The Tempo of Food



A packed first day. Am sitting here in a bar in downtown Philly watching a Salsa lesson and attempting my first non-trivial iPhone post. I am here because I am tagging along with my couchsurfing host, Chuck. More about Chuck later, but let me get caught up on older stuff.

At the Cafe Amouri in Vienna (a DC suburb), I had a mini meetup with three readers: Left to right, we have Julio, Ben and Jared.

We ranged over a whole bunch of topics. Two book recommendations came out of the meeting: The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp and Titan by Ron Chernow.

Main topic: The tempo of food. The table agreed that improv cooking beats recipe cooking. Still processing the conversation. Here’s a picture for you though.

Get Ribbonfarm in your inbox

Get new post updates by email

New post updates are sent out once a week

About Tempo


  1. “The Creative Habit” is indeed outstanding. My favorite:

    “I begin each day of my life with a ritual: I wake up at
    5:30 a.m., put on my workout clothes, my leg warmers,
    my sweatshirts, and my hat. I walk outside my
    Manhattan home, hail a taxi, and tell the driver to take
    me to the Pumping Iron gym at 91st Street and First
    Avenue, where I work out for two hours. The ritual is
    not the stretching and weight training I put my body
    through each morning at the gym; the ritual is the cab.
    The moment I tell the driver where to go, I have
    completed the ritual.”

    • I am becoming a big fan of writing by practicing artists. Keith Johnstone, Francine Prose and now this one.

  2. etcwarrionr says

    It was great meeting Venkat and fellow Tempo and Ribbonfarm readers. Thanks for making the time to stop by on your way out of town and good luck on your journey.

    One of the topics we discussed was the anxiety that some online readers might experience contemplating an offline encounter. The tempo of the conversation became more energetic when this idea came up. Some of that may have been sourced in collective nervous energy, but I think the real interest was that the importance of the hyopthesis in our existing mental models and archetype universes.

    Having spent many of my teen years using local BBSs we made opportunities to meet offline most weekends (we called them “events” — any old Cyberbase users from the 504 reading this?). Early on it seemed that the Internet, with its global reach and emphasis on portals was going to kill online communities bounded by local calling circles, a 20 mile radius in most cases. In the writing portion of my GED exam in 1997, I wrote an essay lamenting this.

    Might it be the case that Meetup, Facebook, and other social networks have finally filled the vacuum left by the BBS?
    Are former-BBS users more likely to be comfortable engaging in offline encounters with online acquaintances? Is the reverse true?
    What about the Facebook generation? Is it the norm or the exception for today’s teenagers to meet online-friends offline?


    • I think it is less a question of technology and more a question of generational effects. The tech has been getting better and more mainstream-friendly of course, but the more important effect is that people entering the workforce MUST rely on digital social lives to function and get anything done socially or professionally. It’s not merely an optional lever to increase your social “efficiency” like it was for me in my 20s. It’s the engine itself.