It was Friday afternoon, we were piling into the lecture theater for the traditional 4:00 pm welcome and plenary session, and as I looked around at the excited faces I remembered all over again why for me the Symposium is the most exhilarating weekend of the year. It’s the people, it’s that amazing array of people — 250 this time, from 27 countries, and everyone in the room certifiably food-crazed, bringing something unique to share by way of knowledge or ideas or dreams.
This year’s theme was “Food and Power,” a topic that inspired an immensely varied range of papers and lots of lively, sometimes contentious debate. Since the papers themselves will be made available, I’ll concentrate here on the plenary talks — four of them, all focused in one way or another on the way the food industry has amassed power of a practically immeasurable size and scope.
But before I get into that, I have to say a word about Aglaia Kremezi’s brief presentation on Friday afternoon at the end of the session, just before we broke and made our way to drinks and dinner. It was a spoken memoir: she called it “Power Lunch of a Different Kind” and evoked what she said was the worst part of every day during her childhood — the family midday meal.
“My father was lord and master,” she said, and the females in the family were expected to be submissive. Everything had to be ready at 2:00 pm exactly as he liked it or his anger erupted. Contradict him, and you got a slap. These lunches were miserable times, Aglaia said; and she grew up determined to have a life exactly the opposite of the one he wanted for her.
Serving Up A Slice of Africa: Food, Drink, Race, and Identity in Empire Adventure Stories
Food & (mostly) Women, organized by Roberta Wedge.
Organized by Heather Wolfe with Amanda Herbert.
Devised by – Sandra Mian
Cooked by – Liz Galicia of El Mural de los Poblanos, with Tim Kelsey and the St Catz Kitchen.
To start – Tostadas de guacamole con chapulines: fried maize tortillas with avocado salsa and grasshoppers. Tlacoyos de frijol con salsa de chipotle cebolla fresca picada y queso fresco. Maize tortillas, filled with beans then fried, served with a chipotle salsa, raw minced onions and fresh cheese. Ensalada de nopal. fresh nopal (cactus paddle) salad.
Main course– Mole poblano con guajolote, arroz a la Mexicana. Turkey cooked in mole poblano, Mexican rice.
Dessert – Pan de elote con amaranto. Fresh maize (corn) and amaranth cake. Traditional Puebla sweetmeats. Tortita de Santa Clara. Camotes – candied yam. Macarrone.
Wines – Vino blanco 2018 casa Madero 2V Chardonnay/Chenin Blanc. 2018 Casa Madero Gran Reserva Chardonnay. Mezcal Los Danzantes
Saga from Cervecería 5 de Mayo. Sweet white wine, 2018 Casa Madero Cosecha Tardía
Devised by – Leila Hedjem and Gamze Ineceli
Cooked by – Munira Mahmud, Fatima Odonkor, Halima Al-Huthaifi, and Lillian Olwa along with Tim Kelsey and the St Catz Kitchen.
Menu – Fattoush Salad with Sumac and Pomegranate Dressing. Citrus and Mint Yogurt Spread. Spicy Peanut Dip with Yemeni Bread. Aubergine Masala with Basmati Rice. Rose Petal Scented Fruit Salad and Indian Shortbread.
Wines – 2017 Eckelsheim “vom Porphyr“ Riesling trocken – Sina Mertz. 2018 Westhofen Riesling trocken – Katharina Wechsler. 2016 Westhofener Morstein Riesling trocken – Katja Rettig. 2017 Nierstein “vom Rotliegenden” Riesling trocken – Lisa Bunn. 2017 Schwabsburg Riesling trocken – Christine (F.E.) Huff. 2017 Laubenheimer Edelmann Riesling trocken – Mirjam Schneider. 2017 Kalkader Riesling trocken – Eva Vollmer
Devised and cooked by – Aglaia Kremezi and Chef Michael Costa of Zaytinya, with Tim Kelsey and the St Catz Kitchen
Meze – Tsiros – smoked mackerel with dill vinaigrette on Kythera olive oil rusk. Dakos – barrel aged feta on crumbled barley rusks, with cherry tomato, thyme and coriander relish. Olive Oil with Cyclades Herbs. Kochlee – petit gris snails braised in onion and tomato sauce. Loza – cured, smoked and air dried pork from Kea – macerated in wine, rubbed in winter savory, allspice, and pepper. Santorini Fava – pureed split peas topped with capers, scallions, parsley, and radicchio; served with eastern Mediterranean red pepper vinaigrette.
Main course – Arni Tsigariasto – slowly braised lamb with onions, lemon, and Greek mountain oregano. Patates Riganates – olive oil and lemon baked potatoes with mustard and oregano.
Dessert – Portokalopita – orange and crumbled phyllo cake with strawberries and manouri cheese drizzled with grape molasses.
Wines – Kechris 2018 Afros & 2018 Roza. Pavlidis 2015 Thema Syrah & Agiorgitiko. Parparoussis 2015 Mavrodaphne. Rouvalis 2017 Tsigello Mavrodaphne. Zafeirakis 2016 Limniona. Tetramythos. 2017 Black of Kalavyrta Agiorgitiko. Skouras 2013 Grande Cuvée Nemea. Cavino 2013 Mega Spileo Grand Cave Mavrodafne & Mavro Kalavritino. Kechris 2018 Tear of the Pine Assyrtiko. Papagiannakos 2018 Savatiano Old Vines. Parparoussis 2016 Muscat de Rio Patra. 2003 Mavrodaphne ReserveSigalas. 2013 Vinsanto Assyrtiko & Aidani. Cavino 2018 Samos Vin Doux. 2001 Mavrodaphne Reserve
Devised by – David Matchett
On the table – Bread by Nadia Gencas at Karaway Bakery: Grandmothers Bread, Dark rye with nuts and raisins, White Sourdough, Roasted Onion and Dill, Lithuanian scalded rye. Cheese from Neals Yard: Durrus by Jeffa Gill, Appleby’s Cheshire made by Sarah Appleby. Tymsboro by Mary Holbrook R.I.P. St Cera and St Jude by Julie Cheyney. Brefu Bach by Carie Rimes. Vegan Cheese from Angela Chou at I Am Nut Ok. Selection of Preserves from Elspeth Biltoft at Rosebud Preserves. Italian Raw honey by Anna Borzonni via Sam Wallace at From Field and Flower. Salad selection from Kath Dawson at Kaths Veg. Traybakes by Alice Williams and the empowered bakers from Luminary Bakery. Vegan Ice cream from Ruby and Grace by Deborah Grace Taiwa.
Wine – 2018 Furmint from Heidi Schröck, Weinbäuerin in Rust/Burgenland, Austria
An Interviewer Confronts a Politician to Reveal Uncomfortable Truths about Our Food Systems, Len Fisher and Elisabeth Luard
A place to honor loved ones and share memories, culinary and otherwise.
Creatively Remaking Sweetness and Power, on the Stage and in the Archives, Amanda Herbert
A convivial discussion hosted by David Matchett from Borough Market and Ellie Costigan from Market Life.