Formation

Welcoming myself to another period in my short life, gladly I wish to welcome many creative, talented, wise, intelligent, energetic, warm, challenging and experienced individuals, friends, acquaintances, former colleagues and future business partners into a different time, to continue building along for a clearer understanding of this interesting process called life and a society that focuses on our greatness – individually and collectively – more than on the weaknesses of our human condition.

Twenty-five years I spent in a protected and quite harmonious world. Suddenly, feeling compelled to break away, a very different approach to life began to unfold within and in front of me. After moving to Boston, then to Germany, Belgium, Austria and finally to England, another twenty-five have passed and I find myself back in my place of birth, but for the very first time based solely on my own decision.

This New Yorker is back in New York, because I understood it was time to turn years of experiment, observation and criticism into solutions. Following many years writing about coffee, brewing and cooking with it, as well as years smoking pipes and cigars, spending time in conversations and crucial discussions, questioning religion, social tendencies and the bare identity, it seemed only proper and constructive to invest the best of what I have gathered in the formation of projects with the sole intention to connect the dots as well as possible, in a place that allows me the freedom to do it.

Out of the intentions behind Coffee Dramatist and Smoke and Minds – of which some have crystalized and some are still too tender to be recognizable – The New York Palate League is sprouting.

In the last three decades, we have observed an increased interest in the finer nuances of life, especially applied to the taste and the quality of what we eat and drink. This is evident in the so-called third-wave coffee movement (mainly identified since the 1990s), in the development of the molecular gastronomy (coined in 1988), as well as through Carlo Petrini’s Slow Food organization (founded in 1986).

In their essence, these impulses are not new but a long-overdue revival.

Aristippos of Cyrene (435 BC – 356 BC), a student of Socrates and original thinker of the hedonism approach, viewed pleasure as an existential necessity, not as a way of losing oneself into numbness. In pleasure he saw a form of detailed attention to all layers of life, in its complexities and simplicity, all with one single purpose: the elevation of the spirit.

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755 – 1826) is famous for “Tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you who you are”. He was a gourmet, politician, lawyer, chemist, violinist, and penned “The Physiology of Taste”, even today considered the gastronomy Bible.

Heart, stomach, palate and intellect, all consider these to be heroes, forming elementary cornerstones of what the New York Palate League has been conceived to deliver. As a Non-Profit Organization that functions in and outside of New York City, this organ will produce a multi-disciplinary program that includes tastings, concerts, talks, and workshops. Chefs, sommeliers, tobacconists, scientists, artists, chemists, philosophers, educators… all ought to feel at home with their contributions, for a wider context should help explain individual realms and niches which should not hide behind self-evidence.

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