For four years straight the Noma team, headed by Rene Redzepi, has hosted the MAD Symposium.  This year the theme was “What is Cooking. The event was co-curated by Alex Atala, a chef from Brazil who runs D.O.M currently known as the 4th best restaurant in the world and David Chang from Momofuku. I recently had the opportunity to join this years event to immerse myself into the world of cooking and the minds of some of the best chefs in the world…

Founded in 2011, MAD is a not-for-profit organization that aims to build a community of cooks, purveyors, and thinkers with an appetite for knowledge and a desire to improve the restaurant trade.

Among the speakers were Ron Finley, the urban renegade gardener who has started his own horticultural revolution and in the process managed to change property laws in LA by challenging how and and where you can grow your own food. He also recently spoke at TED where he shared his vision for community gardening and rejuvenation.

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Another inspiring talk was given by Roy Choi, creator and chef behind KOGI – a small army of Korean taco-trucks in L.A. and David Patterson from the infamous San Francisco-based restaurant Coi who took the stage together to announce their upcoming launch of loco’l.

loco’l is the whole idea of local but loco to change. Local meaning family and caring for each other and the world. Loco for not taking the shit that’s being passed down and perpetuated on us.It’s this push and pull of honesty, love, and revolt. It’s delicious food that crosses all cultural boundaries, that represents what America is now. Tasty, healthful, made from whole foods, good ingredients, principles of sustainability.

The duo wanta to challenge the giant fast-food chains and convenience stores that separate people from the taste and knowledge of real food, by creating a tasty, healthy and affordable whole food & fast food chain.  The first branch will launch on the west coast in the spring of 2015.

We will open in upscale malls and next to highways, in downtown’s and trendy neighborhoods. But what will change everything is that we will also open in the inner city areas where there are only big corporate chains, places where you will never see real food or high quality operators.  Delicious food for everyone. That’s the revolution.”

Tasting samples for a few of the dishes were served at the MAD symposium for lunch on the second day of the conference. Inspiring and mouthwatering stuff!!!

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Photos: Louise B Zastrow, ronfinley.com and from @themadfeed official instagram account