Mark Kurlansky’s led the “Food as Culture” talk on October 11 with a beautiful reading from several of his books. He spoke about the cherry-filled Basque cake and the enduring culture that created it, but also the need to dig deep into others’ cultures, to really understand where food comes from. His story about the salmon-eye stew in an Alaska village reminded me of my Bethel, Alaska days, watching village friends cook the (very delicious, although quite pungent) seal blubber stew.
Panel participants included Dan Ansotegul, Basque musician and chef (far right)
Cristina Ceccatelli Cook, proud Florentine, Ketcham, Idaho restaurant-owner and cookbook author (behind Ansotegul)
Chris Koetke, dean of the Sun Valley Culinary Institute (Fresh, large-batch Asparagus cleaning tip: Clean it in cold water in a washing machine, up to 30#!) (far left)
Dominique Etcheverry, from a Basque sheep-ranching family (pictured between Koetke and Kurlansky)