Headed to SXSW in Austin, Texas, this weekend? Make sure to catch Yahoo Food Editor-in-Chief Kerry Diamond during the SouthBites portion of the conference. On Sunday, March 13, at 3:30 P.M., she will be interviewing Modernist Cuisine founder Nathan Myhrvold in a talk titled “Cracking Cuisine: Breaking a Few Rules (and Eggs).” Their conversation takes place at the Austin Convention Center and will cover Myhrvold’s amazing life and career, from his childhood cooking experiments to his days at Cambridge working with Stephen Hawking to his Microsoft years. Of course, the focus will be his groundbreaking work at the helm of Modernist Cuisine, the publisher/test kitchen/lab dedicated to studying and promoting the principles of modernist cooking.
"Nathan is one of the most interesting people on the food scene today—if not THE most interesting," says Diamond. "He’s also the smartest person I know, so it’s going to be a fun challenge to keep up with him onstage."
Then on Monday, Diamond will moderate a very timely panel called “Chef, Reviewer, Guest: Who’s Got the Power Today?" Joining her for the talk will be Chris Stang, co-founder of popular review site The Infatuation; John Hall, the talented young chef behind Birmingham’s Post Office Pies; and Kelly Stocker, the Austin community manager of Yelp.
The sign outside the Birmingham restaurant helmed by chef John Hall. Photo: Post Office Pies
The restaurant power shift is a hot topic these days. Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri recently published a controversial essay on The Huffington Post titled “How Food Journalism Got As Stale As Day-Old Bread,” irritating more than a few journalists. Dallas chefs and critics are battling back and forth in print and on Twitter. Two famous critics, Adam Platt and Jonathan Gold, once anonymous, have revealed their identities. At the same time, social media has leveled the playing field, giving everyone from the enthusiastic foodie to the upstart restaurateur a platform.
"It’s a very interesting moment for chefs, restaurants, and the media," says Diamond. "I’m curious to hear what Chris, John, and Kelly think about the current state of affairs."
Also on the agenda for Diamond is the seven-course “Culinary Crossroads” dinner with Myhrvold, chef Sean Brock, and local favorite Paul Qui at his flagship spot, Qui. And she’s planning to catch SXSW talks featuring Bon Appetit's Andrew Knowlton, Eater's Amanda Kludt, Darin Bresnitz of the Heritage Radio program “Snacky Tunes,” and everyone’s favorite food personality, Questlove.