by alma eliot and emilie baltz

Photo: Emilie Baltz

When I met Emilie Baltz this summer, it wasn’t in one of her immersive, technology-infused dinners or installations. It was at a picnic she had arranged in Brooklyn Bridge Park, a lolling dejeuner sur l’herbe in front of Deborah Kass’s cartoonish “OY/YO” sculpture. The meal extended into late evening, through rounds of anejo Manhattans, bialys, borscht, figs, and smoked salmon. It was a tour of New York’s most popular cuisine, with a nod to the Guadalajara-born guest of honor. In those hours, everyone present became friends, united by food and shared plates and conversation.

I share this story because experience design comes in many forms. It can be a fun, interactive intervention like Baltz’s cotton candy theremin. It can be a multi-course dinner held in a hall with a changing spectrum of ambient light, like Baltz designed in 2015. Or it can be a picnic in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Events like these bring us together, and ask us to reconsider the gestures, conversations, and feelings of our everyday experiences.

In a little under a week, Americans will gather around dinner tables to share a holiday meal. With many still feeling raw or bruised from an abrasive election, how can we extend an olive branch to our loved ones? How can we share a meal that unites us?

As it turns out, Baltz, a food technologist and experience designer, has had hospitality on her mind as well. For events this fall, she engineered an app, called “Family Meal,” that designs bespoke meals based on user-generated content and artificial intelligence. Through prompts such as “Tell us about your favorite birthday dinner,” the app gleans emotional and environmental clues about its audience, and plugs the information into IBM Watson, an A.I. system. The result is an experience that gives every member of the party the personal attention they crave. Baltz is now working on making Family Meal a customer-facing platform.

There’s something to be learned from the principles behind Family Meal. As America prepares its Thanksgiving feast, here are a few ideas from Baltz on how to create an experience of togetherness and sharing.

Be inclusive—and curious.

“Thanksgiving is about bringing together diverse cultures. When it started, it was an empathetic move on behalf of the founding people here. I think the way to go forward is with curiosity rather than empathy, and we can start by thinking about excluded people. What are the different components of the meal, for example? How can we welcome each other into that? Also, think about ingredients: what’s around the table, why did we choose them?”

Engage with each of your guests.

“Show everyone that they have their own place. That, to me, is so important. Can you have conversations with all of your family members? Show them that you welcome them and that you care.”

Incorporate sites and gestures of sharing.

“A family meal is something we all have to share from the same plate—and that says a lot.”

Dishes that bring different guests to the same location, then, can be powerful tools.

“One way to think about that is in terms of punch bowls, which are places of communal gathering,” she says. “You could do something where everyone adds their own ingredients, like a stone soup. I love the idea of creating big pots of togetherness that bring people to the same place.”


How often do you medicate?

To Whom It May recommends doses based on medication frequency, and the suggested doses are intended to help you feel body-functional and mind free. Every box that arrives at your door will contain chocolates in individual boxes sealed with one of these mighty-helpful labels.




per WEEK

per DAY

We encourage you to find your way patiently, to a dose that’s right for you – start low, then wait and see. It may end up being a cherished single piece, or a uniquely combined experience of two, or three.

Full effects of THC digestion commonly felt within 60-90 minutes. Bide your mind and enjoy the time!

to whom it may entice

In honor of this month full of heart,
we’re adding two bonus chocolates to your cart*

Also please consider staying in touch,
we're good to our “lovers” and don't send too much.


Added to cart