After the 2010 Hospitality Design Exposition & Conference (HD Expo) last month in Las Vegas and the NYU Investment Conference last week, you think we would be conferenced out? Not me. For the second year in a row, Alina Munoz and Stephanie Kornblum, the fab founders of New York restaurant networking organization Culintro, reached out to me to help put together and moderate their second restaurant design panel. Roughly 150 F&B professionals gathered for last night's talk, dubbed Restaurant Design: The Influence of Consumer Trends, at the fantastic Gabarron Foundation room. Pulling straight from the pages of HD, our panelists included Lionel Ohayon, founder of ICRAVE, who discussed reinventing gateside dining at JetBlue's new Terminal 5 at JFK Airport; 2010 James Beard Award winner architect Andre Kikoski, who talked about his award-winning design of the Wright at the Guggenheim; Wave of the Future award winner architect Stephanie Goto who shared the microphone with rising culinary star chef George Mendes talking about their newest collaboration Aldea; and music stylist Lori Hon of Gray V, who explained the do's and don'ts to great music that complements the design of a space. And I started the conversation off with a slideshow of restaurant trends based on projects we have recently published. A special thanks to the sponsors to helping make the event such a success: Veev (for the fantastic cocktails), Restoration Hardware, and Royal Bontania/D'Apostrophe.
Afterwards, the crowd walked a few blocks to Richard Sandoval's new restaurant, Zengo (designed by AvroKO), to continue the conversation, and of course, for a few cocktails and a sampling of the great Latin-Asian food.