Farm to Table International Symposium Arrives in New Orleans
Celebrated chefs and restaurateurs will gather at the inaugural Farm to Table International Symposium, Aug. 2-4 in New Orleans, to discuss how they came to adopt and integrate farm-to-table practices in their operations and how the farm-to-table ethic informs their work in the kitchen. "Restaurant Roundtable" features Brandon Boudet, Dickie Brennan, John Folse, Anne Hart, and Stephen Stryjewski in a panel discussion moderated by SoFAB Institute Vice President Philip M. Dobard.
New Orleans native Brandon Boudet is the Executive Chef and co-owner of Dominick’s, Little Dom’s, and 101 Coffee Shop in Los Angeles. Boudet’s culinary philosophy is reflected in the restaurant’s straightforward menu of home-style Italian comfort food. "I believe in keeping things simple," says Boudet. "There should rarely be more than three components to a dish and it should be absolutely true to what it’s supposed to be. Spaghetti and meatballs doesn’t need to be reinvented or reinterpreted, just prepared with skill and integrity."
Third generation New Orleans restaurateur of the famed Brennan family, Dickie Brennan opened Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, Bourbon House, Palace Café and Tableau. Although each restaurant has its own distinct identity and cuisine, each shares the common thread of holding true to Louisiana’s culinary history through the use of local ingredients and techniques. He is an avid supporter of local farmers and fisherman, and has taken an active role in trying to preserve heirloom varieties of Louisiana produce.
Louisiana native John Folse is the author of eight cookbooks, has his own PBS television series and NPR radio show, has opened promotional restaurants around the world, and is the president of the nation’s leading culinary organizations including the American Culinary Federation, Distinguished Restaurants of North America and Research Chefs Association
A West Virginia native, Chef Hart has been in restaurant operations, ranging from fine dining to casual theme, in Atlanta, Rochester, Boston, and Washington, DC prior to opening Provence Market Café in Bridgeport, West Virginia in May 2002. Hart is a supporter of The Collaborative of the 21st Century Appalachia, which heralds Appalachian roots and sponsors many farm to table initiatives.
Stephen Stryjewski is the chef and co-owner of the award winning Cochon Restaurant in New Orleans’ Warehouse District. Prior to opening Cochon, he worked with his now partner Donald Link at Herbsaint Restaurant where he was recognized for his delicious, simple, straightforward cuisine and his commitment to using local, seasonal ingredients. That commitment has continued through to Butcher, an artisanal meat shop and "sWine Bar" that opened in 2009 focusing on European cured meats and Cajun sausages.
Exploring the Farm-to-Table Movement
In addition to the prolific chefs participating in the Restaurant Roundtable, F2Ti will feature keynote speakers from various industries relating to the farm-to-table movement. Previously announced keynote speakers include White House Executive Pastry Chef William Yosses; Los Angeles Unified School District Director of Food Services David Binkle; award-winning food historian and writer William Rubel; media personality, author, and former Texas Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower; Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain; and author, food journalist, and The Atlantic Monthly Senior Editor Corby Kummer.
F2Ti is designed to facilitate education and collaboration among chefs, mixologists, culinary professionals; restaurateurs; researchers, academics and policymakers; legal and financial professionals; farmers and other agricultural professionals; food and drink writers, publishers and media; slow food advocates and beverage enthusiasts; brewers, distillers, vintners, and distributors; Farmers Markets, Urban Farms; nutritionists and other health professionals; and anyone with an interest in the farm-to-table movement.
In addition, the weekend will include SoFAB Institute’s Film Feast. A feature of F2Ti’s weekend-long events menu, SoFAB’s second annual food and drink film festival showcases works - feature and short-subject, documentary and narrative - depicting the breadth, depth, and range of food and drink in film.
Film Feast presents a curated slate of filmed entertainment, selected from feature films, documentaries, television series episodes, both scripted and unscripted, and digital content. Selections treat food and/or drink in one or more respects, including, but not limited to, preparation and consumption; law and policy; Sci-fi treatments; traditional feature docs; competition-elimination reality; and follow doc; and can include other works, among them silent films, not generally available to the public via streaming or traditional rental means.