Special Live Hour: The Future Of Dining In Boston

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(Left to Right) Chefs Tony Messina and Elle Simone, and restaurateur Ron Shaich talk about the future of our food.
(Left to Right) Chefs Tony Messina and Elle Simone, and restaurateur Ron Shaich talk about the future of our food.

When we think about our relationship to food, how will it evolve with our lifestyle and as technology changes? As part of WBUR's The Future Of Our Food series, Radio Boston hosts a live hour in WBUR's Cityspace with a focus on the future of dining.

We talk about the future of the industry with two of the city's premier chefs: James Beard Award winner and UNI's Tony Messina and "Culinary Oprah" Elle Scott Simone.

Plus, we hear from Ron Shaich, who oversees what's been called "a fast casual empire" in Boston. He is the former CEO of Panera Bread and now owns stake in Life Alive Organic Cafe and Tatte Bakery and Cafe. We speak with him about his plans to expand both restaurants nationally, food affordability and his approach to restaurant investment.

Also, we speak with local food Instagrammer Brenda Nguyen and Chris Coombs of the Boston Chops — who is all in on the platform — about how Instagram has changed business.


Tony Messina, executive chef and partner at UNI and named the Best Chef: Northeast by the James Beard Foundation in 2019.

Elle Simone Scott, the first African-American woman to be featured on PBS' "America's Test Kitchen" and the founder of SheChef, a networking group for women of color in the food industry. She tweets @chefellesimone and her Instagram is @shechefinc_elle.

Ron Shaich, founder of Panera Bread, owner of Life Alive Organic Cafe and restaurant investor. He tweets @shaich.

Chris Coombs, co-owner of Boston Urban Hospitality, which owns Boston Chops. He tweets @chefchriscoombs ‏and his Instagram is @chefchriscoombs.

Brenda Nguyen, who runs the Instagram account @wanderingbostoneater.

This segment aired on June 5, 2019.


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Zoë Mitchell was a Radio Boston producer and studio director.


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