Meet your Feast Feast food community (above).
Innovations at the table are rebuilding community and creating models for innovation across a wide range of disciplines.
The Feast Conference brings together some of the world’s greatest innovators from across industries and society to empower, inspire and engage each other in world-shaking change. So, when asked to be the dinner lead, I jumped at the opportunity to help curate an event that used food as a medium for ideation and change. My hope was to use the disruptive momentum of the food movement to further the conversation.
This past weekend the New York Times released it’s annual food issue. This year’s focus: Eating together: How the food revolution–from farm to table–is really a story about seeding and savoring communities. Two articles particularly underscore what the Feast Feast is all about.
Pie + Design = Change, highlights PieLab, a pie shop that was created to provide the historically segregated community of Greensoboro, Alabamba with a neutral space for conversation and connections. The business is the brainchild of fourteen designers as part of the John Bielenberg’s “design for good” movement project, Project M.
PieLab is part of a growing social entrepreneurial movement that uses food initiatives to foster social change. For them, food is more than just sustenance. For them, when combined with design, food is the impetus for breaking down barriers and creating change.
I was struck by the following quote from Project M member Megan Deal:
We realized that we couldn’t solve global warming. And we couldn’t fix the plummeting economy. Before pie came to us, we were kind of paralyzed.
I am guessing that many of you have suffered from this kind of paralysis at one point or another. Social change is NOT easy. However, when we begin to think collaboratively and outside the box- small change somehow becomes more manageable.
Food editor Christine Muhlke’s article, Growing together: How the food movement jumped the plate, focused on the evolution of her writing about American farmers and food artisans. Christine’s Field Report column was initially focused on understanding the stories of the individuals whose ingredients were inspiring chefs to create memorable dishes. Overtime, however, she realized that her column has evolved and is increasingly focused on the food communities that have emerged from the “Do It Ourselves” food movement.
The same rings true for this dinner. By attending you become part of an intricate network of designers, politicians, entrepreneurs, artisans, farmers, chefs, architects, and more. We become a community.
So, I hope you are ready for your taste-buds and mind to be tantalized! Get ready to feast on some deliciously incredible stories.
One last note, I owe a very special thanks to my mentors Claire Hartten and Ben Walmer, who continue to teach and inspire me through the thought-provoking culinary experiences they curate.