Building a Better Breakfast at SouthBites

What will the future of the most important meal look like?

As a part of SXSW’s new SouthBites schedule, the Building a Better Breakfast panel concerned itself with more than the first meal of the day. Nothing less than a wholesale change in the way we produce and eat our food was on the table.

Andrew Zimmern (Photo by Rod Machen)

Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods and Travel Channel fame headlined the event and stated early on that he was optimistic about the direction food is headed. "I’m bullish on the future,” he said, making a call for every level of food production to work together, including corporations who have the resources to do some things the little guys can’t.

On the other end of the business spectrum is Hampton Foods. CEO Josh Tetrick was on hand to talk about his Silicon Valley startup which uses plant-based materials to replace egg protein in products like Just Mayo and Just Cookies. While his high-tech food products might intimidate some consumers, Tetrick believes he can succeed if he can get people to expand their horizons and look beyond the technology. “You can expand your brain about what better is,” he said, adding that affordability and convenience must rival those of traditional products. “Some things in food tech are kind of fucked up, and some things are awesome.” Tetrick obviously believes his products fall into the latter category.

Zimmern used Nathan Myhrvold’s upcoming (eventually) book on bread as an example of what could happen. For decades, the world of bread books has concerned itself with looking back to the past for inspiration. Myhrvold’s work approaches the the topic differently. "What’s bread going to look like moving forward not moving back?” he said, “and I think that’s a brilliant question to be asking about all of our food products: What are we going to do moving forward?"

After a panel discussing a variety of foods, one answer to this question is simple: Go eat.


Building A Better Breakfast

Sunday, March 15, Driskill Hotel


Keep up with all our dispatches from SXSW at austinchronicle.com/sxsw or follow our Festival alias at @ChronSXSW.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

SXSW, SouthBites, Breakfast, Andrew Zimmern, Josh Tetrick, Nathan Myhrvold

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