A panel at Taste Talks Brooklyn about staying current in the ever-changing landscape of food.
The last few weeks have just zoomed by. How is it already Wednesday again? How am I just catching you up on three educational/inspirational events from two weekends ago just now? How is it fall already?
Ok, enough with the existential questions.
Slow Food NYC recently held a series of events with Canadian cheesemaker David Asher, known for tinkering around with molds in his home to get his bloomy rinds just right. I went to the opening night reception in a cave (that was once a 19th century brewery!) somewhere in Brooklyn that I had not yet ventured to before and learned about the history of kefir. How typical of me.
Here’s Slow Food USA Executive Director Richard McCarthy introducing David. At first I wondered, “Who is this guy in a suit?!” Most people were wearing Birkenstocks. And then I realized it was him. Alrighty then.
Anyways, back to fermentation. According to David, kefir grains originated somewhere in Central Asia. Apparently we know that because some mummies have been discovered with kefir molecules on their chests. How cool is that?! Kefir is made by plunking kefir grains into fresh milk and letting it ferment for a day or so. During this time, the grains eat the lactose in the milk, so it’s good for people who can’t digest regular old moo juice. Cool, man.
After nerding out and nibbling on some cheese, I headed out for an exploratory walk home, only to stumble into a decidedly hip and strangely somewhat Italian donut and ice cream shop called Elsie’s Parlor. So naturally, I sat out on a bench and had some fig and almond ice cream (on what seems like one of the last very warm nights of the year).
The next morning, I woke up bright and early to head over to Williamsburg for Taste Talks, a mashup of panel discussions with food writers, chefs, startup founders, urban farmers, etc.
The knockout of the day by far was the “Female in Food” panel. These ladies (and one man) covered everything from how to pitch effectively to musings about M.F.K. Fisher to what “voice-yness” means.
Here we’ve got Adam Rapoport of Bon App, Helen Rosner of Eater (and formerly of Saveur, I learned), Kenzi Wilbur of Food52 (who also has a great/very unique podcast voice), and Charlotte Druckman (author of Skirt Steak, which I received as an apt birthday gift last year).
Apart from that, I also caught a panel on sustainable seafood and a preview of a new VICE Munchies series about virtual reality goggles that can change how food looks and smells.
The next morning, (are you tired yet?) I woke up and ran a 5K. Now, as someone who does not consider herself a runner, that is about as far as I can comfortably go without psyching myself out. And in this case, it was quite fun, as it was part of the Wanderlust 108 “Mindful Triathlon.”
Unlike my Nike Women’s Run 10K experience in Milan, there was no pushing or shoving. There was a nice loop around Prospect Park and everyone was just having a grand old time.
After the warmup, we settled in for an afternoon of yoga, meditation, and snacks (meaning me repeatedly hitting up the Siggi’s and Bhakti Chai stands for free samples). There was rain in the forecast for that day, it turned out to be a beautiful afternoon filled with sunshine and good vibes.
While this was quite the tiring and event-full (not eventful, in the dramatic sense) weekend, I think every single last thing I did was totally worth it. Learning about historical fermentation? Yep. Swooning when I saw Lucky Peach Editor Peter Meehan at Taste Talks? Mmhm. Thinking about finding my “true north” at a wellness festival? Definitely.