“Mario [Batali] asked me to this, and my general rule is, if Mario asks me to do something, I say yes,” chef Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese and Mission Cantina explained of his turn as master of ceremonies and curation for the upcoming Taste Talks event in Brooklyn, September 12-14. “April wasn’t available,” he remarked, referring to last year’s curator, chef April Bloomfield. “I guess I’m runner-up.”
Of course, Bowien is far from runner-up. The inventive young chef is an ideal choice for overseeing the innovative event. His history of breaking staid culinary assumptions (hello, kung pao pastrami), engaging his fans and admirers (free beer!), and rewriting the story of how to become a restaurateur (food trucks are here to stay) are sure to show up on the Taste Talks agenda.
In its second year, the food-focused symposium will bring together food lovers, restaurateurs and chefs for workshops, discussions, and plenty of eating. Powered by Mario Batali & The Northside Media Group — responsible for things like Northside Festival — the event will take place in various locations in Williamsburg.
Panel discussions include topics like “Do Restaurant Reviews Matter?” with the New York Times‘ Sam Sifton, “Big Chefs on the Small Screen: How Food Television Lifted Chefs to Cult Status” with Dale Talde, and “Expert Food Photography for Everyday Cooks” with Daniel Krieger.
More interested in eating than discussing? The food events will without a doubt have you drooling: The weekend kicks off with oysters and Champagne at Villain on Friday night, starts Saturday with chicken and waffles, and concludes Sunday with an all-day, all-star barbecue in East River Park.
This event is conceptualized “through the lens of an organizer that does major concert events,” Bowien explained with excitement. “It’ll be like going to a music festival.” Currently set to contribute to the three-day event are Christina Tosi, Peter Meehan, Adam Rapoport, Sara Moulton, Alex Guarnaschelli, Justin Warner, Andy Ricker, and many, many more.
Running concurrently with the panels on Saturday is the Future Food Expo, a showcase and celebration of what’s next in food, at Sky High Murals.
“I just think it’s going to be really interesting,” Bowien says of Taste Talks. “Things have shifted a lot in the past years. In New York, people are so informed on food. People think about food a lot, it’s the best city in the world to eat. New York revolves around food. People should come to see their favorite chefs and learn about topics they may not know much about. It won’t be the same conference of grumpy chefs complaining about years spent on the line,” he promises.
Score single-event tickets here (prices range from $10 to $90) or go all out with an all-access pass, which you can purchase here for $100 to $385. Attend the Future Food Expo for free — yes, free — but reserve your spot here.
Stay tuned for more news from the conference itself! Also, have friends in Chicago? Taste Talks will be heading there as well. Share the love and send them to this link.
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