Dana Cowin needs no introduction. But we’ll give you a quick one anyway:
Best known for her 21-year stint as Editor in Chief of Food & Wine Magazine, Dana Cowin has since branched out to become a food consultant, author, lecturer, and all-around food media expert. She currently hosts the Heritage Radio Network show Speaking Broadly, and is the Chief Creative Officer at farm-sourced restaurant chain Dig Inn.
We’re thrilled to have her at the Smart Kitchen Summit (SKS) in Seattle this October, speaking about how technology is shaping the future of recipes, home cooking, and food media. To get you excited, we asked Cowin a few questions about delivery, automation, and her last meal on earth.
Read the full Q&A below.
Q: With online platforms, voice assistants, and guided cooking tools, there are more ways to find and catalog recipes than ever before. How have you seen this change the way that people cook?
A: There’s an ongoing evolution in the way people cook; online platforms, voice assistants, and guided cooking tools all play a role. The move is toward simplicity, convenience, personalization, and speed — whatever makes your busy life easier. So in as far as technology can help you achieve those goals, in a right-for-you way, I think that tech is a wholesome enabler.
Q: Do you think that food delivery, meal kits, and, looking even further, automation will completely replace home cooking?
A: I don’t foresee a time when home cooking will disappear completely. That said, because there are so many options for how to get meals (from delivery to meal kits to automation), cooking in the future will become the province of the passionate. It will be a lifestyle choice, a leisure activity like camping that brings friends and family together. Cooking will less frequently be a quotidian chore to provide sustenance.
Q: What’s the most exciting way you see technology transforming the way we discover, cook, or talk about food?
A: Technology enables us to go far or near, narrow or wide and shallow or deep in terms of our information, choices, and inspiration. It brings the entire world closer. I love tripping into a video of some arcane, authentic way to make a soup dumpling, seeing images of the foods of far-off Belarus or just discovering a recipe that a neighbor has tried with hyper-local ingredients. Tech makes me more knowledgeable, more adventurous, more confident, and less fearful.
Q: What’s your last meal on earth?
A: Crispy fried chicken, fluffy biscuits with strawberry butter, pickled spicy okra, mint iced tea, peach cobbler, vanilla ice cream.
Thanks, Dana! If you want to see her speak more about how technology will influence the future of cooking, recipes, and food media, snag your tickets to the Smart Kitchen Summit on October 8-9th in Seattle.