To whet appetites for MAD FoodCamp, which takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark, during the last weekend of August, Noma chef René Redzepi has taken to the pages of The Guardian to philosophize about the symposium, which he calls a “culinary Glastonbury.”
Redzepi writes that the idea for the event came about when he and some colleagues began “to think about staging an open, collaborative forum dedicated to the changing role of the chef. Taking as our reference points the Glastonbury festival or Denmark’s own Roskilde — both grassroots celebrations where inspiration and quality of content trump commercial interests — we wanted to organise the culinary analogy: an outdoor festival fuelled by a devotion to food and a desire to understand it better.”
As such, MAD FoodCamp will feature numerous discussions between scholars, farmers, chefs, and foragers about subjects as varied as culinary history, sustainability, and the social significance of what we put in our mouths. “There is no conflict,” the chef asserts with a tinge of utopian fervor, ” between a better meal and a better world.” But in order to take advantage of their historically unprecedented opportunity to shape public discourse and food policy, chefs first have to understand the larger issues that the festival will address.
So perhaps it’s more accurate to think of MAD FoodCamp as more akin to a culinary Davos or TED Conference than Glastonbury. Although given the level of fame (and groupies) that chefs like Redzepi now enjoy, perhaps the rock-star analogy holds true. Either way, it seems safe to say the food will be fantastic.