Worlds of Flav

If [Ruhlman]( can do it, I can too. I’m coming to you live from the [Worlds of Flavor]( conference in the Napa Valley at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, which I always call “Greystoke” and suggest that you do too.

The conference this year is about Spanish food. Right now a guy is on stage making pig’s trotters stuffed with veal. The previous presenter roasted a suckling pig and then, in an allegedly traditional flourish, carved it with the edge of a dinner plate to demonstrate its tenderness. If yesterday is any guide, we will eat these things later.

The CIA is housed in the former Christian Brothers winery, a 19th century stone pile that, everyone has noted, looks exactly like Hogwarts, complete with staircases that probably don’t actually move, but feel to me like they do because I’m afraid of heights.

Here’s how it feels to be at this conference, which consists of basically every food writer I’ve ever heard of and all of Spain’s top chefs (when I first got here, I sat down next to two familiar-looking guys having a conversation; they turned out to be Colman Andrews and Ferran Adrià), along with hundreds of industry goons looking to enjoy a few days in Napa on the company tab and see what they can turn into products. Not that I’m against this, it’s just that this horde has come between me and the food writers and editors I want to network with. I’m sorry I just said “network.” It’s like being at a rock star convention, but to get to the rock stars you have to plow through a tangle of lawyers and A&R people.

Wow, that trotter is starting to look really good.

Here’s what Iris is up to while I’m gone, according to Laurie:

> This morning she got up at 7:50 and appeared
> behind me as I was catching up on blogs. She saw the photo onscreen and
> said, “Those are chanterelles! Does Dada love chanterelles? You should
> leave it up for Dada.”

Later I will tell you about some of the things I ate. Right now it’s break time and I want to go peer at where they are roasting the leeks over an open fire.

6 thoughts on “Worlds of Flav

  1. Laurie

    Oh, now I remember what Iris said while we breakfasted on hardboiled eggs and English muffins.

    Me: I bet Dada’s eating a lot of good stuff at the conference.

    Iris: Probably ham. You know, ham?

  2. stacy

    you sat next to Ferran Adrià!?!? did he give off an ‘I am an inhuman deity slumming amongst you mortals’ vibe?

  3. mamster Post author

    Nope. He seemed totally normal. I assume he had some attache ready to leap in and throttle me if I asked him anything about foam.

    I just sat behind Harold McGee.

  4. heather

    i am picturing harold mcgee in, like, a phone booth, and you lurking behind him. perhaps giggling hiss-ily to yourself.

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