Mad Symposium 2012

René Redzepi and companions did it again: They drew an international crowd of around 600 gastronomes to Copenhagen, for a two day long session of talks on gastronomy in a broad sense.

Not so much about cooking techniques and taste as about philosophy, sustainability and new ideas. And just like in 2011 – the debut of Mad Symposium – the whole setup was uncommercial, unlike most food shows and competitons in this field.

A fine lineup of speakers included Massimo Bottura – Osteria Francescana, Ferran Adrià, Fergus Henderson – St. John, London, Rasmus Kofoed – Geranium, Danny Bowien and Anthony Myint – Mission Chinese Food, Enrique Olvera – Pujol, Mexico City, Andrea Pieroni – Professor of Food Botany, Andrea Petrini – food and travel writer, Shin Takagi – restaurant Zeniya, Dan Barber – Blue Hill Restaurants, Wylie Dufresne – Restaurant wd-50 og Hugh Fearnley-Whittingsall – River Cottage

Olvera spoke of how you can maintan tradition, whilst trying to be progressive. Andrea Petrini spoke, and spoke and spoke, and showed rock videos, before suggesting to “fuck the food critics” which sparked a tremendous applause. He is no longer a food critic, I should mention.

Bottura claimed to draw on the past, not out of nostalgia but with criticism. Wylie Dufresne highlighted the importance of understanding science and adding humour to your cooking.
David Chang defended the use of MSG.

Paul Rozin spoke of the psycholgy of menu planning, and claimed – with support from studies – that people by large rember the first course most, and then concentrate on who they share the meal with.

Ferran Adrià ended the show, speaking on many subjects, among others he praised the old french masters who carried gastronomy for decades and took it to the present level of acceptance combined with admiration.

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