Monday, September 1, 2008
I'm sure most of you have seen the Dos Equis beer commercials (if not, watch the clips below) featuring the bearded gentleman referred to as "the most interesting man in the world." While the star of these commercials is a fictional character born in some Manhattan conference room, Saturday I had had the pleasure of listening to Carlo Petrini, the foodisphere's real life, "most interesting man in the world."
As I listened to the founder of the Slow Food movement speak, a very strange thing happened - suddenly I understood Italian. It wasn't only me; the entire audience was experiencing the same thing. Several times during the discussion, the moderator, who was also translating, would stop and simply say, "I think you all got that." Somehow we had.
Carlo Petrini is one of those speakers with the ability to keep you hanging on every word. Even the perfectly timed pauses in his anecdotes, and admonishments, held the audience in satisfying suspense. That he was the most compelling voice on stage was no mean feat. The panel was a who's who of Slow Food, and each was brilliant in their own way.
Wendell Berry, Vandana Shiva, Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, and Eric Schlosser, joined Carlo Petrini for a conversation about the local, national and global impact of the philosophy and practice of Slow Food. Moderator, Corby Kummer, did a wonderful job guiding the talk, and making sure that even the subtlest of points were not missed.
I am very happy to announce that Slow Food Nation will be uploading videos of these discussions, and you'll be able to view every minute right here. This is great news for me, since I had no idea how to even begin sharing all that was discussed; from the charges of elitism, to how the poor are suppose to participate, to why the White House doesn't have a vegetable garden.
I can't wait for you all to see and hear what I did, and I very much look forward to a lively exchange of ideas afterward. Until then…stay thirsty my friends.