A Very Few Notes from the Very Interesting Taste Conference

February 13, 2016

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The image above is L.A.s first restaurant.

I spent yesterday at the Taste Conference organized by Design Observer.  I was so curious about what a design publication would have to say about food.

As it turns out, a great deal. They came at the topic from a lot of different directions, but there wasn’t a single talk that wasn’t fascinating.

A few highlights:

Dr. Ricardo Salvador, director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, gave the most cogent lecture I’ve ever heard about the need to redesign the entire food system to eliminate waste, save the environment, create better jobs and fix the health issues our current food system has created. 

He co-wrote (with Mark Bittman and Michael Pollan) this article on creating a National Food Policy.  Read it!

The always articulate Evan Kleiman of Good Food on KCRW, talked about the changing Los Angeles food environment from a very personal perspective.

Josh Kun, author of To Live and Dine in L.A. gave a fabulous talk on vintage Los Angeles menus – and what they can tell us about the city.  Menus, it turns out offer a wealth of information on so much more than food.  Here are just a few images; I know they’re not that good, but it’s one more reason to buy his book and really delve into the topic.

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There was a scientist talking about developing flavors, a man who has a business that mixes cannabis and chocolate, Mark Bittman on creating a new food label, the wonderful Jessica Koslow of Sqirl (who was one of the first people I knew to get on the fermentation bandwagon). The day ended with a talk by the inspirational gangsta gardener, Ron Finley.

And this is what a small group of us ate for lunch – across the street at Guisado’s.  They make their own tortillas, from real masa – and they’re wonderful.  My favorites were  pork in chile verde, and the chicharron with its sly texture.

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