terroir 2.0: rethinking the taste of place

Photo by Casey Feehan

Photo by Casey Feehan

"Terroir’s etymological roots literally hail from the earth (“la terre” in French), implying that soil is somehow involved in the flavor-making process. In the case of plants, this connection is obvious; with animals and their by-products, it suggests a second-degree grazing on local herbs, fruits, nuts or grasses. With time and the official codification of regional food products, the notion of terroir has also expanded to include the influence of human savoir-faire (literally, “know how”), developed over centuries of producing such gourmet goods...

Yet in today’s world, we are no longer required to travel to the source in search of this “taste of place.” Cooks who prefer the rich flavors of Bresse chicken, Parmigiano cheese or Carolina golden rice can now have those products shipped anywhere in the world. In fact, the original intention of terroir seems to have been tipped on its head, as the very notion of these delicacies’ superiority and specificity has bred an increased consumption and exportation of these products—separate from any sense of seasonality, biodiversity, sustainability, or other locavore virtues."

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april bloomfield's nyc taste guide

This summer, I've been working with Conde Nast's Food Innovation Group and Chef April Bloomfield to develop a custom NYC "Taste Guide" for San Pellegrino. For this branded content project, I interviewed Chef April about her daily rituals and dining habits, transforming her experiences into five longform neighborhood guides, ten scripted videos and dozens of social posts. This month, the content was distributed on both BonAppetit.com and San Pellegrino's "Itineraries of Taste" website.

Click here to read Chef April's edible guide to the West Village, home of her first restaurant, The Spotted Pig. 

Image Credit: Bon Appetit

Image Credit: Bon Appetit

facing goliath: kimbal musk's challenge to industrial food

"There’s a nickname you’ve likely heard for the current industrial farming complex: 'big agriculture.' 'Big,' as in it dwarfs all the current alternatives and is driven by some of the most powerful capitalist forces in the world. It’s so complex that most of us cannot even begin to truly comprehend the 'big'-ness of it. That is, unless you’re Kimbal Musk.

Photo by Lauren DeFilippo

Photo by Lauren DeFilippo

If the name sounds familiar, it might be because Musk and his brother Elon rank among the world’s most respected tech paragons. Since the 1990s, both brothers have been associated with headline-grabbing startups, with Musk personally advising on or investing in such ventures as Zip2 and PayPal. Yet in the early 2000s, his path began to diverge from the digital world to something more intimate and tangible: the business of food."

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