Food for Thought
January 16, 2011
Marky & Calvin Trillin
Janine, Gae & Kathy
Food for Thought
The second session of Key West Literary Seminar continued throughout the weekend and while sometimes, two sessions on a single topic can lead to some repetition, the topic of food in literature is so broad and diverse that I get the feeling that there were entire areas that were not fully explored.
Molly O'Neill & Michael Ruhlman
Cooking, Dining, Sustenance, Hunger, Cultural Identity, Food as a character in story and even some discussion of drinking were all touched upon to a greater or lesser degree. It was another wonderful weekend of writers, critics and food experts discussing the varied aspects of what we all need and love- food.
The seminar provided a great backdrop for another fun and exciting weekend in Key West and as usual, while it dominated the calendar, it was by no means the only thing happening on the island. In fact two events occurred that I was able to catch at least a portion of this weekend that only added to a fun packed agenda.
The first actually had a great tie-in to the seminar in that it is one of the largest and most popular food events held in Key West each year, the annual Florida Keys Seafood Festival sponsored by the Florida Fisherman’s association. Thousands of attendees packed Bayview Park for the sixth annual seafood bonanza, including many participants of the literary seminar. I joined the throngs for lunch and had a heaping helping of delicious Florida lobster and fish.
Bethany, Todd & Howard
It was the second best meal of the weekend. The first was the incredible dinner at The Café on Friday evening as part of The Flavors of Key West dinners that were new to the literary seminar this year. Like last week’s fabulous meal at the Banana Café, the chefs at the Café went all out in creating a perfect selection of food and wine. We joined our friends Nancy, Mark and Jody as well as panelist Patrick Symmes for a wonderful and relaxed meal.
Nan, Patrick, Kathy, Jody & Mark
Chefs Keith, Lisa & Chris
The other cool event that I got to see was a pass by down Duval Street of the Wounded Warrior ride. This was the final portion of a long bike ride from Miami to Key West by a large group of soldiers, all of whom had been wounded in combat. Many of them needing specially constructed bicycles due to limb amputations, the riders toured down Duval Street to the cheers and waving American flags of the crowd lining the street. It was a sight that was at once humbling and awe-inspiring as these brave soldiers completed their own tremendous personal achievement while at the same time raising awareness of the many wounded veterans who have served our nation so honorably, it was a moving display and I was happy to have been able to see it.
The seminar continued all day Saturday and the wonderful Saturday evening program featuring Calvin Trillin and Roy Blount, Jr. was repeated again, this time with the additional shenanigans of a meal prepared and delivered on stage by fellow panelists Madhur Jaffrey and Molly O’Neill as well as a bacon-infused Key Lime Pie prepared by Key West’s own David Sloan and wait service by Marky Pierson of Key West Burlesque. It was another hilarious and entertaining evening.
Roy & Molly
Things wrapped up with the traditional reception at the Customs House and a late night at the Green parrot where the SPAM Allstars were the featured entertainment. A few of the panelists and many of the attendees, especially the younger crowd, made it over to the Parrot to close out the evening.
Kristin, Brynn & George
Kathy, Molly & Roy
Nick, Kevin, Kate & John