Innovate or follow

I'm job-hunting at the moment. And since for the past 3 years I've been working in hospitality, I'm looking for innovative positions that deal with food.

One of the openings I found is for a food director. Among the requirements, besides proving you can be innovative in creating dishes from local food, is being updated with the latest food trends.

Food trends is something that I dread. 

Avocado was promoted for so long as a healthy food, it lead to higher prices because of course, in order to produce a huge demand you have to produce produce produce till it becomes an avocado cartel.

Same for quinoa 

"But there is an unpalatable truth to face for those of us with a bag of quinoa in the larder. The appetite of countries such as ours for this grain has pushed up prices to such an extent that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia, for whom it was once a nourishing staple food, can no longer afford to eat it. Imported junk food is cheaper. In Lima, quinoa now costs more than chicken. Outside the cities, and fuelled by overseas demand, the pressure is on to turn land that once produced a portfolio of diverse crops into quinoa monoculture."

Do you like palm oil?

"Large areas of tropical forests and other ecosystems with high conservation values have been cleared to make room for vast monoculture oil palm plantations – destroying critical habitat for many endangered species, including rhinos, elephants and tigers."

Maybe you fancy kale.

Kale consumption commonly leads to too-high levels of thallium, a toxic metal, in the blood—and that that leads to chronic fatigue, skin problems, arrhythmias, gluten sensitivity, and Lyme disease. 

Remember juicing trends? 
“Detoxing is a nonsense term; it’s not a physiological thing,” she says. “You can give your liver a bit of a rest by having a few days off alcohol, not smoking, not eating processed food, but it’s detoxifying all the time. The idea that giving it juice will help is nonsense. There’s a lot of money in the juicing industry – all those retreats and fancy machines. But people are deluded.”

And the list can continue.

When I was a kid, tomatoes was something we ate only in the summer, because that's when we had it.   If you wanted apples during the winter you had to settle for the drier, sweeter version that was usually kept in crates in the attic. Of course it got dry. You want it fresh and juicy? Some of the apples in your local supermarket are one year old. Ever wondered what keeps them juicy? 

I don't like food trends because they promote on one side overconsumption of some new"superfood" while forgetting that your local fruit and vegetables producers, usually tomatoes, potatoes and the common lot are struggling to make a living. And on the other side, food trends promote complete advertising driven frauds as doctors, experts, nutritionists that lack the science and the common sense.

So eating local might just mean saying fuck you food trends. And innovate just going back to eating seasonal and local, grandpa style.

Not so sure I'll get the job with this attitude.
Better make myself some comfort food.

Treasure! Treasure!

Treasures are not hard to find these days. You just need to keep your eyes and heart open.

One of these is Snowshill Manor. Not exactly on a popular touristic circuit but then again that's what preserves it's charm and what's a treasure without some traveling to be discovered?

Mr. Charles Paget Wade, a British architect started collecting things in 1890, when he was 7.

In 1911, he inherited a part of the sugar family business in West Indies and after his service in World War I, he bought and renovated an estate and its gardens. The estate has a large apple orchard, a garden, the manor and a smaller house. Charles Wade used the manor as a place to host his massive (22000 objects) collection while living in the small cottage in the garden.

Wade gave the estate to National Trust in 1951.

An opportunity to think about what drives us when we buy things, what's inspiring about them and if they're worth preserving.

Boxes, bicycles, musical instruments, costumes, samurai armours, little houses, paintings, keys, kitchen utensils, books, toys, furniture and your imagination can run wild.

The manor is a dark maze where you walk through 3D dutch paintings, carefully laid out, abundantly detailed for your eye to discover. The collection is insufficiently catalogued but the guides are there to answer your questions.

The lighting is minimal, clothing the collection in mystery, inviting your curiosity to expand.

The garden's elaborate layout resembles outside rooms of a house. Ponds, a miniature sea village, pigeons, vegetable garden, all continuing the explorative nature of the manor. 
Last four pics via google.