Watch a Museum of Modern Art Curator Discuss the Relationship Between Cooking and Design
Paola Antonelli is the Senior Curator of Architecture & Design at the Museum of Modern Art, in New York, where she is also Director of Research and Development. One of the 100 most powerful people in the art world, she is interested in how design interacts with and influences all aspects of life.
For MAD4, we published a book of essays titled the MAD Dispatches. These fifteen texts were designed to complement the live talks of the symposium and explore the What is Cooking? theme from as many angles as possible. In the essays, which we’ll be publishing from today, you’ll find discussions concerning the past and future of cooking; how progress happens in the kitchen, and whether it ought to; the ideas and people worth carrying forward into memory; and how cooks, purveyors, and writers stand to influence how we’ll feed ourselves in the decades to come. We hope that the writings will make readers want to dig deeper into the question of why standing behind a stove, or sitting around a table with friends and family, is important to them.
We’re kicking things off at the beginning: the first essay of the book, which explores how harnessing fire and cooking was crucial to mankind’s evolution. It’s by Stefano Mancuso, a former MAD speaker and founder of the study of plant neurobiology. His work investigates how plants are complex ecological structures and communities that can gather, process, and share important information. He is a professor at the University of Florence, Italy, and a co-founder of the LINV (the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology).
Philosopher Julian Baggini on the Importance of Conviviality
Julian Baggini is a UK-based writer and philosopher. He is the Founding Editor of The Philosophers’ Magazine and has contributed to several publications, including the Guardian. His most recent book is The Virtues of the Table: How to Eat and Think.
Watch Legendary French Chef Olivier Roellinger on the Potential of Today’s Chefs
Olivier Roellinger is a Breton chef who opened the restaurant Maisons de Bricourt in 1982. He became known for a style of cooking heavily influenced by the spice trade, drawing from cultures around the world, which earned him three Michelin stars. He gave the stars back in 2008, after coming to the conclusion that he was physically unable to cook anymore.
At MAD4, Roellinger explained his life—growing up by the ocean, how a Clockwork-Orange-style beating put him in a coma and made him realize he wanted to be a chef, and how he eventually became enamored by spices and travel. He took the audience on a journey, not only explaining the philosophy behind his cooking but also outlining what he sees as the duties of today’s chefs. According to Roellinger, these include everything from breaking up the monotony of haute cuisine to being stewards of the environment. You can watch his impassioned speech in the video above. There’s also a complete transcript below:
Watch Professor Paul Freedman Trace the History of the Celebrity Chef
To continue the video releases from MAD4, we present Paul Freedman’s “Celebrity Chefs, Past and Present.” Freedman has been a professor of history at Yale University since 1997, where one of his areas of focus is the history of cuisine. In 2007, he edited Food: The History of Taste, an illustrated collection of essays about food from prehistoric to contemporary times.
Listen to the MAD Discussion on Originality and Recipe Theft
Last sunday, chefs Christian Puglisi (Relae and Manfreds, Copenhagen), Niklas Ekstedt (Ekstedt, Stockholm), Isaac McHale (The Clove Club, London), and Gabriela Cámara (Contramar, Mexico City) took part in a MAD discussion at the annual Food Festival in Aarhus, Denmark. The discussion was moderated by British journalist Joe Warwick. We now have audio of the entire conversation, which you can now listen to here:
The First Video from MAD4: Soba Master Tatsuru Rai
The first video we’re releasing from this year’s Symposium is the segment that opened the event: a demonstration of soba-making from Tatsuru Rai, the chef and owner of Hokkaido’s Rakuichi Soba. Tatsuru operates the 12-seat restaurant, considered one of the world’s greatest soba houses, with his wife Midori. He mixes, kneads, and cuts all of the buckwheat to order.
In Pictures: The Epic Lunches of MAD4
After 5 hours inside a tent listening to a dizzying array of talks, it’s a special thing to walk outside during the first break of the day and get assaulted with deliciousness. That’s exactly what happened over the two days of MAD, when three forces from Brazil cooked lunch on day one, and former MAD speaker Roy Choi prepared a feast for day two.
