Just a reminder folks that tonight, whatever coast you’re on, there’s a deli event for you.
At 6:30 PM at the Mid-Manhattan Library (5th ave, at 40th st) across from the big central branch.
I’ll be talking deli, giving the full spiel I’ve been giving around the country, but which I’ve yet to deliver in New York City!
So consider it a delayed debut for NYC.
And for those of you out West, the big brisket battle of the Bay Area happens tonight, as Saul’s hosts a referrendum on the sustainability of the deli menu.
The panel includes famous food author Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food), Gil Friend (CEO of Natural Logic, Author: The Truth About Green Business), Willow Rosenthal (City Slicker Farms), and Karen Adelman and Peter Levitt (Saul’s). It’ll be hosted by Evan Kleiman, host of KCRW’s Good Food.
They’ll be tackling the following questions:
Can the Jewish Deli be sustainable?
What does sustainability mean for the future of Deli cuisine and culture?
Many expectations of “real” Deli conflict with sustainability and today’s economic realities.
Even “authentic” cuisine can obstruct progress toward more just, sustainable food. How does a business committed to being part of the solution persuade traditionalist customers of the importance of change?
For example, towering pastrami sandwiches once signified success, security and abundance, an immigrant’s celebration of the American Dream. But given the realities of meat production in America today – 99% is factory farmed – how can we continue to stand by this as an icon?
Even the factory farmed pastrami sandwich has become an unsustainable business model, because of its tiny profit margins.
What culinary memories and flavors of The Deli have been provided by an industrial food system? How can we look at our nostalgia and expectations critically?
How might we evolve a shared cuisine together? How can Saul’s bring more people into the conversation?
Now, the event has already been moved to the JCC of the East Bay because of space concerns, but even that venue sold out completely! So if you want to hear the debate, head over to Saul’s at 6pm tonight, where they’ll be simulcasting the event live on big screens. (no word on whether those big screens are sustainable)
I wish I could be there for this one. It’s probably the most important conversation about the future of the Jewish delicatessen that we’re going to hear for some time.