Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fraser imagines Red Wattle pigs in Echo Park

Michael Cirino demonstrates How to Cook an Egg, molecular gastronomy style, in a groovy Italian "slow food" kitchen, whatever that is.

Dwell on Design had a day of food events Sunday, including the Gestalt of Meat panel with panelists including Sasha Wizansky, founder of Meatpaper and chef Neal Fraser. There was talk of the art of meat but also of raising more sustainable meat. Fraser, who is perhaps not too familiar with zoning laws, lightheartedly imagined an idyllic day when "Red Wattle pigs would be raised in Echo Park, sold at the Silver Lake Farmer's Market and cooked at a restaurant in Los Feliz." Moderator Evan Kleiman pointed out that one problem with supplying more locally-raised meat is that years ago more than 200 slaughterhouses served the country, and now there are only 13 (at least if "Food Inc." is correct). How we subsidize calories -- whether with cheap food that causes health problems or with more costly but more healthful food -- is a societal decision, Kleiman says.

Bring the garden right to the table in this dining room table-cum-kitchen garden.

The Social Media panel was a little disappointing -- It was mostly about how Kogi BBQ and Twitter happened at actually the right time to feed off each other. The Kogi guy brought a spiffy powerpoint to show off Kogi's marketing chops, saying that fans help the trucks avoid parking tickets by finding good places for them to park. But I did like his idea of food trucks helping eaters explore the city through food, making eating out more of an adventure. Freya Estreller from the Coolhaus truck talked about how design can improve your eating experience, but I guess I'm not really convinced that it can. The sandwiches are clever, though -- Louis Kahntaloupe is the latest flavor.
Wooly Pockets, made from recycled plastic bottles, are a bit pricey at $249 for this large size, but make it easy to garden anywhere, even on walls.

I liked the Cultivating Gardens in the City panel too, which talked about the illicit thrill of guerrilla gardening for teenagers, seed bombs and how people change their eating habits when they grow their own foods. Here's a few things I learned at the Gardens panel:
The Public School is a collection of free or nearly free, esoteric and fascinating artsy and practical classes held Downtown and around the city.
The Theodore Payne Foundation offers a three-session class to help you design your entire yard by yourself with native plants.
HeartBeet Gardening is sponsoring a hyper-local CSA for the Larchmont area; it will be very cool if this idea takes off in other areas.


Christian said...

I wish I would have attended this event! The school where I teach has a garden and it's a lot of fun for the students to grow their own vegetables, then prepare a veggie soup.

Mr. Stamen said...

I was one of the speakers on the panel. If you know a school who is interested in Guerrilla Gardening you can contact us at

Or check out the website

Anonymous said...

Woolly Pockets come in smaller, less expensive sizes too! You should check them out at I saw them at the Dwell on Design show and the smaller sizes start at just $29 and are perfect for growing herbs in your kitchen!