Some background: on day one, we had Rodrigo Oliveira, whose everyday eatery outside of Sao Paulo, Mocotó, is anything but ordinary; Thiago Castanho, of the restaurant Remanso do Bosque in Belem; and David Hertz. Joining them were members of Gastromotiva, an organization founded by Hertz that offers disadvantaged youth in Brazil free courses in the craft and business of cooking.
For those who may be unfamiliar, Choi is the rising star chef from Los Angeles who first gained notoriety by serving Korean-inspired tacos from a truck all over his city. Last year, he gave one of the most impactful talks of MAD3, and this year, he returned to cook lunch and announce a new fast food project with Daniel Patterson that aims to bring nutritious, thoughtful, and delicious food to those who normally don’t have access to it.
Here are some scenes from both of the meals, including the menus:
A Look at MAD4’s Coffee and Beer Programs
Yesterday we thanked the speakers, attendees, and volunteers of MAD4, and today we want to shift our focus to those involved in the coffee and beer programs for the symposium. The beverage offerings have become such an important part of the event over these last few years. It’s the result of painstaking work from some of the brightest people in this industry.
To Everyone Who Made MAD4: Thank You
In the lead-up to MAD4, we chose not to reveal the names of those who would take the stage during the symposium. It was our hope that this would allow guests to enter the tent with an open mind, ready for a surprise and focused on the theme, “What Is Cooking?”
MAD4 has now come and gone, and very soon, we will start posting all the content from the symposium, including the essays from the MAD Dispatches book we published for the event. Before that, though, we want to formally give the speakers who traveled from far and wide their due. Below is the full lineup of the event, including biographical information. We thank the speakers from the bottom of our hearts for joining us this year.
We would also like to express our gratitude to all of the volunteers and cooks involved in the production, and, of course, to the attendees. The fact that so many people take time out of their schedules and spend money to travel to Copenhagen every year is never lost on us. Without it, there simply can be no MAD.
Please keep your eyes on this space, as well as our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages, in the coming weeks. There’s a lot of content coming your way.
Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson Launch loco’l
Just a few moments ago, Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi took to the stage at MAD4 and announced that they will be launching loco’l, a concept that aims to supplant the fast-food chains and convenience stores that separate our youth from the taste of real food. The first branch will launch on the west coast in the spring of 2015. Here’s Patterson on a few details. Stay tuned for more news on this collaboration and its efforts:
Two weeks after our annual symposium, we’ll be hosting a discussion at the Food Festival in Århus, Denmark. The topic: “Originality and Idea Theft in the Kitchen.”
Entry is free, as long as you have a ticket to the festival, but you must register on our site, madfeed.co, on this coming Monday 18 August at noon CEST to secure a place. To buy a ticket to the Food Festival, please visit the official site. Three-day passes are 150 DKK, while single day entry is 75 DKK.
Below you’ll find a description of the topic, as well as information on the panelists.
Chef Ben Shewry at MAD1: “The Cycle of Love”
We continue to look forward to MAD4 by looking back at notable speeches from years past. Time for a classic: Ben Shewry’s “Cycle of Love.”
More from the MAD Video Vault: Author Knud Romer’s “Xenos”
"I’ve never been good at anything so, naturally, I ended up being good at advertising," said the author and ad exec Knud Romer at the beginning of his speech at last year’s MAD. The relentlessly self-deprecating Romer, who insists he knows nothing about food and most recently moderated a MAD Monday on the future of food criticism, presented a largely autobiographical talk at MAD3 about the guts it takes to be honest.
Three Videos From The MAD Vault
In the weeks leading up to MAD4, we’ll be sharing videos from the last three symposiums to refresh people’s memory and get them in the mood for what’s to come in August. Today, we unearth three very different presentations from MAD3: the talks of author Jon Reiner, glaciologist Jason Box, and Aboriginal forager Josh Whiteland.