[Clockwise from top left: Brandon Baltzley, Sasu Laukkonen, David Santos, Connie DeSousa & John Jackson]
In the first of what hopes to become a weekly event, Cook it Raw launched its inaugural #rawtalks last Monday. By initiating a live conversation on Twitter, the aim is to address topics related to the industry in conjunction with the principles of the Cook it Raw vision. This week the forum focused on the subject of cooks, collaboration, and building a strong international community. We invited a select group of Cook it Raw Community members to engage with other industry professionals in an online discussion – to collaborate on the topic of collaboration, if you will.
Active participants from the Cook it Raw Community included Brandon Baltzley (@BrandonBaltzley), Sasu Laukkonen (@sasulaukkonen), David Santos (@umsegredony), Nicholas Wilkins (@chefnwilkins) and Connie DeSousa & John Jackson (@charcut).
The conversation kicked-off with the question: What does community mean to you as a chef? Responses were energized and overall unanimously in support of the idea that a strong community is built on the idea of like-minded chefs working in collaboration with other chefs, producers, and farmers. Furthermore, this collaboration will promote creativity and help expand the current culinary boundaries and effectively perpetuate the industry in a forward sense.
The conversation also showed enthusiasm for the opportunity to learn about foreign ingredients and new techniques as a result of a global network of communication. The momentum continued with interesting points citing collaborative efforts in relation to bringing attention to the community as a whole and not just that of an individual. One comment took to the other side of the fence and presented an argument on the risks of a creative saturation point resulting from too much collaborating. An interesting angle, it brought the fury of posts to a brief halt. After two minutes of ‘rawsilence’ – the longest pause in the hour-long event – it was countered on the grounds that there is a lot of room for interpretation between shared ideas and the finished product of a plated dish.
It would appear from the overwhelming response to our first online conversation that we are all on board with the opening statement that christened #rawtalks: Collaboration is the secret ingredient that will spice up our community. Let’s keep talking!