At the recent Longhouse Food Writers Revival event, a happening on a rustic farm near Renselaerville, New York, a sudden cold snap undercut the bright sunshine and sent all of us scurrying for warmth. I had travelled abroad (AKA out of Delaware) for this inspiring event which, according to its organizer, the longtime food writer Molly O’Neill, was “designed to stretch the boundaries of how food stories are told, raise the bar on the nation’s food news agenda and, most of all, foster the community between generations, regions, cultures and media”.
As we waited for the Revival’s Pop Up food and media discussion to begin, my teeth were chattering. I sidled up next to the enormous copper-topped wood fired pizza oven hauled to this farmer’s field by Albie Barden of Main Wood Heat Company and started up a conversation with him. Like many people I met that day, his was a story of following a dream and in the course of doing that, building a new life. His mission these days is to convert the world to masonry heat.
Standing there, the blazing heat slowly warming me, I was grateful that he had taken that path. Grateful too for the fabulous pizzas he and local chefs were making for lunch.
As the day unfolded, we Revivalists shared meals, ideas and community. I came away from the remarkable event braced with fond new ties based on food.
Here is Albie’s beautiful letter describing the Revival