“Local,” “sustainable” and “seasonal” are far more than mere buzzwords nowadays, considering how few relevant restaurants would ever dream of serving a stalk of asparagus in mid-winter, or a cut of hormone-injected meat from an unreliable source. And home cooks are similarly keyed in to the provenance of their provisions, padding their personal vocabularies with increasingly involved, beyond-organic terms, like “Food Alliance Certified,” “Fair Trade,” and “GMO-Free.”
So when it comes to the basic question posed by the upcoming Taste Talks panel, “The Story of The Source: Do People Care?” we’d suppose the quick answer would be an unmitigated YES. But thoughtful moderator Dan Pashman (Host of WNYC’s “The Sporkful” and author of Eat More Better: How To Make Every Bite More Delicious) is determined to dig deep below the surface, to find out how this growing interest affects restaurants and businesses, where the loopholes in our collective logic exist, and where this growing awareness is likely to lead. “Are restaurants more concerned with being local or organic, and why?” he asks. “What aspects of sourcing are much less important than we all think? And can we produce enough sustainable meat to satisfy today’s American diets?”
Joined by Dave Rubinov of Farm to People (a farm-to-door food delivery service), chef and restaurant owner Rob Newton, of Wilma Jean and Nightingale 9, Ken Blanchette, VP of Purchasing at Fresh Direct, and Greg Hall, founder of the Michigan-based, small-batch Virtue Cider, Pashman also hopes to address the difficulty of obtaining responsibly farmed fish, get the panelists thoughts on the pervasive gluten-free trend, and yes, even suss out their favorite, admittedly transgressive, guilty pleasure foods!
Taste Talks Food & Drink returns to Brooklyn September 12-14, 2014. See the full schedule and buy tickets here.