Can you imagine endless food samples, your favorite foodies, career opportunities, swag, and celebrity chefs all under one roof? Well, it happened on October 14, 2017 at the Brooklyn Expo Center where Spoon University hosted their fourth annual Brainfood NYC "festival-conference".

The lucky ones who were able to snag a VIP ticket not only had access to expedited entry into the expo, but also received a tote bag overflowing with full-sized snacks and foods to try, aside from the already endless vendors.

The Food 

Some eats up-for-grabs included John's Juice, Ample Hills Creamery, Kung Fu Tea, and Avocaderia. John's Juice provided free full-sized fresh juices served inside the actual fruits. The lines were ridiculously long once the doors opened up to regular ticket holders.

Isabella Mezzettone

Avocaderia, the world's first avocado bar came by with products for sale because, well...avocados ain't cheap.

Isabella Mezzettone

Koppert Cress, which I had never heard of, allowed guests to openly sample both living and pre-cut micro greens that were bursting with flavors beyond their small size. Here's a photo of Salty Fingers which were little bursts of refreshing saltiness.

Isabella Mezzettone

But I just barely scratched the surface. There were many more other vendors which included: Mister Dips, Tipsy Scoop, Mike's Mighty Good Ramen, noosa, Fatty Sundays, and tons more. Many of the booths also gave out lots of goodies such as tote bags, snacks, stickers, and temporary tattoos. 

Guest Speakers 

Between sampling goodies, guests were able to sit in on multiple panel discussions from guests such as Food Network's Alton Brown and Hannah Hart, Baked By Melissa's Melissa Ben-Ishay, Foodbabyny's Mike Chau (plus the food babies themselves), and Buzzfeed Tasty's Claire King. 

Alton Brown kicked off the event with a discussion on the future of food within the media. He spoke on how food sharing has changed over the years from family recipes to Instagram photos, and how it's important that today's generation and future generations not lose the art of interpersonal communication. Brown even challenged the audience to go out to dinner with friends, not take any photos, and actually have a conversation with one another.

Isabella Mezzettone

Other panelists took the stage to discuss topics ranging from their experiences starting a business to building a food media brand. 

Samantha Wasser, Wilson Tang, Adam Eskin, and Dario Wolos all told of their varied experiences as restaurateurs. While Wasser has restaurant experience in her family, Eskin was originally working in finance; Tang had Nom Wah Tea Parlor passed down to him, and Wolos started Tacombi out of a Volkswagen bus (which probably served as a relief to nervous entrepreneurs in the audience).

Isabella Mezzettone

All are owners of multiple restaurants and spoke on the trials and tribulations that come with checking in on every location and making sure that the staff functions strongly as a team.

Networking Opportunities 

Those who opted for a more serious experience were able to walk through a row of career booths set up with representatives from Food Network, Whole Foods, William Sonoma, Hillstone Restaurant Group, and Major Food Group. The companies were more than happy to share information about job and internship opportunities, and where to apply. Networking encouraged! 

Instagrammable Artwork 

If you found yourself in between the two stages, you had the opportunity to test your painting skills on the once un-colored wall. Guests were able to fill in the fun outlines with multiple color options, and of course, take lots of photos.

Isabella Mezzettone

Another fun surprise Spoon University had was a separate area where you and your friends could take photos — sent to your email or printed out — in front of fun backdrops. There was also an amazing art installation created by Bianca Romero.

Sabrina Yu

If this gave you major FOMO, fear not — Brainfood will be back next year, and now you know what to expect. Just keep your eyes peeled for dates on their website. Now I can't wait to see and experience what's in store for us next year.