This year, techies and foodies alike gathered at the gorgeous Williams Sonoma HQ in San Francisco to discuss the latest trends in food technology. BrainfoodSF brought together chefs, contributors, and industry leaders to explore how Silicon Valley and technology is making its way into the world of food.

Saturday at Williams Sonoma HQ

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It would’ve been enough to tour the inside of the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen that overlooks Alcatraz and the stunning Pacific Ocean, but we were also able to hear from countless famous chefs and food connoisseurs. While eating our hearts out, we listened in on how technology is playing a part in easy and sustainable cooking and eating.

Roundtable of Food

coffee, beer
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Entering the event was much like entering a college fair with booths lining the room all pitching their product. But unlike a college fair, the products were far tastier. We were greeted by Sally, the salad-making robot, and a sensor that tested for gluten, among many others.

Start to the Conference

tea, coffee
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One of Spoon’s founders, Mackenzie Barth, introduced the event, and the first speaker of the afternoon, Top Chef Winner Richard Blais. He enlightened us with his stories of stardom, like getting confused for Jesse Tyler Ferguson, as well as his take on delivery services like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. At the end of the day, he was in support of whatever helps get America cooking like a professional.

The Food of the Future

stout, beer
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Next, we listened in on a Q&A session narrated by Dana Peck, Cofounder & CEO of Pilot R&D. The discussion surrounded crazy new companies that are shaping the way we eat today, and will eat for years to come.

Included in the session were Dana Worth (Head of US Business Planning at Impossible Foods), Dominique Barnes (CEO & Cofounder of New Wave Foods), Sean Vahey and Jake Godby (Cofounders of Humphry Slocombe), and Amelia Chen (Food Scientist at Geltor). These five speakers are pioneering the next generation of food. From the adult ice cream flavors to shrimp made out of algae, and a burger made out of plant-based proteins, these five had plenty to talk about when it came to the next new wave of food.

Rapid Fire Demos

water, carrot
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Following the Q&A, we were treated to demos of some of coolest new pieces of technology in the food industry. Shireen Yates (Cofounder & CEO of Nima Sensor) demoed her portable gluten tester. Lisa Fetterman (CEO & Founder of Nomiku) demoed her Sous-Vide machine that can help any home cook master Mario Batali’s meatballs. Christoph Milz (Managing Director at Hestan Smart Cooking) demoed cookware that, when combined with an app, will communicate with you for a seamless cooking experience.

Taste Test

dairy product, chocolate, cream, sweet
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Next came the event of the afternoon—the food! We were able to try New Wave Foods' shrimp, which tasted strikingly similar to the real deal. Sushirrito graced us with their phenomenal sushi burritos complete with everything from pork belly to salmon.

Chowbotics brought us Sally, the salad-making robot, who made us a tasty custom side salad decked with grilled chicken and honey mustard dressing. Other tasty treats included flavors of Soylent, Bai antioxidant infused drinks, Humphry Slocombe Hong Kong Milk Tea ice cream, and so much more.

Technology Panel

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After eating our hearts out and filling our stomachs to capacity, we sat in on another panel. This panel was geared more towards how technology is changing the way we cook. Brian Frank (Founder & General Partner at Food for Thought Worldwide Ventures) moderated Fetterman, Yates, and Milz while they contributed insight into how their products contribute to smarter and easier cooking.

Closing the Show

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To end the amazing event, Melissa King (Founder of MK Eats & Whole Foods Ambassador) and Ellen Fort (Lead Editor at Eater San Francisco) wrapped up the conversation on technology and food and added valuable insight to this trending new area.

Goodie Bags

beer, pizza, wine, tea, coffee
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When it finally came time to leave, everyone was able to take a small piece of BrainfoodSF home with them. The swag bags were complete with pens, stickers, bottle openers, Soylent, and TCHO chocolate.

'Til Next Time

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Spoon’s first event in San Francisco was a major hit, filled with good food, and engaging conversations on how new inventions are sparking a new wave of food. 

So even if you missed it, reading this whole article is basically like being there. To see more photos, check out #BrainfoodSF on Instagram or on Spoon University's Facebook page, and sign up for Spoon University emails to find out where and when the next Brainfood will be!