Local food takes center stage with Pecha Kucha Night Taos


Originally published in Tempo

The tenth Pecha Kucha Night Taos event will take place at the Taos Mesa Brewing on Sunday, August 11th at 5:00 PM.

“Volume 10, The Food Edition, is the biggest event we’ve ever done,” said Matthew Thomas, co-organizer of Pecha Kucha Night Taos. “We will have 18 presentations and a dinner buffet with local food provided by the presenters. We are going to hear the stories and then taste them!”

Pecha Kucha events were created in 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham in Tokyo. They are informal gatherings where creative people get together to share their ideas, works, thoughts and holiday snaps with the community in public spaces, in a relaxed manner.

During the events, artists are given an opportunity to showcase and present 20 images of their work, with images changed every 20 seconds.

“The whole individual presentation lasts 6 minutes and 40 seconds,” said Thomas. “As past events have shown, anything can happen in this condensed timeframe.”

New schedule, more time

The Pecha Kucha Night Taos will follow the usual format but the schedule will be somewhat different.

“This is the first time that the event will be held on a Sunday,” said Thomas. “We are also starting earlier so more people can come and enjoy the event.”

Doors will open at 3:30 PM with preshow drinks and music. A local buffet dinner will be served at 4:00 PM for those with dinner tickets.

Act 1 begins at 5:00 PM and includes presentations by artist and entrepreneur Mandy Stapleford, essential oil specialist Annette Gano, owner of Charybda Farms Paul Cross, and owner of Zia Queenbee Company Melanie Kirby. Anita Mckeown, LEAP/NeoRio Artist-in-Residence, will make a presentation about “The Ice Cream Olympics, 2013.” Chief Foodie Vicki Pozzebon from Delicious New Mexico, author Jenny Kostecki-Shaw and illustrator Patrick Shaw, cook L.E. Bender, Rachel Preston Prinz, and Nicholas Schmitt are also among the presenters.
The intermission begins at 6:30 PM. There will be food demonstrations, samplings and booths to visit, and the second serving from the local foodies dinner buffet.

Act II begins at 7:30 PM with midwife Julie Schochet LM, CPM, who will talk about placenta encapsulation, and continues with author Bonnie Lee Black, who will show twenty slides from her award-winning book How to Cook a Crocodile, a Memoir with Recipes. “I am going to take people to Gabon, where I served in the Peace Corps teaching health, nutrition and cooking,” she said.

Meibao Nee, Lucas Salazar, Darien Fernandez, Keith McHenry, Kelly Igoe, and Miguel Antonio Santistevan will be presenting too.

The entertainment will be provided by DJ Oliver. Locally brewed beer and non-alcoholic beverages will be available all night long.

“We have such a diverse group of presenters that it will give us the opportunity to see all the different sides of food, from growing to making to advocating new ways of doing things,” said Thomas. “Nearly every aspect of this all-important topic will be addressed from our very own community members. We will have artists, photographers, farmers, authors, cooks, butchers, activists and educators.”

Why food?

“Both Richard Spera, the other Pecha Kucha Night Taos organizer, and I have a passion for food,” said Thomas. “We like to support local growers. Besides, Taos has a great food consciousness and we wanted to celebrate it this summer. What better time than the second week of August, which coincides with the height of harvest?”

It all happened very organically, said Thomas. “We put out a call for presenters and got a huge response, mostly fans of the Pecha Kucha project. But there are also people that we know from the community, we reached out to them. We look at the Farmers Market too and all the interesting things that are happening with food around Taos. From honey to essential oils, from cheese to ice cream, this is a great representation of the passion of northern New Mexicans for their food.”

Tickets are $7 for entry or $20 for entry and local buffet. They can be purchased in advance for cash at the following locations: La Bodega Fresca, 102 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte (575-758-1484), FX-18, 103 Bent Street, Suite C (575-758-8590) and Taos Mesa Brewing, 20 ABC Mesa Rd (575-758-1900) or online at www.taosmesabrewing.com