September 21st, 2014
Episode 470 of 661 episodes
From a lesson in "guerrilla gardening" by LA's Ron Finley to Mastering the Art of Soviet cooking with food writer Anya Von Bremzen, Dan Saladino reports from an annual food symposium held in Copenhagen, called MAD (the word for food in Danish). Now in its fourth year, the event was founded by the celebrated chef of the restaurant Noma, Rene Redzepi. In his own words, it's curated by a group of "chefs, waiters, a former banker and an anthropologist". To some it's a festival of ideas, to others it's like listening to a "food mix tape", over two days an audience of 600 chefs, writers and food obsessives hear a series of presentations about cooking, restaurants, food history and activism. Dan Saladino takes the Food Programme inside the circus tent where the symposium is hear a selection of the diverse stories being told. There's Ron Finley, a gardener from Los Angeles who was prosecuted for growing food in a patch of land in front of his him. He took on the authorities and changed the law. His story has inspired people all over the world. It's also an important arena for the world's great chefs to tell stories of kitchens and cooking and to pass on their wisdom. Food writer Joe Warwick profiles three chefs who too part in MAD 4, Pierre Koffman, Olivier Roellinger and the enigmatic Fulvio Pierangeli. It's an often eccentric mix of stories, and so as well as guerrilla gardening there's a guide to making tapioca in the Amazonian rainforest through to a first hand account of cooking in the USSR. Some stories will surprise, others will inform, but they all inspire. Music in this is edition is provided by Efterklang and Tatu Ronkko. They're not only one of the most respected bands in Denmark, they've also composed music for a restaurant in collaboration with chefs.