Attend ยป 2013 Conference Theme

2013 Conference Theme

Dirt to Digital: Real Food in a Virtual World

Look at the food world through one lens, and the vision is futuristic: molecular gastronomy has moved from the rarified world of Adria and Co. to retail catalogs and cooking schools. Biotech has come to food and farming. Individuals are creating books, videos, and retail shops right on their personal computers, reaching their markets through social networking and taking payment with their iPhones. Oh, and there’s an app for everything.

But look at that same world through a different lens and you’ll see people digging in the dirt to plant gardens, stock brokers chucking it all to start CSA farms, retail shelves laden with canning jars and pickling crocks. Espressos are served by waxed-mustachio’d baristas, and bartenders might be mistaken for 19th-century apothecaries, dispensing tinctures and infusions. Oh, and there’s an artisan for everything.

The faster we rush toward the future, the deeper we dig our roots in the past.
At our 2013 San Francisco conference, we’ll explore the creative tension between tradition and innovation, the hand-stitched and the computer-generated, DIY and GMO. What are the forces driving both trends? Are they in competition or complementary? Can one make the other better? How do events in these cultural streams affect our lives as food professionals, whether just starting a career, making a change, growing a business, or finding financial and spiritual satisfaction? And, of course, how do these trends affect us in our “off-duty” lives, as food-loving consumers.

Join us in San Francisco, just a few miles from both Silicon Valley and Chez Panisse, where the location offers us unique access to the pioneers and influencers who are shaping both sides of the conversation.
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