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Food for Thinkers: Your Complete 16-Course Tasting Menu

Your handy bookmark-able guide to the all-you-can-read extravaganza of ideas, stories, opinions, and proposals that was GOOD's Food for Thinkers week.

Last week, as I hope some of you may have noticed, we hosted a six-day Food for Thinkers blogfest. With the launch of GOOD's new food hub, I wanted to stake out an expanded territory for food writing, and at the same time, start building a community of influences and inspiration.

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Food for Thinkers: Dancing at the Dinner Table and Fighting in the Streets

Architecture and urbanism blog Deconcrete examines how our place settings turn dining into free jazz or classical ballet.


In two back-to-back Food for Thinkers posts, architecture and urbanism blog Deconcrete explores how food shapes the way we act in space. In "Food as Eating Choreography" blogger Daniel Fernández Pascual imagines the dining table as a stage or playing field, upon which the diners' relationships with each other and their food are predefined by a culturally particular arrangement of dishes and utensils into place settings:

It is mostly remarkable between Western and Asian cultures; if the former pleads for a hierarchical untouchable order, the latter prefers a higher degree of spontaneity and unplannedness. The fact of using generic chopsticks instead of specific tools for each meal is directly translated into how guests relate themselves to space through their eating choreography. One dish surrounded by dozens of additional cutlery pieces vs. dozens of dishes surrounding a pair of chopsticks.

In Korea, a meal consists of dozens of atomized courses scattered all along the table, letting each guest choose the actual order, rhythm, and combinations of the meal. Sweet, cold, calm, sour, Kimchi, warm, roasting, Kimchi, cold, chilling, faster, tea, sweet… Every item—and every rest—plays the main character on stage. In the same line, Chinese table setting introduces a new component. Courses are decomposed in fewer dishes and are laid on a revolving surface, which guests decide when—and how fast—to turn around to pick the desired piece for their following bite.

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Food for Thinkers: An Online Festival of Food and Writing

Six days, 48 writers—from space archaeologists to music bloggers, plus everything in between—and one topic: what makes food so interesting?


As promised, all this week GOOD's new Food hub will be hosting a blog festival—a multi-site online conversation looking at food writing from as broad and unusual a variety of perspectives as possible. Over the next six days, more than 40 of my favorite writers—from science bloggers and human rights reporters to design critics and food columnists—will be sharing their perspectives on what makes food so interesting.

We're calling it "Food For Thinkers," and although most of the participants will be posting on their own sites, you can keep up with the entire conversation here at GOOD Food HQ, where I'll be hosting links, adding my own responses, and asking for your comments. We'll also be using the Twitter hashtag #foodforthinkers on @GOODFoodHQ, if you prefer to follow along that way.

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