Taste Talks showcases the culinary cutting edge for a food-obsessed generation, through symposiums, workshops, tours and discussions. Experts in dozens of related fields come together to digest and expound the latest trends in food and drink – in Brooklyn!
Brooklyn is at the center of a massive new food movement. From urban farmers, to food trucks and culinary adventurers, Brooklyn is where emerging trends in food begin. This three-day food festival gathers top culinary talent from across the world to present the future of taste to over 3000 guests.
This year’s festival is curated by Sean Brock
Many chefs have their first exposure to cooking at a young age. For Sean Brock, who was born and raised in rural Virginia, it was the experience of his family growing their own food that left a deep impression. “This was a coal-field town with no restaurants or stoplights,” he explains. “You grew and cooked everything you ate, so I really saw food in its true form. You cook all day, and when you’re not cooking, you’re preserving. If you were eating, you were eating food from the garden or the basement–it’s a way of life.” These were the building blocks that Brock remembered as he began his career as a chef, inspiring a lifelong passion for exploring the roots of Southern food and recreating it by preserving and restoring heirloom ingredients.
Leaving Virginia to attend school, Brock landed at Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, SC. He began his professional career as chef tournant under Chef Robert Carter at the Mobil Four-Star/AAA Four-Diamond Peninsula Grill in Charleston. After two years at Peninsula Grill, Brock was executive sous chef under Chef Walter Bundy of Lemaire Restaurant at the AAA Five- Diamond Award/ Mobil Five-Star Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, VA. His success in Richmond led to his promotion within the Elite Hospitality Group in 2003 to executive chef at the AAA Five-Diamond Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, TN. Brock spent just under three years fine tuning his craft in Nashville before accepting a position as executive chef at McCrady’s Restaurant.
Will Levitt started at his first job when he began a catering business at age 13 with his best friend, which he ran for six years outside of Boston. At Wesleyan University, he began writing about food and has contributed to publications including The Huffington Post, Serious Eats, Food52, Edible, The Brooklyn Paper and his blogs Dorm Room Dinner and Under The Egg. Before coming to Northside Media Group, he was the director and producer of LongHouse Food Revival, a series of gatherings of food thought leaders across the United States. His favorite food is a good sandwich, Saltie being his sandwich shop of choice in Brooklyn.
Brian started his career in the music industry, and helped produce hundreds of concerts globally during his tenure managing world-renowned jazz artists for 10 years. Brian began his work in the food and beverage industry when he co-founded The Noble Rot in 2009, an underground supper club in New York dubbed “a new form of clandestine drinking” by Tasting Table. Friends in the Milk & Honey family taught Brian the ropes of classic craft cocktails and renowned Brooklyn oyster house Maison Premiere instilled his love for hospitality and two-star service. Brian also curates the on-stage content and events in technology and innovation for Northside Festival, and previously curated Social Media Week, CreativeMornings and WIRED Brand Lab. He lives in Brooklyn.