at the conference.

“50 Years of Food in America: 1970-2020” is the theme of this year’s conference, featuring two days of entertaining, informative talks and tastings enjoyed by food enthusiasts, cooks, and farmers, along with beer, wine and spirits makers.

Flay will deliver his keynote on Friday, June 9, after a VIP reception and the opening cocktail reception at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (SoMAS) Marine Sciences Center. Flay, an East End resident and star of the Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay,” will discuss “Food, Cooking and a Brief Personal History of Food Television” in conversation with Alex Prud’Homme, author of the Julia Child biography that Nora Ephron adapted for the screenplay of “Julie and Julia.”

David Barber will talk about future directions in the food world and opportunities to incorporate new technologies in shaping them.
David Barber will talk about future directions in the food world and opportunities to incorporate new technologies in shaping them.

On Saturday, June 10, Barber will present his keynote about future directions in the food world and opportunities to incorporate new technologies in shaping them. Blue Hill at Stone Barns, located in the Hudson Valley in Pocantico Hills, NY, was recently named the 11th best restaurant in the world by World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Nischan will also give a presentation on June 10. He is founder, president and CEO of Wholesome Wave, co-founder of the Chefs Action Network, and he partnered with the late actor Paul Newman to establish the former Dressing Room Restaurant. He and his Wholesome Wave team were successful at influencing legislative language for the recently passed Federal Farm Bill.

Some of the other notable guests who will be taking part in Friday and/or Saturday events include: Tanya Steel, former Editor in Chief at and founder of the Obama White House Kids Healthy Cooking initiative; Jack Bishop, Editor in Chief, Cooks Illustrated and host of “America’s Test Kitchen”; Nancy Hopkins, editor of Better Homes and Gardens; Matchbook Distilling founder Leslie Merinoff; Wolffer Vineyards winemaker Roman Roth; Ron Tanner, vice president of the Specialty Food Association; along with a number of speakers and panelists from Long Island’s East End.

Michel Nischan's presentation will be June 10 (photo by Tom Hopkins).
Michel Nischan’s presentation will be June 10 (photo by Tom Hopkins).

The chef for Saturday night’s gala dinner will be Cheryl Stair of Art of Eating in Bridgehampton. Other food for the conference will be prepared by Hamptons Aristocrat, private chef Martine Abitbol and the Bex Waffles specialty food truck.

Topics for panels on Saturday include: CIY: The Joys of Cooking It Yourself; Unscrambling Nutrition: Fad, Fashion and Functional Foods; Looking Ahead: Social Responsibility, Food Security, Farming, Fishing and Food Making; and The Future of Restaurants: From Fine Dining to Food Halls and Food Trucks.

Ticket Information
Early Bird tickets for the two-day conference, including all meals, are $100 before May 20, available at After May 20, conference tickets are $150, or $75 for students and farmers. Saturday dinner-only tickets are $75, and there are also $2,500 Friend of the Food Lab tickets available for the Friday VIP Cocktail Reception. For more information about the conference and to purchase tickets, visit or email

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