Mainstage Program


Irene Li | Mei Mei’s Kitchen


Avi Shemtov | The Chubby Chickpea


Mike Paglierini | Giulia & Benedetto


Around the Festival

Our line-up of chefs and experts are front‐and‐center on our Mainstage TriMark Kitchen, engaging in conversations and demonstrations to inspire and educate you on key themes in sustainability, nutrition and the business of food.

10:15 Down to the Last Peel: Reducing Food Waste

Millions of tons of edible food are lost annually at each stop in the supply chain, from the field to the market, the restaurant to the home. Food waste is a leading contributor to climate change while hunger remains a persistent problem worldwide. What can we do? Join us in conversation with Mei Mei Chef Irene Li and Lucia Jazayeri of Clover Food Lab in a discussion about the fight against food waste.


11:15 | The Next Julia Child Contest

Local home cooks audition via YouTube submissions, and finalists share their “show” live!
Sponsored by Whole Foods Market and

To enter the contest, upload your video to “The Next Julia Child” playlist on the Let’s Talk About Food YouTube channel.


12:15 | Rice and Beans: The Global Dish
From African Diaspora to the World

From Senegal to Siena, Haiti to Tel Aviv, regional seasonings and cooking methods can transform rice and beans into radically distinct dishes in a range of cuisines. Join Sara Baer‐Sinnott of Oldways Preservation Trust and Senegalese Chef Marie‐Claude Mendy of Teranga, along with other local chefs, as we start in an exploration of the flavors of the African diaspora, and branch out to examine how one simple dish and its many manifestations has transformed our global palate.


1:15pm | Growing Farmers: Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Careers?

Can we make farming a viable career option for generations to come? Jennifer Hashley of New Entry Sustainable Farming Project chats with Urban Freight Farmer Sean Cooney of Cornerstalk Farms, and Chef Todd Heberlein and farmer Ryan Conroy of Volante Farms about the new age of Northeast farming and cooking straight from the farm.


2:15pm | Iron Chef Kids

Team Cooking Competition between Boston, Somerville and Cambridge with chef coaches for each team; sponsored by Revolution Foods.


3:15pm | Seafood: Learning to Love Invasives

We all want to support local fisheries, reduce our carbon footprint, and eat the freshest fish we can. But if we’re not eating tuna and cod, what are we eating? Chef Charles Draghi of Erbaluce will chat with Niaz Dorry of Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, Arlene Richberg of Harvard University Dining Services and Michael Leviton of Region FoodWorks (Lumiere, Area 4) about seafood and sustainability, and how to make use of some of our least utilized yet delicious local seafood while preparing a signature dish. Green crabs, anyone?


4:15pm | The Hole Story: Our Love Affair with Doughnuts

What is it about doughnuts? In our final segment, we’ll hear from the folks behind some of the best in town.


Crowd favorite/popular vote head‐to‐head tastings invite visitors to taste our region and
the future of food as viewed through our next culinary stars!

Noon | Chili Beanpot!

Best Vegan Chili Collegiate Competition (Harvard, BC, Northeastern, BU); sponsored by Bush’s, with Duke the dog in attendance.


1pm | Harvard House Better Burger

Top four Harvard student chefs present their take on the best turkey burger (Harvard students); sponsored by Hormel.


2pm | Mama’s Modern Meatballs

Meatballs aren’t just Italian – try these variations on the meatball from Cambridge‐area restaurateurs; sponsored by Mushroom Council & Barilla.


3pm | Chowder‐fest

Classic New England Clam Chowder from the seafood-elite! sponsored by Red’s Best.

All Day Activities in the Marketplace

Interactive educational booths that invite passers‐by to play with their food (system)!

  • Readable Feast Cookbooks Store with Author Signings
  • Commonwealth Kitchen Food Entrepreneurs 101 with Store
  • One‐Minute Skills Center with Chefs (sponsored by or coordinated by Cambridge Center for Adult Education
  • Let’s Talk About Food Storytelling Booth
  • Science & Cooking (11am‐3pm) – Test and taste basic scientific principles, including spherification, emulsion and phase transitions, presented by faculty and students of Harvard’s Science & Cooking program. Learn how you can sit in on lectures with famed chefs and take online courses while you TASTE science
  • Foodbetter Harvard – Harvard presents sustainability and wellness through food
  • Gardening & Composting: Gardening 101 with Harvard Community Gardeners and Cambridge DPW Curbside Composting
  • HSPH Nutrition Source – A simple approach to eating healthy, based on findings from Harvard researchers. Help kids connect to the simple rules of happy, tasty, healthy food
  • MEM Tea 101
  • Curio Spice 101
  • The Whole Foods Marketplace ‐ demos, artisans, tastings
  • When We All Vote
  • FreshTruck
  • FreshBox Farms Aquaponics
  • Edible Boston
  • “What Tastes Like Home?” Art Wall ‐ Festival‐goer art, on compostable plates, of their favorite home cooked meal


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The Food Voice

Let’s Talk About Food

Let’s Talk About Food’s mission is to convene, connect, educate and advance our community of food issues in our contemporary world. Let’s Talk About Food presents educational events and community engagement in partnership with universities, museums, libraries, hospitals, cities and towns, cooking schools and a host of other non-profits.

Let’s Talk About Food is a trademark of The Food Voice, a federally chartered 501(c)3 non-profit.