You know that anticipation prior to meeting someone who is such an inspiring influence in your daily life, where you think you might forget your name and how to say simple things like ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’?
I had the honor of meeting and feeding one of my food heroes last night, Michael Pollan, and I even remembered my name! He came to Austintown for a night at the Paramount Theatre. Preceding the event a number of local food and drink artisans fed Michael and 60 meet and greet ticket holders.
Well, I stammered to myself over at my booth, where I served up lacto-fermented salsa and hand-pressed tortillas (a la Homesick Texan!), and finally hedged my bet on hunger and that the instantly-swarmed-at-the-entrance food hero/journalist might like some snacks.
I bumped my way up to the front of the line that formed (and excused myself to the front-of-the-line-folks who’d waited patiently) and brought him a tortilla with salsa. While I did muster up my name when asked and chatted fermentation methodology—how I fermented the peppers and onions prior to adding them to the pureed tomatoes—I managed to forget the word inoculate, which I’m not entirely sure was the right word for the occasion. Anyhow, I’m not raking myself over the coals for that one.
I shoved a signed copy of HGGH into Addie Broyles’ purse, his interviewer at the Paramount event later in the evening, and asked her to give it to him after their chat. It’s hard enough to carry your drink at a cocktail party, much less a 264 page book. Maybe he’ll share it with his college-aged son, who I bet is on his way to being pretty hip to thoughtful home-ify’ing.
Just before the food movement moved on out of HausBar Farms, Michael Pollan stopped by my table and signed my fancy edition of Food Rules. He is exactly the sort of author who in person mirrors his writing style, kind and personable and a genuine listener to all of the people who tell him how much he has changed their lives.
My wife photographed and video’ed me talking to him, presenting him with said salsa and my relaying my mother’s gratitude for his oeuvre. Check back for updated photos!