Mark is the most brilliant food mind I have met, here is the opening summary:
Mark Miller is often called the founder of modern southwestern cuisine, but his unique anthropological approach to food has led him to explore cuisines in over 100 countries around the world. He joins Tyler for a conversation on all that he’s learned along the way, including his pick for the most underrated chili pepper, palate coaching, the best food cities in Asia, Mexico, and Europe, the problems with sous-vide, why the Michelin guide is overrated, mezcal versus tequila, the decline of food brands, how to do fast food well, and why the next hipster food trend should be about corn.
Here is the text, audio, and video. Mark is a blizzard of information density, and I don’t know anyone else who has his experience with the food world, most of all with Asia, Mexico, and the American Southwest. (You may recall he was an interlocutor in my dialogue with Fuchsia Dunlop, and so we recorded this session with Mark afterwards.)
I thought the highlight was Mark’s six-minute riff on tasting chiles, it really shows Mark in his glory — this is one of those cases where I definitely recommend the video over the text:
Elsewhere in the conversation, see why he picks Seoul, Tokyo, and Bangkok as the three best world cities for food tours. And:
COWEN: You don’t need brands, right?
MILLER: You don’t need brands anymore. The consumer used to have brands as guide and trust. Today there are other ways of developing that. We’re in consumer level 3. Consumers are defining brands, and how brands get used. I think that the idea of brand is probably — you’re an economist — dated. [laughs]
There is this:
MILLER: You go to a bus station in Monterrey: you can see a hundred of the best tacos in the world.
The questioner was Megan McArdle. I enjoyed the entire exchange immensely, and hope you do too.