Author Melanie Rehak is kind of like us. She learned the ways of Wendell Berry and Michael Pollan and befriended chefs and farmers to help her debunk our twisted food system — but that’s where the resemblance ends: Because Rehak went on to join the kitchen staff at applewood restaurant in Brooklyn, a player in New York’s locavore dining world, and worked with local farms that supplied food to its kitchens.
(What we wouldn’t give for a hands-on, farm-to-table quest through fine dining dinner service, goat milking and bean sorting where we could be able to stop and ask, “but why?” anytime.)
Lucky for the rest of us, Rehak has detailed the year-long journey for knowledge in her new book, Eating for Beginners: An Education in the Pleasures of Food from Chefs, Farmers, and One Picky Kid, which works to find a balance between eating for ethics and eating for pleasure.
And lucky for New Yorkers (who happen to be free tonight around 7:30pm), she’ll be speaking at the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library for a panel entitled “Locavores’ Dilemmas,” where she’ll be joined by some equally impressive voices: Steve Jenkins (Fairway’s co-owner and the author of The Food Life) and David Shea, the founder of applewood. Author and journalist Patrick Radden Keefe will moderate the discussion, of which we’re sure a melding of many fascinatingly insider talking points will ensue.
So it goes without saying how oh, so worthy this event is, but we must add that it’s absolutely free. All you have to do is save a seat by writing to [email protected] — and bring some books to get signed while you’re at it!