Feast on a food symposium at Reedfayre ’14


photo by Leah Nash

Foodies of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your waistline!

Everyone knows that Portland has grown into nationally recognized hub of food activity, from its top-rated restaurants, food trucks, and bakeries to nearby vineyards and breweries. What’s less known is the role that Reed graduates have played in the food world, not only helping shape Portland into the food town it is today but in efforts nationally, even globally. Although they share a common origin at Reed, these alumni forged their own paths—as restauranteurs, food writers, sustainability advocates, geneticists, farmers, brewers, wine makers, and more. We’ll gather many of them for a series of panels and talks over three days and explore their motivations, interests, and role in the food world. Considering the multitude of perspectives they bring to the table, this will truly be an intellectual feast at Reunions ’14: Reedfayre, June 4-8.

–Sam Fromartz ’80, editor-in-chief of the non-profit Food & Environment Reporting Network


Thursday, June 5, 5 p.m.
Pamela Ronald ’82, “Organic Farming, Genetics, & the Future of Food”
Vollum Lecture Hall
Pam Ronald ’82 is a prominent plant geneticist and a professor at U.C. Davis, who recently engaged in a debate with Michael Pollan that was featured in the New Yorker. Moderated by Sam Fromartz ’80, the organizer of our food-themed track, this promises to be an informative and thought-provoking opening session.

Friday, June 6, 3 p.m.
Mark Powell ’79 “Discovering Sustainability in a Chinese Fish Farm”
Performing Arts Building, Room 320
Mark’s journey of discovery began with western sustainability standards that were a poor fit to traditional Chinese fish farms growing fish, mulberry, and silk in connected cycles. Growing carp on small farms in China is the largest and perhaps most sustainable fish industry in the world and a lesson for the West. Mark has been a conservationist for 20 years working for Ocean Conservancy and WWF International.

Saturday, June 7, 9 a.m.
Sam Fromartz ’80, “In Search of the Perfect Loaf”
Eliot Hall 314
If you are into bread, this talk is for you. Sam will deliver a talk in advance of his new book In Search of the Perfect Loaf (due out in the fall) that will rise to the occasion. He trekked from California to Berlin to Southern France and places in between in this quest (he wasn’t loafing!). See if Sam succeeded. When he is not baking bread, Sam is the editor-in-chief of the non-profit Food & Environment Reporting Network. He will be introduced by John Sheehy ’82.


photo by Leah Nash


Friday, June 6, 10:30 a.m.
Panel Discussion “Back to the Land and Sea and to Market”
Performing Arts Building, Room 320
Our esteemed panelists will discuss their entry into farming, broad issues of sustainability, and locality. Panelists include Jon Rowley ’69 (who first marketed Copper River Salmon, is an expert on oysters, and is a James Beard-award winner) and Amelia Hard ’67, who is the driving force behind the James Beard Public Market. Claire Cummings, waste specialist at Bon Appetit, will serve as the moderator.

Friday, June 6, 1:30 p.m.
Panel Discussion “Delicious Words: Writing about Food”
Performing Arts Building, Room 320
The writing about what we eat is also an art, and we have assembled a top-flight group of writers to talk about their craft and how they cover the issues involved in food writing. Panelists include Molly Watson ’92, food writer; Michelle Nijhuis ’96, environmental writer; and Sam Fromartz ’80, the editor-in-chief of the non-profit Food & Environment Reporting Network. Professor of English and local food critic Roger Porter will serve as the moderator.

Saturday, June 7, 10:30 a.m.
Panel Discussion “Feeding a Passion: Owning and Operating a Restaurant”
Gray Campus Center, BCD
Operating a restaurant is no small undertaking, and perhaps that is why so many Reed alumni have launched restaurants around the country. Alumni who own and operate eating establishments will gather and discuss what it is about restaurants that appeals to them and how they approach the dynamic challenges in this industry: Kurt Huffman ’93 (founder, ChefsTable restaurant group) and Karen Leibowitz ’99 (Mission Chinese in San Francisco). Professor of English Roger Porter will serve as the moderator.

Saturday, June 7, 12:30 p.m.
Panel Discussion “Oregon Before the Grapes”
Gray Campus Center, BCD
Susan Sokol Blosser ’67 MAT will join forces with Sebastian Pastore ’88 (former VP at Widmer) and Tom Burkleaux ’92 (New Deal Distillery) in a moderated discussion on why this area seems to be particularly ripe in the growth and development of their respective beverage industry. And why are so many Reedies drawn to these areas? Oregonian beverage writer John Foyston will pour questions to the panel.

Saturday, June 7, 2-4 p.m.
Performing Arts Building
To wrap up our food symposium, more than 20 Reed alumni are sharing their culinary creations along with a host of other alumni who are showcasing their crafts–all of this will take place in Reed’s new Performing Arts Building. Note: There is a $15 charge to attend this event (register online).

Marketplace admission also gets you exclusive access to the Meat-Smoke Tent on Saturday, and everyone who buys a Marketplace ticket gets a Reed College tote bag and a coupon entitling them to $5 off a clothing purchase at the bookstore.

Please note: Although minors are allowed in Marketplace, samples of alcohol will be present. Those who plan on partaking of said alcohol who appear to be under 30 must present a photo ID at the door to receive an over-21 wristband. Those without a photo ID will still be granted admittance, but will not be allowed to purchase or drink samples of alcohol.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.