as naveen alluded to, tedx was such a phenomenal event that it has so far eluded my attempts at summary or theme-threading. i learned so many things, from academic, communication, and even emotional standpoints, but i shouldn't write them all down, lest i use my budget of run-on sentences for the year.
instead, i'll look back via the very grad student lens of the freebies i got.
i'm so glad i stumbled into a volunteer position that let me meet every speaker. mike and i were running the floor - mike the slides, me the stage - so we got to chat with and advise each speaker during their practice slots.
all this small talk and handshaking helped de-deify food gods like kenji alt and wylie dufresne, while also putting faces on some remarkable ideas and accomplishments, such as david waters' community servings.
the presentations all ran off of my computer, which means that i now have gigabytes of food porn (dufresne had a 14 minute slide deck) and great stock images like this from john gertsen:
see those wigs? those guys are colonizing, not thinking about what's in the bowl.
francisco migoya supplied the audience with free chocolate-maple-brioche-bacon bars, delicious examples of his pursuit of non-traditional food pairings. my pimenton-cantelope combination last night seems downright pedestrian compared to that. which is good; it gives me license to explore.
besides defending the thesis that the company you keep at a bar matters more than the drinks you drink there, john gertsen (and ted, of no. 9 park) presented an à la minute pousse-café. this strange collection of french words was made by raising two straws - one filled with bitters, one with cassis - up out of a glass of soda. the bitters floated, the cassis sank, et voila, layers!
the two barmen came well equipped with lots of straws, and i offhandedly mentioned i might steal some. (note: i have been lusting after such black straws for a while now - they're way more elegant for testing a drink than shaw's brand bendy straws.) when john gave the go-ahead, the cocktail geek in me sprang into action, stuffing these black straws into a gallon freezer bag.
well, john and i had been talking earlier that, despite his talk's message, it is alright to geek out every now and then. (phew!) so i just laughed after my kleptomania subsided, knowing that straws are cool, but the friends sipping through them will take precedence.
when you charge a chef's ipod on your computer, you find out what they name it: