January was quiet. Do minds just move slower in January?
I’ve certainly been a quiet writer since Spain. Started Eat Surf Love many times, but wasn’t focused and haven’t finished. I also started, but didn't finish MSEeuuww. I just haven’t felt like hearing from me.
It’s good to take a break from ourselves, our worlds, our perspectives, and all that Me Stuff. Good to stop coming up with answers now again, and start asking questions. Re-group, refresh and study and learn from others. That’s how I am feeling right now. I even put a sign up on my refrigerator to remind me.
If you are feeling any of the same, there is an inspiring free course happening at UC Berkeley. Edible Education, now in its 7th year, is live-streamed and archived online. Every Wednesday features informed and provocative leaders shaping the food movement, and explores current food issues against a backdrop of systems thinking, ethical action, creativity and innovation.
Last night was Dan Barber, a genius and true hero of taste and flavor diversity. Dan is chef and co-owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York, and the author of The Third Plate. He talked about a new movement of chefs and seed breeders reshaping our food system by breeding for taste instead of efficiency and yield, and he shared examples of new vegetable varieties inspired by and celebrated in the Blue Hill kitchen. One example is the flavor-filled Honeynut squash, about a third of the size of a butternut squash, which in nine years has catapulted into existence after Dan asked a breeder a simple question, “Can you just make a butternut taste better?” The breeders answer, “No one has ever asked me to do that.”
“The food movement is really about pleasure.” Chef Barber says. “I’m excited because when I advocate a new way forward, I don’t want to take anything from you, or ask you to give anything up - I want to bring you better flavors. Actually, I am asking us all to be more greedy in our expectations.”
Here’s the syllabus and link to past classes. You can catch up easily by watching the archives online.
Wednesdays, 6:15 PM – 8 PM