The Next Course: The future of food

Food is more than nourishment. It’s culture and commerce, art and history, science and math. It drives writers like Proust to heights of dream-like reverie. Food encompasses the liberal arts.

With that idea in mind we asked 10 alumni—activists, brewers, farmers, scientists, and restaurateurs, whose careers involve food and drink—to share their thoughts about the emerging trends in growing, selling, serving, and eating food. They told us about protein sources you’ve probably never imagined, about what it means to run a restaurant dedicated to local food in Mount Vernon, Iowa, about how to make food appear as beautiful as it is delicious, and about the upcoming struggles for food justice activists.

Their experiences span nearly every liberal arts discipline, including politics, economics and business, chemistry, and art. Some of them trained for their current careers, while others found their way through a series of happy coincidences. All of them have one thing in common: They love food.

  • The activist

    “Gary Nabhan ’73 reflects on how his time at Cornell College influenced his career as a food-justice activist and writer.”

  • The futurist

    “Kevin Appel ’96 talks about a couple of provocative new protein sources that you might find yourself munching on in the near future.”

  • The baker

    “Aaron Hall ’10 talks about what it takes to be dedicated to amazing food in Mount Vernon, Iowa.”

  • The stylist

    “Dianne Freeze ’85 explains how food styling has and hasn’t changed during her career.”

  • The farmers

    “Becky Brown ’75 and Tony Thompson ’00 examine what it takes to run a Community Supported Agriculture operation.”

  • The brewer

    “Bill Heinrich ’07 looks at the emerging trends in small-batch brewing.”

  • The vinitner

    “Carol Bryant ’77 explains how a winemaking hobby turned into a winery for her and her husband.”

  • The restaurateur

    “John Lohnes ’77 talks about the latest in fast-casual dining.”

  • The caterer

    “Andrea Herrera ’85 looks at how customer expectations have changed for her catering business.”