01 September 2009

Diana Kennedy In Edible Austin

Edible Austin just released a new article by Soll Sussman about legendary Mexican food aficianado and cookbook author Diana Kennedy. Soll is a wonderful writer and old friend. In this article, he and Ms. Kennedy visit a local farmers' market and talk about Kennedy's lifelong endorsement of environmentalism.

I first met Mexican cuisine expert and cookbook author, Diana Kennedy, more than 25 years ago while interviewing her at her farm in Zitácuaro, Michoacán—about a three-hour drive from Mexico City. Even then, when environmental activism wasn’t exactly common in Mexico, her home was known as the Rancho Ecológico for her intense practice of rainwater conservation and other ecological steps.

We became friends over the years during her stays in Austin, her U.S. residence, sharing long conversations about Mexican and American politics, environmentalism, movies and life. We talk only rarely about food. Frequently, she’s been the first to bring an ecological topic or practice to my attention—declining plastic bags in stores, for example—long before it became a common practice.

“I’m a pain in the ass in the supermarket,” Diana once told me, “because I will speak out in a very loud voice to the person who has one banana in a huge plastic bag, two apples in another…at least ten plastic bags with one little item in each.”

Over the past year or so, I’ve been hearing more and more from Diana about the growers at the Austin farmers markets and how impressed she’s been by their enthusiasm and commitment to sustainability. She suggested I write about them, and I agreed to—but only if my dear friend and movie-going buddy would accompany me on the journey. We’d make it an anthropological experiment of sorts—I’d tag along as Diana investigated and chatted with farmers. Much to my surprise, Diana agreed to the idea—but only if I promised to keep the spotlight on the farmers and away from her celebrity.
Read the rest of the article here.

Thanks, Soll.

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