Robert and I attended one day of the recent Just Food conference on March 29th and 30th and we had a great time! While we would have loved to go to the whole thing, we were only able to make it on Saturday, but we still got a lot out of it.
My favorite session of the day was “Curd Nerds: Basics Of Milk Chemisty And Cheesemaking” taught by Sascha Anderson from Murray’s Cheese. I learned so much about how cheese is made and got to taste some great samples, including cheddar curds and one of my old favorites, Parmigiano Reggiano. Interestingly, I found out that cheesemaking requires milk from cows, goats, sheep, caribou or other ruminants, not just from any old mammal!
I also enjoyed “Getting Creative With Cuts: Learning About Whole Animals” by Adam Tiberio of Tiberio Custom Meats, another very informative session, where I learned about how cows are raised and turned into delicious cuts of meat.
Another highlight of the conference was the Good Food Jobs Get Together, hosted by the people behind the Good Food Jobs website, which I definitely recommend for anyone looking to work in the world of food. The event was setup as a speed-networking session, we were asked to find someone new to talk to every five minutes, and given a prompt to discuss to start the conversation. I, unfortunately, am not much of a networker, and tend to end up disappointed with myself for not meeting more people at networking events, but this one was different and I ended up getting contact information from some really interesting people. I also want to add that I emailed Good Food Jobs from their website to let them know how much I enjoyed their event and got an almost immediate response from Taylor Cocalis, one of the founders.
We also enjoyed the keynote address given by Byron Hurt. He discussed and showed clips from his film Soul Food Junkies which I am eager to see in its entirety. It looks like a very interesting examination of soul food, both for its cultural importance, and its impact on health.
Overall, Just Food put on a great event that brought together people from many different parts of the food world, as well as those interested in learning more about food and the important issues surrounding it. I hope we can return for the full conference next year!