The fourth Let's Talk About Food Festival returns to Copley Square on Saturday, October 3—this year as part of the city's first HUB Week celebration. This festival lets participants dive into the most important food conversations and debates happening in society today. Through hands-on cooking demonstrations, edible gardens, and more, participants can also explore how to take advantage of the food around them by cooking better and eating healthier. Check back often for more details.

Festival Schedule



The Let's Talk About Food Festival returns to Copley Square on Saturday, October 3. To help prepare your palette, you'll find a preliminary list of all the programs, guests, and activities expected at this year's festival below.

From how to have a healthy sweet tooth to making tomatoes last all year, this year's lineup of special guests and informative demos will inspire culinary minds and whet food lover's appetites. As the festival approaches, we'll continue to provide regular updates on this year's programming schedule, so check back soon. Bon appétit!


Overconsumption of sugar is THE health topic of the moment, especially among children. With the rise of childhood obesity and diabetes, there’s no question we are facing a major cultural and political problem. But what’s the solution? Well, let’s talk about it. Marion Nestle, a James Beard award winner, expert on food politics, and author of the new book Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning), takes the stage with Brian Mercury, pastry chef at Harvest in Harvard Square, to discuss sugar from all angles. They’ll touch on where to avoid it, its appropriate usage, and demonstrate ingredient alternatives that can still satisfy your sweet tooth.


Sheila Bowman from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, will discuss the state of New England fisheries and what’s really out there with James Beard Award-nominated chef Bun Lai of Miya’s Sushi in New Haven. Chef Bun will speak about his experience sourcing “unusual fish” for his menu and changing the way people think about sushi ingredients.

Following, Legal Sea Foods’ CEO Roger Berkowitz and Executive Chef Richard Vellante will present a hands-on seafood demonstration that tackles the complex topic of New England fisheries today. They’ll also experiment with native sea vegetables as a possible ingredient of the future.


Rack, loin, forequarter, chuck, chump, flank, brisket, shank. What? Nose-to-tail butchering has certainly had its day among restaurant chefs, but do you know where to find these cuts, or what to do with them once they're in your kitchen? That’s what we thought. Learn about great “secondary” cuts of beef, pork, and lamb from the people who know these animals best. Chef Tiffani Faison of Sweet Cheeks joins Nick Zigelbaum from Longest Acres Farm and Michael Dulock, owner of MF Dulock Pasture-Raised Meats, to discuss raising, breaking down, and turning less-expensive cuts into flavorful dishes.


In conjunction with the Festival, Culture Magazine is hosting a first-of-its-kind cheese event featuring cheese from around the world, including places like France, Italy, Switzerland, North America, the U.K., and Spain. Boston's own cheese maker Lourdes Smith of Fiore di Nonno will pull mozzarella while a local celebrity chef will demonstrate how to cook with cheese and create the ultimate cheese plate.


Wholly Tomato! New Englanders cherish our short, sweet, longed-for tomato harvest. But we're reaching its end in early October, so it’s time to use what we have or save those tomatoes for later. A local consortium of tomato growers and scientists explain how to choose the right varieties for the right use. Chef Jose Duarte of Taranta will demonstrate how to process your harvest into freezable gravy that will warm your house mid-winter.


Pasta. A staple in the Italian diet for centuries has been given a bad rap in this country of late because of the surge in gluten-free diets. However, chosen wisely and prepared thoughtfully, pasta can be a healthy foundation to thousands of creative, colorful, and inexpensive dishes. With the launch of their new book, The Four Seasons of Pasta, mother and daughter Nancy and Sara Jenkins will demonstrate pasta making and simple, fresh recipes for everyday. Nancy Harmon Jenkins is an acclaimed food writer and Sara is the chef and owner of Porsena, a pasta-centric eatery in NYC. Both mother and daughter have spent much of their lives living and eating pasta in Italy.

School Food

It’s the ultimate school-food challenge. Award-winning chef Jody Adams of Rialto and Trade and Chef Eric Brennan of Post 390 will face off in a cooking competition to recreate a kid-friendly meal that could be made on a public school cafeteria budget. The judges? Boston Public School students. Plus, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley will be on stage to discuss the realities behind major school food reform and the help that is needed today.


Got science? Fermentation is an ancient, low-tech, scientific process that is sure to draw the eye of the everyday food nerd. Not only is fermentation a way to preserve your food (cabbage, pickles, tea, etc.), the “good bacteria” produced in the process can help a multitude of health issues. Ceramicist Jeremy Ogusky has made his mark on this emerging trend by crafting clay fermentation crock-pots for at-home projects, and chefs are following suit in their kitchens. Jeremy and a local chef will demonstrate the process and how to set up your own experiment.

In addition to everything being served up on the Main Stage, you'll find a smorgasbord of other food-centric discussions and activities going on throughout the day.

Kitchen Conversations

Everyone has a food story. A kitchen disaster? A family moment around food? Thinking about your most memorable meal and who shared it with you? Worried about where your next meal is coming from? Visit the cozy Kitchen Conversations audio recording booth, whimsically set in a vintage kitchen, and share your story with our hosts. We’re collecting our community’s stories about food because we believe food is the secret sauce that explains us and connects us to each other.


Nutrition is so confusing! But our team of expert RD’s are a resource to get current and trustworthy answers to your nutrition questions, one-on-one. A popular aspect of Let’s Talk About Food, we’ve asked nutritionists from all our area clinics and hospitals to spend the day consulting with our community about what to eat and why it matters.


We’ve recruited a dozen top Boston chefs to answer all your cooking questions, one-on-one. Just step up to the Ask-A-Chef booth and get the advice you need to turn ingredients into stupendous meals.


Boston is a city of writers and readers. And our food-writing community is second to none! We’ve invited a host of celebrated cookbook authors and food writers to join us, sign their new books, and share advice on how to read and write about food. Plus, the delightful South End food-centric bookstore, Farm and Fable, will be selling books on-site!

Endless Table

The Endless Table is an open-air, all-are-welcome seminar that invites experts and the community to learn and share information and views on the important food issues of today. This year there will be three topics: School Food and How We Change It, hosted by the Healthy Foods For Boston Schools Parent's Action Network; Taking Stock: Making New England Food Sustainable by 2050, hosted by New England Food Vision Consortium; and What to do About Sugar, hosted by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Everyone is invited to come, learn, and share.

Edible Garden

A large spot of green and garden know-how in the middle of Copley Square. Come see the magic of Green City Growers as they turn brick into edible greens. They will answer questions and give advice about how to grow beautiful, edible plants wherever and however you live.

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