Imbibe and Inspire Founder Stephen Torres Chats About Partnering with Christopher Kostow for the Second Annual “Roots of American Food” Conference (September 7 and 8, 2014; Chicago, Illinois)
Do you know the website Imbibe and Inspire? I didn’t, until its founder, Stephen Torres, asked me to do an interview on it a few years ago. It’s a fun project, and more or less what the name promises: videos in which culinary figures sip on a beverage and talk about what inspires them.
Last September, Stephen took things to a new level bringing food folk and interested observers together in a live situation by kicking off the Imbibe and Inspire: Roots of American Food Conference in Chicago. This year’s conference will take place September 7 and 8 at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Chicago, and Stephen promises bigger and better things, thanks in part to a new collaborator: Christopher Kostow, three-Michelin-starred toque of The Restaurant at Meadowood, has signed on as co-curator for the 2014 conference, bringing not only his marquee name, but also his team’s organizational prowess (they produce a 12 Days of Christmas series of visiting chefs each December) to the endeavor.
“I interviewed Christopher for Imbibe and Inspire,” Stephen says. “He’s very inspiring and focused and very eloquent when he speaks about his team and what he wants to do. I wanted him to be a part of it the first year, but he had another commitment. Late in 2013, we agreed we’d do the next one together.”
“I am looking forward to turning our attention inward and exploring all that makes up what is, in my opinion, some of the most exciting cooking in the world,” says Kostow. “I am excited to examine the historical roots of cooking in modern-day America.”
According to Stephen, the conference “grew organically from my website. I started meeting different people in the culinary world. At the same time, I saw what was happening at MAD [the René Redzepi-founded symposium in Copenhagen], which was more international; I thought it would be cool to focus on what’s happening in the United States and what chefs are doing here.”…