At this week's third annual Welcome Conference—hosted by restaurateur Will Guidara and Anthony Rudolf (formerly of Thomas Keller Group)—creatives and hospitality pros came together to answer the question, "What does it mean to be present?" Stories were told, magic tricks were performed and strangers introduced themselves to each other using only one-word adjectives. Here, five great things we learned about what it means to be present.
1. Food traditions can help you find calm in chaos.
Many of us have a favorite food memory, a dish that we dream about, can taste and feel. In a story about finding that one constant, Food & Wine's editor, Nilou Motamed, recalled an exquisite Persian Barley Soup she had on summer vacations as a child in Iran—before the 1979 revolution forced her family to flee to Paris. While her life was never the same, soup remained a constant, from the chicken noodle soup she ate with her first American friend as a teenager, to bonding with her future husband over soup dumplings in New York City or Pho in Vietnam. "Sometimes, to find your way home and be in the present, you have to remind yourself to slow down," explains Nilou. "And what takes more time than soup? Soup is the most unpretentious dish. Sure you can dress it up, but you can't rush it. It takes time." So every Sunday you can find Nilou in her kitchen, cooking delicious soup. Catch her full remarks in the video below starting at minute 55:45.
- The Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink 2015
- America's Best Food Artisans
- Treasured: Christina Tosi's Scarves