MAD Symposium at the Drawing Center


Last year I got into reading more sites and blogs about food and culture.  Last summer many sites were reporting on the MAD Symposium, an annual gathering of few hundred writers, chefs, scientists, historians and fermentation activists.  This year MAD was held in Copenhagen in August, and was dedicated to the topic of “guts.” At MAD, chefs from around the world gather and discuss the challenges and responsibilities that go beyond cooking.  Talks and discussions center on new questions to ask, and how to become more imaginative and inquisitive.

A new lecture series at the Drawing Center in New York brings chefs together on Mondays to talk about food, culture and other issues. I wasn’t able to attend (I am in Durham, NC) but I read a great review of the event on which listed the “top 10 quotes” of the event which focused on what it means to be a chef.

The event was moderated by Lucky Peach editor Peter Meehan and had 4 chefs and 1 author engaged in a conversation about chefs and cooking..  Some of the topics that emerged included the growing star power of chefs, whether cooks today are any better or worse than they were 10 or 20 years ago, and the impact of new cooking technologies.

You can read more about the top 10 quotes from the night from the review of the event  on

Here is a sneak peak of the topics of the top 10 quotes:

1) Batali, on the impact of food television:
2) Hanson, on how the cooking career path has changed
3) Batali, on his changing place in the restaurant community
4) Nasr, on why the food at Balthazar worked
5) Batali, on balancing customer-driven service with chef-driven vision
6) Hamilton, on shifting power dynamics:
7) Hamilton, on expansion:
8) Nasr, on his changing role as a chef:
9) Hamilton, on new cooking techniques and technologies:
10) Nasr, on the plus side of HR


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About the Author

KbaumlierKristen Baumlier’s work spans the full spectrum of interdisciplinary media, including performance, interactive installation, video and audio works.View all posts by Kbaumlier →

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