The Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies launches the 1st edition of the MSc in Food Design, a completely innovative and differentiating study cycle in the areas of Design and Food in Portugal, starting in January 2021. Along with the worldwide evolution in academic research on food studies, ESHTE presents the MSc in Food Design, one of the few masters that worldwide addresses the intersection of Design methodologies and tools with food issues, from this new discipline: Food Design. In addition to having the collaboration of several national guests linked to the food industry (Gastronomy, Culinary Arts and Food Studies) and international – specialists in the areas of Food Design and Food Studies, such as Charles Spence (Oxford University); Fabio Parasecoli (New York University); Marije Vogelzang (Designer); Sonia Massari (GustoLab, Italy) or Honey & Bunny (Martin Hablesreiter and Sonja Stummerer) among others – the master presents a program based on different areas of knowledge that contribute to the students’ professional and academic enrichment.


Food Design is the “domain that can manifest itself in all areas of the practice and knowledge of Design and Food. It is a domain-oriented towards the past because it studies and analyzes its historical dimension as a reflection of the present, and it is also oriented towards the future because it is related to innovation and food creativity. It is mainly aimed at the interaction between the diner and the food itself – whether it is a product, a service, or an experience”. Food Design “looks at the food system through a holistic view”. (Bonacho, 2019: 368)


At a time when the paradigms of public health security with the COVID-19 pandemic are being questioned and the emergence of a deep economic crisis affecting all sectors is increasingly relevant, especially with food, it’s crucial that future professionals in the food industry are creative and have the capacity to reinvent the current food system.

The master program in Food Design thus highlights a holistic perspective in the development of food products, services and experiences with special application in the needs and problems of the food system. Based on processes, tools and methodologies specialized in Design and food innovation, students will have the contribution of different disciplines with different approaches and backgrounds that allow the development of their project activity. Tourism, restaurants and the food industry increasingly demand critical and creative thinking and accordingly the main objectives of the course are: 1) train design professionals in the field of Food Design for the development of products, services and eating experiences, capable of exercising their professional activity in different scenarios of the food system; 2) explore the boundaries between design and food by combining design processes, methodologies and tools with food science, innovation and technology in an inter and transdisciplinary context; 3) promote students' reflection and critical creative thinking on specific issues of the food system, which allow them to conceive, develop and implement projects at scale (local, regional and global) in the development of products, services and food experiences; and 4) adopt an approach to design as a project activity that promotes the use and consumption of food in a responsible and sustainable way, and in this way develop Food Design projects in a real context and in collaboration with public and private entities, in the field of food.

The way the study cycle is structured allows students to understand the current food system. The combination of food and design creates a food designer capable of: managing complex processes, methods, and workspaces that require innovative solutions, where products are processed, distributed and consumed; manage food production from an aesthetic, communicational and representation point of view; create and develop creative and innovative methodologies to manage equipment and tools used to prepare and consume food and manage communication and promotion of inter / multidisciplinary products, services and food experiences.


You can access the master’s program and the academic staff here. You can also check the tuition fee and more information about the course here.


The maximum number of admissions is 20 students. Students who are in the following conditions can apply for the master’s degree:

1) Holders of a degree in the areas of hospitality, catering, marketing, culinary arts, gastronomy, communication, tourism, and design;

2) Holders of a foreign higher education degree awarded following the first cycle of studies in accordance with the Bologna principle in the areas of hotel studies, restaurant, marketing, culinary arts, gastronomy, communication, tourism, and design;

3) Holders of a foreign higher education degree that is recognized as meeting the objectives of the degree of graduation by the ESHTE Technical-Scientific Council and which provides skills in the areas of hospitality, catering, marketing, culinary arts, gastronomy, communication, tourism, and design.

4) Students who have English language skills (level B2 minimum).


For more information you can contact the Executive and Scientific Committee of the MSc in Food Design:

Nelson Félix (

Ricardo Bonacho (

Maria José Pires (