{lifestyle} Chicago Ideas Week: Food Talk

October 10-16, 2011, Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) will bring the world’s top speakers together with Chicago’s best thinkers to create an ecosystem of innovation, exploration, and intellectual recreation.

Like so many who are in deep in their social media interactions, I find out about events and news through my Twitter stream. This was how I came to find out about Chicago Ideas Week.

Chicago Ideas Week is a first of it’s kind where there are one-hundred speakers over the course of seven days to speak about topics from education, global community development, health & wellness, poetry and my favorite topic, food; just to name a few.

Speakers are world-renowned experts, like President Bill Clinton, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chicago’s own Mayor Rahm Imanuel, Michelle Rhee; Founder & CEO of Students First, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta; CNN Chief Medical Correspondent were among the 100 speakers.

The stage at CIW Talk: Food

Chris Young & Mike Sheerin

For only $15 each session, attendees can choose to attend various topics and hear leaders speak about the topic. CIW Talk are 90-minute programs featuring 2-6 speakers present on the theme. CIW Labs are unique, behind-the-scenes experiences allowing intimate groups a glimpse into the inner workings of businesses and institutions that are otherwise unavailable to the public. And CIW MegaTalks are evening programs featuring distinguished and globally recognized speakers.

I of course chose to attend the CIW Talk: Food, held at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Saturday, October 15, 2011 which was moderated by Chicago Tribune Food Writer, Kevin Pang.

The list of speakers for this session were Colin and Karen Archipley, Owners of Archi’s AcresFaith D’Aluisio and Peter Menzel, who received a James Beard Foundation Award in 1999 for Best Book: Reference and Writing on Food, for Man Eating Bugs: The Art and Science of Eating Insects; Mike Sheering, Consulting Chef for the Three Floyds Brewpub; Ryan Poli, Executive Chef/Partner of Tavernita; Heather Terhune, Executive Chef of Sable Kitchen & Bar; and Chris Young, Chef-Scientist & Co-Author of Modernist Cuisine.

The talk evoked a lot of emotion from a person who has a passion for food like myself. Starting from Faith D’Aluisio and Peter Menzel’s presentation of photographs from their world travels about food, and the comparison of how each family from different parts of the world eat, really conveyed how much processed food Americans eat versus the rest of the world. However, progressing countries like China, who are experiencing an increase in income are starting to eat less traditionally and craving western fast-food favorites.

The talk touched on other subjects like how science and technology can create culinary experiences that one does not experience on a “normal” basis, to using organic farming as a way to give war veterans a second chance at life after coming home, and a question and answer by Kevin Pang to three of the most popular and talented chefs in Chicago at this time.

The icing on the cake were free tickets to two of Chicago’s food trucks, Empanadas and Homage Street Food where talk attendees got to indulge in a couple of Chicago’s faves in the food truck scene.

It was an eye-opening experience for me to hear these people share their experiences in food, and realize that I also share many of their passions, thoughts and excitement about cooking and food.

My mission as Momma Cuisine has a place in the world and attending this event has given me the extra boost I needed to keep on going with my work to share my passion with anyone who is willing to listen.


To learn more about Chicago Ideas Week, visit:

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