In Newcastle recently, there was the 19th Australian Symposium of Gastronomy, which is an excellent thing in itself. However, this year on the day that the Symposium weekend concluded, it was the launch of the Culinary Think Tank – another fantastic foodie event that I was lucky enough to be a part of.
The Symposium was rich with knowledge, academia and retrospective discussion about food, eating and drinking, but within the Culinary Think Tank there were more active grass roots perspectives presented.
One of the very important guests that I was fortunate to spend time with was Josh Evans, researcher at the Nordic Food Lab – a not-for-profit free information organisation that was set up by Rene Redzepi from Noma restaurant. There were also chefs, barmen, coffee roasters and scientists; molecular biologists whose research involved working with members of the food industry on a number of various projects. In short, there was pretty much everything a working foodie could ever dream of.
I came away with way more questions than I went in with, which is bloody excellent! But I did learn a few things too:
- Chewy foods taste less salty.
- Microbiologists know to stay well clear of ‘mouse cage’ smells.
- Textured and crinkled brown paper bags make food ‘taste crunchy.’
- Capitalistic and industrialised food systems started with the first white people, they were just doing their job and following orders.
- Removing salt from your diet can kill you.
- Cricket sauce tastes like soy sauce, is delicious and smells remarkable.
- You should, most definitely, eat coal at Bacchus Restaurant (if you’re ever in the Newcastle area).
- Toasted rye, ponzu and prawns from Subo restaurant will make you sigh with absolute content.
Over the next couple of issues I will embellish on some of this as there is simply too much to talk about in this column. Stay tuned people. But in the meantime, eat well!
Jared Ingersoll, www.danksstreetdepot.com.au.