The third Let's Talk About Food Festival comes to Copley Square on Saturday, September 27. 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


Download a copy of 2014 schedule here.

The Let's Talk About Food Festival returns to Copley Square on Saturday, September 27. Please join us for a pre-festival round of talks on Friday, September 26 at Trinity Church, then head to Copley Square on Saturday for the festival. Learn more about the 2014 speakers, nutritionists, and authors here.

Friday, September 26

6:00 p.m. Festival Kick-off: Vote With Your Fork

To kick-off the festival, the Washington, D.C.-based Food Policy Action will launch their National Food Policy Scorecard, an effort to inspire civic action to hold lawmakers across the country accountable for how they vote on issues that affect the food our families eat. Speakers include: Michel Nischan, President and Founder of the Wholesome Wave Foundations and a James Beard award-winning restaurateur; Ken Cook, President, Environmental Working Group; and U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jim McGovern. Come join the movement to #votefood!

Saturday, September 27

Copley Square: Main Stage

10:00 a.m. Chop Chop in the Kitchen

Looking for fresh ideas for family meals? Join Sally Sampson of Chop Chop magazine and former White House pastry chef Bill Yosses for a cooking demonstration aimed at turning kids on to healthy foods and cooking. Whether it's fruit smoothies with some greens mixed in, healthy dips to dunk veggies into, or new approaches to familiar faves, you and your kids will leave this demo armed with ideas and inspiration to jump into the kitchen and get cooking.

10:30 Tart & Smart: Cooking with Cranberries

Come learn about the health benefits, history, and agricultural importance of America's Original Superfruitâ„ , the cranberry. Sponsored by the Cranberry Marketing Committee USA, we'll be introduced to the tart little fruit's culinary versatility with a savory cranberry sesame noodle recipe prepared by Doves and Figs founder and fruit expert Robin Cohen.

11:00 a.m. Pizza Pizza!

Cooking from scratch is a lot of fun, especially when you're making your own pizza at home! Chef Joe Gatto will demystify the process by kneading and tossing dough, pulling his own mozzarella, stuffing sausage and putting it all together for a homemade restaurant-quality pie. You'll be ready to roll up your sleeves and have some fun in the kitchen.

11:45 a.m. Apple Envy

Pixie Crunch. Wolf River. Roxbury Russet. Way beyond Granny Smith, these and hundreds of other glorious apple varieties are among our most diverse, versatile, and storied pieces of produce. Come listen to authors Rowan Jacobsen (Apples of Uncommon Character) and Amy Traverso (The Apple Lover's Cookbook) discuss apple culture in America while tasting some of their favorite varieties and showing us how to put them to work in the kitchen.

12:30 p.m. What's in Season? Civic Action!

Fresh off the festival's kickoff event with Food Policy Action, the organization's co-founders, chef and food activist Michel Nischan and Enivronmental Working Group president Ken Cook join chef Jody Adams onstage for some seasonal cooking and discussion on how cooking with local and seasonal food can inspire people toward civic action around issues that affect the food our families eat.

1:00 p.m. Something Fishy

Intimidated by the idea of choosing sustainable seafood and cooking it at home? Chef and sustainable seafood advocate Barton Seaver will join seafood distributor Michael Dimin of Sea2Table and Chef Jeremy Sewall for a seafood talk and demo that will cover how to select the highest quality sustainable seafood for your family (hint: fresh doesn't always top frozen), and how to prepare it at home with simple techniques.

1:30 p.m. Healthy Modern Meals

The way we eat is changing, and now that grains and vegetables are making it to the center of our plates, we need new ways to approach them that leave our old ideas of "healthy eating" back in the days of dusty bulk bins and lentil loaf. Join cookbook authors and journalists Maria Speck (Ancient Grains for Modern Meals) and Joe Yonan (Eat Your Vegetables) as they show us ways to plan, shop, and create fresh, modern plant-based meals.

2:15 p.m. Meat - Local, Locale, or Less?

When it comes to choosing meat responsibly, it's hard to even know where to start. What's the difference between natural and grassfed; or local and heritage? What do we need to know for own health and the health of the animals we're eating? Chefs Michael Leviton of Area Four and Lumiere and Louis DiBiccari of Tavern Road will discuss how they choose meat for their restaurants, friends and families, while he demonstrating a few dishes you can create out of lesser-known cuts of meat.

3 p.m. Science Tricks in the Kitchen

Watch Dan Souza from America's Test Kitchen Magazine and TV show and cookbook author Jeff Potter (Cooking for Geeks) show both science and advanced culinary tricks while they play with liquid nitrogen. Nitrogen (LN2), the element, is mostly inert and makes up about 78% of our atmosphere. In liquid form, it boils at -196°C, allowing us to use it for techniques that can't otherwise be done. Ice cream in 30 seconds? No problem. Freezing things so fast that they become instantly solid? Easy: a rose dipped in liquid nitrogen will freeze instantly and then can be shattered. Souza and Potter will demonstrate how LN2 works and how these science tricks can translate in the restaurant setting.

