Chile Charla

At High Noon, local time, I gave my talk on food waste to a room of chefs at the World Association of Chefs Societies Congress. In case you’re curious, here are the slides from the talk (it may take a minute or two to load).

Of course, it won’t be the same without my charismatic delivery…OK, that’s a stretch, but I actually thought it went pretty well.

To give you an idea of how it looked, picture this big room mostly filled with chefs in their kitchen whites. There were no toques, sadly, but there were plenty of translation devices in non-English-speakers’ ears. Not sure how my (few, tasteful) jokes translated, although people did seem to chuckle when the Hooters slide came up (to illustrate large poritons).

Hopefully the talk will have at least some impact, as the chefs here mostly work in institutional kitchens with plenty of waste due to the scale of operations. Not hurting the chances of impact: the sheer number of countries represented.

After the talk, I chatted with chefs fromĀ  France, Brazil, Turkey, New Zealand, Guatemala, Chile, Canada, Ireland and the U.S. (don’t call it America here!). I spoke with an Icelandic chef living in Virginia, a Norwegian chef residing in Chile and a Croatian who worked in America. Yes, it’s a truly interenational event.

My favorite part of the aftermath (OK, second favorite after that first glass of wine) was chatting with a Mongolian chef at lunch. His English was worse than my Spanish (and that’s saying a lot) but he gave me an “I love America!” that was as awesome as it was surprising.

Anyway, the chef from Ulaanbaatar was all smiles and I liked him even more when he gave me a card that read: “Mr. Orshikh, Master Chef.” The kicker, as I already tweeted, is that his establishment is called California Restaurant and Bar. But he’s only been to New York, Washington and Miami. Is it possible that Mr. Orshikh told me he imports all his ingredients from the U.S??

Finally, I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but I spent 20 minutes this morning trying to find a Chilean dish that uses up old bread to incorporate into my presentation. Chupe de Mariscos was the one. It hope it added a bit of local flavor to the list of panzanella, pain perdu and bread pudding.

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