Foodstock at Wesleyan University

Amy writes: Chefs, food critics, food writers, food bloggers, wine experts, food trucks, and so much more. That was Foodstock, a fantastic foodie event that took place at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut on May 5th. And we were there! We picked up our friend Lise (who happens to be a chef), grabbed a coffee, brought a few non-perishables for the food pantry collection and prepped ourselves for a day-long celebration of cooks and books.

The first item on the agenda was listening in on as well as watching a foodcentric conversation between Faith Middleton (Peabody- award-winning interviewer, and host of our favorite radio show The Food Schmooze) and Ruth Reichl (former editor-in-chief of Gourmet Magazine, food critic, memoirist and more). What an experience it was to hear these two talk about food. The topics of conversation ranged from molecular gastronomy to food memories to the closing of Gourmet to Ruth's new novel to the politics of food in our culture. Faith's questions were provocative and Ruth was as engaging and funny as she is in her books. It was enlightening to say the least, and gave us both much to think about. And that was only the first hour.

The second hour was Faith interviewing Eric Asimov, the chief wine critic for The New York Times. He offered insight into how wines are tasted at The New York Times, but generally the two talked about wine as a status symbol, the intimidation factor of wine tasting, industrial versus artisanal wines, champagne, and pairing wine with food. Eric was funny and self-deprecating, and, we think, really inspired us to drink what we like and just enjoy and love the wine instead of worrying about the so-called rules. Words to live by! And being fans of Faith Middleton, we imagine that watching these interviews was like being in the radio studio while The Food Schmooze is being broadcasted. So fun!

Naples Pizza Truck, Pizza Margherita

 Lamb Gyro from Mamoun's Falafel on Campus

Next it was time for lunch, and the organizers of the event invited a bunch of local food trucks to offer their business. We started by sharing a crispy thin slice of pizza margherita from Naples Pizza Truck (of Guilford, CT), a mobile wood-fired brick oven that heats to 900 degrees for an amazing pie. Next, Chris grabbed the perfect lamb gyro from Mamoun's. Since it was Cinco de Mayo, though, I opted for amazingly tender pork carnitas with poblano slaw and a side of black beans from Lucky Taco. Ole!

Lucky Taco Truck, the menu, Pork Carnita

Now fortified, we headed out to one last talk since we had to leave early. Chris and Lise went to hear Dorie Greenspan discuss her incredible book Around My French Table, an experience Chris likens to talking to a friendly person at a farmers' market. Her "normalness" made him respect her all the more. In the meantime, I got some excellent advice from food writer Molly O'Neill on "Writing So They Can Taste It." Both talks were informative, inspirational and heartening to fledgling food writers such as we are.

Amy with Dorie Greenspan!!!

But wait, there's more! While Chris dropped Lise off so she could head to work, I, having lugged my copy of Around My French Table with me all day for this exact purpose, headed to the Dorie Greenspan book signing. I was first in line and Dorie was so welcoming, so approachable, and so supportive to me as a cook and a blogger. I told her how we take part in French Fridays with Dorie, and she encouraged me to keep trying to bake (even offering me a suggestion on how to fix my crumbly-dry shortbreads) and to be inspired by ingredients. 

Despite the drizzly weather, it was a day that revived our food-and-wine-loving spirits. So while the past couple of months we have been preoccupied with other (much less fun) things, Foodstock energized us to get back to what we love most. And isn't that what it's all about?  


Anonymous said...

This sounds like so much fun! Maybe next year! Cindy
Cindy's Recipes and Writings

Anonymous said...

Sounds like fun! Maybe next year!
Cindy's Recipes and Writings

yummychunklet said...

Fun! That's awesome that Dorie Greenspan was there!

Anne@FromMySweetHeart said...

Oh Amy and Chris....I am so green with envy! It sounds like you both had a great day. The discussions all sounded fabulous, but to have met and conversed with Dorie Greenspan and come away with an even better impression of her than you already had....well that right there would have made my day! Thanks for sharing such a great day in this wonderful post! (Amy...you look fabulous!) : )

Mary Bergfeld said...

This sounds like a wonderful day. The panelist all sound like great foodies. My youngest daughter graduated from Weslyan so we are very familiar with Middletown. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Jessica said...

Wow this is something I wish I could be there for! Such great fun!!! Glad you guys had such a good time. Nice pic with Dorie Greenspan!

jck said...

NO SIR!!!!!!! Amazing! You held out on me! Ruth Reichl?!?! You know I love her!!!!'

Jen at The Three Little Piglets said...

I so wanted to go! Only I live in Georgia... I'm a huge fan is Ruth Reichl's writing!

lynn said...

cannot believe this is the same place i went to college, where the best thing to eat was annie's shells and cheese i made myself.