Program Director, Loraine Callow asks Dmetri Kakmi five questions about his forthcoming session at Willy Lit 2017. Dmetri will interview author of My Year Without Meat – Richard Cornish on Sunday 18 June at 10.30am to 11.30am.
Dmetri, what fascinated you about My Year Without Meat?
As an amateur cook and meat eater, I was initially drawn by the title. How does someone survive without meat? What adjustments do you make to accommodate this new change? All that changed as I immersed myself in Richard’s journey. For me, the book is about ethical food production and ethical eating in a changing world. By the end, I cut back on meat consumption and turned to vegetables, with the occasional side dish of meat. Now I’m thinking about cutting back dairy. That’s persuasive writing right there.
What are you hoping to explore and discover with the author Richard Cornish?
The dominant theme of Richard’s book is the ethics of food productions and food consumption. How does the food industry operate as a whole? What do we eat and why? Among other things, the questions I want to put to him is how can the food industry approach meat and diary production in a humane way? What are the alternatives to meat? And how does the home cook produce tasty vegetarian meals?
What do you think it is about this book that makes it so very readable?
It’s a very personal journey, written in an accessible, personable style. Richard’s food knowledge and experience is vast. He’s opinionated and has definite ideas. But rather than get table-thumping about it, he offers alternatives by seducing your taste buds into different modes of thinking and tasting. He’s also very funny.
How much did you know about ethical food production, or going vegan or vegetarian before you read this book?
Almost nothing at all. I’m Greek-Turkish. We are meat eaters, even though our respective cuisines are rich in the way vegetables are cooked and presented for the table. I was amazed by my ignorance, actually. The more I read the book, the more I realised I’ve had selective blindness about the way mass-produced food is processed before it makes its way to my kitchen. This was especially the case with dairy.
What are you hoping people will leave the session with?
People will be provoked and entertained by this discussion. I’m hoping that by the end they too will question what they put in their mouths and possibly even entertain the notion of cutting back on meat in favour of flavoursome vegetables.
Thanks Dmetri. More information and tickets.
You can read a little more of what Richard has to say on products like “facon” here.