JEROME WAAG is Executive Chef of Chez Panisse Restaurant, and a performance and visual artist. He is co-creator of the collaborative project OPENrestaurant, an experiment in rethinking issues related to the production, distribution, and consumption of food. Locally, OPENrestaurant has produced interactive installations at SFMOMA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Berkeley Art Museum, among other venues, and they have been invited to participate in political, organizational, and fundraising activities for a wide variety of agencies and cultural institutions both here and abroad. Jerome is also a co-founder of The Citizens Laboratory, a performance collective focused on social practice and political activism. Jerome’s art incorporates food as both experience and political lever.

CHARLIE HALLOWELL is a chef and restaurateur who started his career in the kitchen at Chez Panisse. After eight years of working in the kitchen, a degree in English literature, and almost a decade in the Bay Area, Charlie opened, Pizzaiolo Restaurant in Oakland, based on the philosophy of using only seasonal, sustainably produced ingredients. Pizzaiolo, and Charlie’s second restaurant, Boot and Shoe Service, embody Charlie’s love of food, local politics, and the nightly production of a meal-time narrative. Charlie has found beauty and a measure of nirvana living above his restaurant with his two children, and cooking from and for the community around him. Charlie travels widely, is a collaborator with OPENrestaurant, and speaks fluent Mandarin.

SAMIN NOSRAT began her cooking career in her family kitchen, learning the art of Persian cooking and the importance of gathering around the table. Studying journalism with Michael Pollan at UC Berkeley and working in the kitchen at Chez Panisse, she has developed a passion for telling stories about food and articulating the importance of how and what we eat. Samin coordinates fundraising and awareness-raising activities nationwide using food as the vehicle for engagement and activism. She produced “Bake Sale for Japan,” in 2011, raising over $150,000 in 42 cities for earthquake victims and their families, as well as “Eating For Education,” a national campaign to support school gardens in every community. Samin teaches cooking classes at Bi-Rite Market and at Pizzaiolo, and blogs about her life and work at Ciao Samin. She is currently at work on her first book.

HAROLD MCGEE is a world-renowned authority on the chemistry of foods and cooking. He studied science and literature at Caltech and Yale, and has written two prize-winning books, On Food and Cooking and The Curious Cook, as well as many articles and reviews. Harold lectures widely on flavor, and has participated in studies and initiatives worldwide in the pursuit of better understanding the science of taste. Harold has taught at Harvard University in collaboration with Chef Ferran Adria of El Bulli, and authored a food column on science and cooking for the New York Times for five years. Harold is revered by chefs worldwide as the leading expert on the science and chemistry of food.

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