Here is my recent keynote address to the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Since it is a transcribed talk, this is about as chatty as I come. I present a simple approach to thinking about excellent food, based on the ideas of competition, experimentation, and pride.
You will also “hear” me on the decline of diners, my idea of food paradise, and how to find a good dive in rural Louisiana. Here is one excerpt:
If you look at Mexican food in this country, a lot of it, of course, is not eaten by Mexicans at all. It is eaten by Americans. But consider the Mexican food eaten by Mexicans. Well, who are the Mexicans, for the most part, who are currently coming to America? They tend to be fairly young, and they tend to be male. So take a group of young men, say ages eighteen to twenty-five, put them together in large numbers and let them eat. What do you get? Well, some of it is quite excellent, some of it is not so great, but you get something very different than the native cuisine. Let’s say you performed this thought experiment with France. Take a million Frenchmen, male, ages eighteen to twenty five, bring them to the United States, let them loose, have them eat. You are not going to get classic French cuisine.
Can you implore “read the whole thing” when it is your own talk?