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The team at the Mad Symposium has released the video of the speech given by acclaimed food writer Anya Von Bremzen, who was raised in the former Soviet Union and has won three James Beard Awards.
Von Bremzen put her own spin on this year's theme of What Is Cooking? and addressed the crowd to "speak from the other side of the table" and give chefs the perspective of the diner. She shared a compelling story of her upbringing that really set the tone for her career as a food writer.
"When we'd completely run out of money my mom would crack a couple of eggs in a skillet and she would tell me some magical fairy tale about the king's chamber and golden eggs...and suddenly our drab little apartment was transformed for me. This is when I understood that cooking could really transfigure reality, that it could elevate us from our drab Soviet grind."
Thus, she implores chefs to keep the diner in mind and to make him or her a participant in what she calls ''the flavor of fantasy.'' Check out her inspiring speech: