Do you think we could view the world of food as a many faceted, sparkling crystal? Shiny in spots and grubby in others? Do you think New Yorkers are a tribe unto their own? How does everyone afford to go out night after night? Why didn’t I didn’t know I could go to a different food event every day and night?
I’ve been a part of some amazing and unique conversations while I’ve been in The City the past few weeks. As is par for the course with me, one question leads to another.
There is no question that food is HOT. The media, the buzz, the attitudes, the events remind me of the crazy days in the fashion world when money flowed and the world revolved around Kate Moss. Linda Evangelista infamously declared she didn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000. Now, I believe it s Giada De Laurentiis who is the reigning diva of the moment.
Celebrity chefs have usurped the Super Models. My, how the world has changed. Or, my, how it really hasn’t changed at all; it is still just as silly as it ever was.
But, there is something else going on; there is an air of urgency, an awareness that we need to know more about what we are eating.
Our complacency with the way we eat is slowly being shrugged off, like a sleeping giant shaking its head and trying to make sense of what happened while he was napping. Shake, shake: junk food isn’t really cheap if you factor in the cost of making people sick. Shake, shake: food tastes better when you eat it in season. Shake, shake: people forgot how to cook, but they’re waking up to it’s pleasures once again. Shake, shake: we’ve got a lot of people to feed on this planet, how we gonna do it?
On Tueday night, I listened to Kat Flinn, Pam Anderson and Lauren Shockey talk about their new books and their personal journeys that led them back to the home kitchen. The crowd roared when someone said, “Bring back Home-Ec classes!”
As part of the Culinary HIstorians series,I listened to one of our national treasures, Paula Wolfert, talk about the joys of Moroccan cooking, and how happy she is to bring Berber cooking the attention it deserves. It was a sold out event and the audience was rapt, respectful and informed.
By Friday, I needed to round up food people for our #IACPNYC photo shoot. The word went out and within 24 hours I had a skate boarding butcher, mustached mixologist, gorgeous coffee roaster, courageous author, vegan activist, home charcuterie maker, two adorable boys who wanted to play air guitar with a bunch of celery, and an urban farmer all lined up to have their photo taken for the cause. My sincere thanks to Holley Atkinson of Slow Food NYC and Karin Endy of The Culinary Trust for helping me to gather the clan.
There was a kind of magic in the room as everyone shared their stories with us. These passionate people are doing amazing things and changing the way we think about food and drink. I have the utmost respect and admiration for our photographer, Jason Blake, who conceived of this project and who let his curiosity and enthusiasm bring out the best in everyone.
One last shout out of the week to Jane Lerner of Smorgasburg/The Brooklyn Flea frame. What a great time and great food to be had in Brooklyn! Thanks for getting me over there and opening my eyes and tastebuds.