MAD is an annual gathering of chefs with the aim to recognise that the modern chef is faced with challenges and responsibilities that go far beyond supplying simple sustenance for the duration of a single meal. We want the chefs who attend the Symposium to return to their kitchens and reflect on what they have seen and heard; the new questions we now know to ask, to become more inquisitive and imaginative.
The sold-out MAD3 took place on Sunday 25 and Monday 26 of August 2013, in a circus tent on Refshaleøen in Copenhagen. The event was co-curated by Momofuku chef and founder David Chang and the editors of Lucky Peach Magazine. The theme of the symposium was guts, and together we asked our speakers to approach the subject from every angle, to explore all its forms, so that MAD could be a venue in which we could reflect on the stories and ideas that no one usually dares or gets an opportunity to tell. You can see photos and a recap of the event on our MADFEED.
During the initial MAD Symposium, we delved into the theme of vegetation. For the second, we turned our attention from the natural world onto the internal one – from the world of plants onto the person. Appetite connects the outer world with our inner needs. Appetite keeps us curious, it compels us to explore the world with our senses: our ability to taste, touch, smell, see and to think. As chefs, we work and live through appetite – it is our natural habitat. Knowing the techniques of our craft, the science of cooking or the seasons of produce is of course valuable, but we aimed to deepen our understanding even further. We wanted investigate the intuition that drives our everyday routine and inspires creativity – that is essential to producing a fundamentally good meal.
The theme chosen for the inaugural edition of MAD was vegetation. Whilst an homage to quality, seasons, nature and knowledge, we sought, through improving literacy in ecology and studying food through an interdisciplinary approach, to increase our industry’s general awareness. Over the two days, we wanted to better understand about how the food we choose to cook can make us more mature chefs; how we could affect agriculture for the better – and which environmental concerns make it vital that we do so? We hoped to learn the implications of foraging and how we could reconnect people with the origin of ingredients.