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Chef Stacy believes that cooking from scratch and using the best ingredients are the secrets to preparing delicious and memorable meals. She has created dozens of classes for the home chef and teaches students how to master culinary techniques and recipes in just one session. Read on to see what she's dishing up for The Oakland Press today....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Food Revolution

I was mid-jumping jack when the ladies in my aqua aerobics class this morning started talking about Jamie Oliver and his food revolution. The great thing about aqua aerobics is that I am easily kept informed about the latest issues of importance on topics ranging from the health care overhaul, the best place to get a cup of frozen custard or who got dropped from Dancing with the Stars (and who SHOULD HAVE gotten the boot instead).

There is anywhere between 4 and 7 women in my Tuesday class, which makes for lively and interesting conversation. Since they all know I’m a chef, they assume that I am up to date on every show on the Food Network, Bravo and otherwise. Naturally, they assumed that I’ve seen Oliver’s new series. Though I’m aware of his latest project, I’ve not seen the show. “How is it,” I asked. One woman started to answer me and then another one jumped in. Before I knew it, there was a pretty intense conversation about the show, its message, and its relevance. Shortly after that, the conversation expanded to lobbyists, the public school system and “the government”.

As we bobbed along with our Styrofoam dumbbells, it struck me that this was the first time that I’ve ever entered into this discussion with non-chefs. I’ve always known food is not “just food”. Food is culture, food is tradition, food is economics, food is policy, food is politics. It was a new experience to see the policy and cultural aspects of food through the eyes of the layperson.

This conversation is not new, though. It’s just that now, more people are talking about it. What used to be considered the concerns of those “hippies” or people on the “fringe” is now considered “conscious”. Conversations you would only hear at the co-op or health foods store is now common in Starbucks and apparently, therapy pools across the country.

Books and movies like 'Fast Food Nation', 'Diet for a New America', and most recently 'Food Inc.', have brought the conversation ever more to the forefront. Companies like Horizon, Organic Valley, and thousands of others have edged out their conventional competitors and have become household names.

Some chefs long for the days when “special diet” was just a handful of diabetics or the dreaded lone vegetarian. Now we have vegetarians, vegans, raw foodists, macrobiotic, organic, dairy-free, locovores, and celiacs (and every combination of those!). Other chefs welcome the new challenge of creating delicious and interesting meals that can satisfy these special considerations. Welcome challenge or inconvenience, one thing is for sure- the food scene has changed.

In the next few days, we’ll explore organics, “all natural”, and local food trends and avoid all of the heavy stuff like politics, policy and other polarizing pieces of the puzzle. After all, even with so many passionate convictions and values, we can all agree on at least one thing – readers of this blog LOVE FOOD, and that’s enough for me.

To learn more about the Mirepoix Cooking School, visit our website at www.mirepoixcookingschool.com

2 Comments:

Blogger Kokopelli Financial said...

Food is a funny thing. I am always amazed by the sense of happiness that I get by serving my "homemade" dinners to friends. I love watching them enjoy every mouthful and smile and laugh with one another. To me FOOD is more .. Food is LOVE. 'just sayin.

April 14, 2010 at 3:05 PM 
Blogger Stacy Sloan said...

I wholeheartedly agree. Once I started writing this column, I struggled to start or finish the next one! Food is so many things to so many people - and they all seem to have really strong feelings about it!

April 19, 2010 at 5:02 PM 

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