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. 

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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:

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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.

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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.”

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"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.

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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.

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Today chef Margot Henderson runs one of the most pleasant and delicious places in London, the Rochelle Canteen. You can go there from the morning until the late afternoon, eat beautifully cooked meat, nurturing braises, bright and lovely salads, and perfect puddings. It’s smart, confident food that’s everything you need when you want to feel like you’re eating in England’s capital.

Henderson actually grew up in New Zealand, where she landed in kitchens when she dropped out of college. She was trying to scrape up enough money to end up in the UK and figure out what she really wanted to do with her life.

Here’s what happened:

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The Danish thinker and writer Tor Nørretranders has played an instrumental role in MAD’s development over the past four years. Today, in the first installment of our new series From The Vault, we’d like to share his three talks from the symposium. All of the presentations explore similar themes and build on the argument that gaining knowledge and exploring the edible world will lead to a more delicious future. 

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In the latest entry in our continuing series on chefs’ first days in restaurant kitchens (see previous entries with Dominique Crenn and Michel Bras), Mario Batali remembers his unlikely beginnings.

The chef who has broken into the public consciousness perhaps more widely than any of his contemporaries — serving as the subject of an acclaimed book by Bill Buford, running successful restaurants throughout the globe, and hosting one of the most popular shows on daytime television — Batali entered the kitchen to chase girls. In the late 1970s, after enrolling at Rutgers University, he asked for a job at Stuff Yer Face, a pizzeria in town that’s still in business today. 

Here’s Mario explaining how it all happened: 

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We are thrilled to announce the MAD Grant, a new initiative that brings 10 young chefs to attend the MAD Symposium in Copenhagen. We want to gift this opportunity to 10 aspiring chefs from all over the world who show promise and would otherwise not have the means to join us for the event. 

The MAD Grant will cover travel and accommodation expenses, as well as the cost of the Symposium ticket.

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Over the past decade, smoking foods has experienced a resurgence in kitchens around the globe. At first blush, these techniques seem simple and primitive (and in many respects, they are), but a plethora of variables, details, and scientific concerns come together to make the matter of smoking foods a potentially confusing one. Learning to navigate these challenges can unlock a world of new flavors.

To introduce the uninitiated to the practices of cold and hot smoking, as well as all the ways you can enhance and preserve your food, we enlisted the help of Nordic Food Lab researcher Guillemette Barthouil — who comes from a family of French smokers — to develop a primer for cooks, chefs, and enthusiasts interested in jumping in. Here it is:

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Team MAD has traveled to Mexico City to attend chef Enrique Olvera’s Mesamérica every year since the festival’s inception in 2012. This year’s proceedings, which concluded just a few minutes ago, might be the most memorable yet.

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At the age of 25, Michel Bras assembled a dish of the best the garden in his native Aubrac had to offer. It changed gastronomy. The gargouillou was an intuitive, meticulous reflection of the landscape that evolved with nearly every passing day. The preparation has become one of the most emulated dishes in modern gastronomy and the symbol of a vegetable-based cuisine that has influenced contemporary chefs around the globe (Bras cooked a version of the gargouillou at the first MAD Symposium). In an interview with the blog Food Snob in 2009, the chef Wylie Dufresne put it succinctly: “Bras has been copied by every chef in the world. We’ve all taken a page out of his book — the smear, the spoon drag, putting food on a plate like it fell off a tree.” 

We recently asked Bras to devote some thought to how he fell under the spell of vegetables. In the following essay, the chef describes formative experiences growing up in Aubrac, where he explored the land, taught himself how to cook, developed an exhaustive knowledge of the plant kingdom, and eventually opened the restaurant we now know as Bras.

Here is his piece (the original version, in French, is included at the end): 

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Want to join our team in Copenhagen? We’re on the lookout for talented warriors, writers, and designers to work with us now, as we gear up for the symposium in August. Internships are unpaid, and their duration is flexible.

To apply, please send us a cover letter, résumé, and references to internships@madfood.co. If you are a designer, please also attach your portfolio.