Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

Tales of Empty Nesting ...The Next Chapter

Sunday, May 20, 2007

What We Eat: In The Company Of Important Food Thinkers

Today I had the good fortune to attend a "Sunday with the Magazine" Times Talk. New York Times Food Editor, Amanda Hesser moderated the discussion which included a panel of food personalities including chefs Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Peter Hoffman of Savoy. Also present was Rick Schneiders, president and CEO of Sysco and Nina Planck, farmer's market innovator, champion of and author of Real Food. The women certainly stole the show, sharing their unique brands of food expertise and eloquence with the audience.

I left with their words and ideas swirling in my head:

Nina Planck's response to how she eats (for example, does she deprive herself of lemons or chocolate because they are not local..) She said that she buys what she can locally, than regionally, nationally and then internationally... One is "not likely to get all of the attributes in one meal." Which means that not every product can be local, organic etc. I was relieved to hear this because I strive to do the best I can but it certainly is difficult.

Also of interest was Sysco president Rick Schneider's attempt to portray his company in a better light. He'd like us to believe there is a movement afoot to think more locally and encourage healthier growing/animal raising practices etc...Is it true or just P.R.?

And then we had the comic relief of Dan Barber and Peter Hoffman, who undoubtedly both bring their fundamental values of local, sustainable etc to their restaurants in a myriad of ways, yet refuse to be considered elitist..

Lastly, the thoughtful and lovely Amanda Hesser, who I have adored and revered since her Cooking for Mr. Latte column and then book, who managed to keep the conversation on track.

All in all, it was an eye-opening view into the minds of these great food icons.

The icing on the cake was that both Amanda and Nina were available for book signings after the Talk. I had them both sign my books and even managed to say a few words to them. It was special treat to see Nina's new baby, Julian and note how she so nonchalantly breastfed him while book-signing! We need to see more of that so that moms everywhere feel more comfortable.

p.s: I brought to you only a smidgen of this talk..I think a podcast will be up on TimesTalk in the near future.

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