By Seth Daniel
When 5,000 of the most innovative adults under 30 descend upon Boston this October for the Forbes Under Summit, well known Chef Chris Coombs will feed them the best of what Boston – and the nation – have to offer.
The City and Forbes announced on Monday that the 3rd Annual Under 30 Summit – the most popular event put on by Forbes – will move from Philadelphia to Boston this coming October. The announcement took place in Faneuil Hall Monday afternoon, with Mayor Martin Walsh, Gov. Charlie Baker, Forbes Magazine Editor Randall Lane and other city leaders gathering to drum up excitement about what they believe will be an outstanding showcase of the city to young, influential leaders.
Some 50 of those leaders, past and present, were on stage for Monday’s announcement.
The Summit will take place from Oct. 16-19 and will be focused in Faneuil Hall, but will have five different interconnected events, likely to be taking place on campuses all over Boston, such as Northeastern University and Boston University. There will also be an ‘Under 30 Village’ on City Hall Plaza to serve as a central gathering point. It is expected that 5,000 young leaders from all over the world will converge on Boston and its neighborhoods to take part in the various forums spread out all over Boston, a music festival, a food festival and a city-wide service day.
“This year, we plan to take the summit to a whole new level, more than tripling it in size and opening it up to young entrepreneurs worldwide,” said Lane. “We can’t think of a better place to host it than Boston, a vibrant city with amazing entrepreneurial culture and civic engagement, where students and high achievers from all over the globe come together…The 2016 Summit will be the largest event in Forbes’ 98-year history…We intend to grow this in Boston and create for Boston what the South by Southwest festival has done for Austin (TX).”
Mayor Martin Walsh said Boston now has one of the youngest populations and workforces of any major American city, with many of those young people living right in the Back Bay, South End or Fenway/Kenmore. He said that 35 percent of the city’s population is between 20-34, and half of the workforce in Boston is made up of people in that age group.
His administration did note that there would be no public money going towards supporting the event, a bone of contention with the event in Philadelphia.
Gov. Charlie Baker said the event will showcase some of the great things that Boston has become.
“I’m old enough to remember what Boston was like 30 or 40 years ago,” he said. “It was a great place, but I don’t think anybody would have said it was the perfect place for young entrepreneurs. I think Forbes Under 30 making the decision to come to Boston, on the heels of GE making that same decision, is another great decision.”
Within that festival will be the Under 30 Food Festival, which will be organized by Coombs. The well-known chef is the owner and executive chef at Boston Chops (Washington Street) in the South End and Deuxave (Commonwealth and Mass Avenues) in the Back Bay and was the winner of the Forbes Under 30 Food and Wine festival in 2012. Though he is now over 30, as a former winner, he has enjoyed attending all of the Under 30 Summits, and with the summit landing in Boston now, he has been tapped to help out.
“I’m very excited,” he told the Sun. “I think it’s a great opportunity of the City of Boston and will showcase world-class chefs. We’re looking at having 5,000 of the brightest young talents from all over the world. There will probably be a lot of off-shoots from this and I think you’ll see a lot of gatherings at local restaurants in the neighborhood. I’m personally looking forward to having a few chefs at my restaurants. It’s a busy festival and the chefs are coming to compete, but that competitions only for one day. They’ll probably be looking for a lot of other opportunities to showcase their world-class talents when they’re not competing.”
Coombs said that while he is coordinating the food and wine competition, the judging will be left to others, such as Questlove of ‘The Roots’ band.
Coombs said he is really looking forward to the event.
“It’s going to be an amazing time, and a great competition for some of the best chefs in the world,” he said.