People in the hospitality industry are great at eating, drinking and enjoying each other’s company––and now we’re starting to get just as good at discussing our industry’s issues as we are at celebrating what we love about our work. And the 2019 PX+ Hospitality Festival in England is the event where we can do both! This is so important, because the problems facing hospitality, like the climate crisis, diversity, mental health, and the integrity of the media, affect all humans, not just people working in our industry.
Whatever the challenges we face, it’s up to everyone involved in restaurant culture to make some serious changes moving forward. This year’s PX+ Festival is not only an exciting weekend escape for some of the most influential people in hospitality, but CulEpi is proud to announce that this year, we’re co-producing PX+ ‘Let’s Talk
This three-day long festival will take place August 17-19 at Duchess Farms in Sawbridgeworth, UK. Prior to last year’s PX+ Festival, founder Katie Bone wrote a piece for CulEpi discussing the motivations behind its creation. “The founders of PX+ want to grow a community that supports rather than competes with each other,” Katie wrote. “It’s time to treat each other as well as we treat our own customers.”
Treating each other well, in PX+ terms, comes in the form of an all-encompassing outdoor retreat with incredible food, wine, panels, drinks, workshops, live music, entertainment, and even a rejuvenation tent.
While celebration is the overall vibe of the weekend, we are all eager to hear from the rockstar team of panelists who will be hitting the main stage.
“I’m so honored to be co-producing Let’s Talk About It at the PX+ Hospitality Festival this year,” Regina continued. “I’m super proud of the lineup of speakers! We have so many amazing people participating, and it’s a really diverse group who will bring great insights on these important topics.”
Below is the complete list of Let’s Talk About It topics and the
Investigating the Investigators: Food Media in the Age of Awards, IG and Click-Bait: What do we want the food landscape to look like as we fight against the pressures of social media, popularity contests, the lure of celebrity chefs, and the demand for advertising dollars? Panelists include: (Host) Regina Varolli of CulEpi; Clare Smyth of Core by Clare Smyth; Lisa Markwell of CODE Hospitality; Howard Chua-Eoan of Bloomberg; and Will Goldfarb of Room4Dessert
Give & Take: Swapping Ideas with Other Industries to Benefit Us All: An open exchange of innovative ideas and best-practices across industry lines can help everyone create better workplaces, better business models, happier teams and a better future. Panelists
United We Stand, Divided We Fall: Striving for Inclusion and Community in A Divisive World: Brexit, Trump, the rise in anti-Semitism, vilifying immigrants and refugees, marginalizing women…there are many expressions on the ugly face of exclusion. Let’s instead show the world, by our own example, what it really means to be hospitable. Panelists include: Ravneet Gill, pastry chef and founder of CounterTalk; Santiago Lastra of Kol, formerly Noma; Mohammed Rahimeh of Mo’s Eggs and Refugee Food Festival; and Céline Nasution of Ferrandi Paris
Don’t Keep A Lid on It: Opening Up and Seeking Support in The Industry: Mental health, drug and alcohol dependency, financial issues, workplace bullying and harassment, the list goes on, and too often we don’t open up and talk about the problems we face. We’ll explore PX Listens as well as other sources of support for people in crisis. Panelists
The Brigade on the Brink: Harnessing Strengths & Overcoming Weaknesses To Determine Our Future: There’s a staffing crisis in hospitality. How can we maintain the many strengths of the brigade – like our work ethic and our passion – while eliminating its setbacks and save the future of the hospitality workforce? Panelists include: (Host) Regina Varolli of CulEpi; Jonny Bone of Core by Clare Smyth; Emma Underwood of Darby’s; Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins of El Jardin, San Diego and Top Chef; Peter Gunn of IDES, Melbourne
See-Through Food Systems: Transparency, Impact, and the Demand-Driven Supply Chain: A deep look into the wide impact of our food systems (as chefs, consumers, producers, retailers). We’ll aim to clarify our understanding of the supply chain from a wider perspective and address concerns from fair pay, sustainability
A Ticking Time Bomb: The Urgent Need for Industry Solutions to Combat Climate Crisis: No more making excuses or procrastinating, we need to be blunt about the very real dangers we’re facing, and we need to implement industry-wide solutions, even as they entail sacrifice and change. Panelists
I think we all agree that these conversations are long overdue, but there really is no time like now to challenge and inspire each other to achieve greater goals, make better choices, and stand up for what’s right, both within the industry and beyond.
This is something we take very seriously here at CulEpi, and it’s the fabric of everything we do here. “CulEpi shares PX+’s commitment to giving a real platform to the voices of the culinary and hospitality industry,” Regina added. “A place where we can come together and have meaningful exchanges and share ideas that can and will make a difference in not just our industry, but the world.”
I couldn’t think of a more fitting collaboration for our team than this exciting PX+ event, and I look forward to the sparks of change that are about to fly out of Duchess Farms this weekend.