3:45 p.m. Earth and Turf: The Better Burger Challenge

Beef is a large contributor to climate change, but we don't see people giving up burgers anytime soon. So we designed a challenge between a bunch of chefs with big burger chops - Marty Breslin from Harvard University, Chris Coombs from Deuxauve and Boston Chops, Chris Douglass from the Ashmont Grill and Tavolo, Tony Maws from Craigie on Main and Kirkland Tap and Trotter, Tony Rosenfeld from b.good, and a special guest from Whole Foods Market - to tweak their favorite burger recipe to include 20% mushrooms. The chefs' challenge will culminate onstage, with a panel of judges from Boston's culinary community deciding which "less-beef" burger tastes best. We'll highlight how chefs and diners can take small steps toward helping lighten the ecological footprint of the beloved burger.

Ongoing Copley Square Events

11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Project Bread's School Food Fair

Cooking demonstrations and taste testing every hour on the hour with fresh, healthy, innovative school food dishes straight out of Project Bread's school food cookbook, available for anyone to download for free.

Chop Chop Tent, featuring cooking demos for kids:

Yogurt Parfait Station: Start your day with a healthy and energy-boosting yogurt parfait. Kids get to practice knife cutting skills (slicing bananas), and art of layering.
Salad Dressing Station: Never buy salad dressing again! Kids get to make their own salad dressing, learn about emulsion, and taste their creation with some fresh veggies.
Salad Kabob Station: Kids get to make a fun, colorful and tasty after-school snack like no other.
Make Your Own Soda: Kids get to make their own custom soda with Soda Stream.

Kitchen Conversations Recording Booth

WBUR invites you to stop by Kitchen Conversations. This oral history project captures vibrant, first-person stories about food from the broadest possible range of voices, predicaments, professions and perspectives. Collectively, our stories illuminate the central role food plays in our lives. Talk with WBUR reporter Martha Bebinger, reporter Andrea Shea, producer Karen Given and other members of the WBUR staff.

The Lexicon of Sustainability

The Lexicon of Sustainability is a multimedia project that shares the stories that explain sustainabilty through information artwork, pop-up shows, and street art. The Lexicon educates, engages and activates people to pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy, and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system in America. It will return to the festival for its second year.

Ask-a-Chef and Ask-a-Nutritionist

Have burning questions on food, cooking, and nutrition? Stop by these booths at your leisure (or check back for an updated schedule of specific appearances) and get a few minutes on-on-one with a diverse list of experts in their fields.

Endless Table

Grab a seat and join in conversations with experts tackling issues from GMO labeling, to school food, food waste, sustainable agriculture and sustainable seafood curated by the Museum of Science.

Edible Garden

Would you like to start growing your own food at home, but don't know where to start? Green City Growers builds, installs and maintains individual and family-sized produce farms for your backyard, deck, driveway or rooftop. Come by and explore their installation right in Copley Square!

Authors Tent

Cookbook authors and food writers will be under The Boston Globe tent all day signing books and answering questions. Authors include: Shery Julian, Nancy Harmon Jenkins, Joe Yonan, Maria Speck, Amy Traverso, Rowan Jacobsen, Barton Seaver, and more.

Film Screenings in Trinity Church

Join us in Trinity Church's Undercroft for screenings of two of 2014's most important food-focused documentaries, Cafeteria Man and Fed Up.

11:00 a.m., 2:30 p.m. Cafeteria Man

Cafeteria Man is a story of positive movement that shows what's possible in our nation's schools. It's about the aspiration of activists and citizens coming together to change the way kids eat at school. It's about overhauling a dysfunctional nutritional system. And, it's the story of what it takes, and who it takes, to make solutions happen.
The feature documentary film chronicles an ambitious effort to 'green' the public school diet serving 83,000 students in Baltimore - and later, over 200,000 students in Memphis.
Leading the charge to replace pre-plated, processed foods with locally-grown, freshly-prepared meals is Tony Geraci, food-service director for the city's public schools. A charismatic chef from New Orleans, Geraci's bold vision includes school vegetable gardens, student-designed meals, and nutrition education in the classroom. His mission is as audacious as it is practical. Tony Geraci will be on hand for Q&A after the film.

12:30 p.m. Fed Up

In her documentary feature debut, executive producer and narrator Katie Couric joins Laurie David (An Inconvenient Truth), Regina Scully (The Invisible War) and Stephanie Soechtig (Tapped) to explore why, despite media attention and government policies to combat childhood obesity, generations of kids will now live shorter lives than their parents.
In riveting interviews with the country's leading experts, Fed Up lays bare a decades - long misinformation campaign orchestrated by Big Food and aided and abetted by the U.S. Government. Producer Laurie David will be on hand after the film.

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