Pollan's new book includes an in-depth discussion of whole hog barbecue and the event included a tremendous spread of locally-sourced barbecue and sides created by St. Jude chef Miles McMath. It was a truly remarkable meal.
Tickets to the meal portion of the event were only $20, which was an incredible bargain for a selection of locally-sourced barbecue that included all-you-can eat barbecue from sources that included a Newman Farm pig and a wild Mississippi hog.
Despite the array of outstanding food, meeting with Pollan was the obvious highlight of the evening. His writing provides a captivating look at the history, philosophy, morals and culture behind the food choices we make. I got the chance to thank him firsthand for his inspiration. Reading The Omnivore's Dilemma started me on the path to creating this blog and writing my own book; Memphis Barbecue: A Succulent History of Smoke, Sauce and Soul.
The always-entertaining Deering and Down provided music during the dinner.
After discussing and reading from his new book, Pollan (left) sat for a question and answer session with McMath before answering questions from the audience. Along with Cooked and The Omnivore's Dilemma Pollan also wrote the excellent books In Defense of Food and A Botany of Desire. In Defense of Food is a much shorter, easier to read follow-up to The Omnivore's Dilemma. Meanwhile Gary Taubes, who I mentioned earlier in the post, also followed-up his fascinating door-stopper of a masterwork, Good Calories, Bad Calories, with a much shorter and easier to read book titled Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It. It is interesting that both men ultimately followed extremely in-depth and groundbreaking works with books that revisited the same subject in a simplified manner aimed at a broader audience. While both of the later books are more accessible, neither should be considered "dumbed down" in a negative sense if someone is looking for a good starting point with either author without diving straight into the deep end of the pool.