Chef April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig curated a lineup of food industry heavyweights for the first Taste Talks happening in Williamsburg next month. Photo: Northside Media Group
Pound for pound, Brooklyn’s food scene has some of the best chefs, restauranteurs, butchers and picklemakers in the business, and with so much food culture concentrated in one place, Daniel Stedman and April Bloomfield felt the time was ripe for the borough to host its own food conference, Taste Talks, celebrating both the depth of Brooklyn’s current foodie talent pool and the effect it’s having on the food industry at large.
“For years Brooklyn has become this destination for music that has just been such a driving force in the transformation of Brooklyn culture,” says Stedman, the founder of Northside Media Group, which publishes The L Magazine and hosts The Northside Fest every year in Williamsburg. “In that way, Brooklyn has touched and influenced other cities, but now we’re seeing that food has really surpassed music as sort of something everyone is excited about.” On occasion, Stedman’s enthusiasm for the conference has overflowed as support from industry heavyweights wanting to get involved has come flooding in. “There have been a few moments where I’ve screamed at the top of my lungs in the office,” he says. “People turn around, and they’re like ‘What are you doing?'”
The lineup of participants reads like a veritable who’s who of some of the world’s most celebrated chefs, starting with Bloomfield, the chef and co-owner of The Spotted Pig in the West Village. She’ll be joined by Mario Batali, Wylie Dufresne, Ken Friedman, Francis Mallman and Alessandro Porcelli, as well as local favorites, with Carolyn Bane (Pies ‘N’ Thighs), Robert Newton (Smith Canteen), Brian Leth (Vinegar Hill House), Nicholas Kayser (Fatty Cue), Susan Povich (Red Hook Lobster Pound), Eli Sussman (Mile End) and Andrew Tarlow, among them. “A lot of these people are friends of April’s and everything has kind of germinated from our conversations,” Stedman says. “We wanted to create this conference to talk about the culture of food really through the lens of Brooklyn, but it goes far beyond Brooklyn.” (more…)
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