TED Talks, Meet Food Talks

By Whitney Pipkin

Most Washingtonians introduce themselves by sharing a snapshot from their resume: This is what I do. This is who I am.

Melissa Jones wanted to give people another option, especially those who work closely with or have a particular passion for food. So DC-based events director started asking people to share their food stories for both film and social media.

The result has been a months-long exploration into our fascinating relationships with food shared with a wider audience through her organization, Good Soil Events and its Instagram account. Jones has captured the story of a local woman who lost the ability to taste flavor after an accident and had to rediscover food as well as those of businesspeople-turned-farmers or food makers recalling their dramatic transitions.  

“Networking can be a bit intimidating, so I started inviting people to share their stories with one another,” says Jones. “I always wanted to create a platform like the TED talks but for the food space, for people to share these stories.” 

On Nov. 5, Good Soil Events will host such an event, “Food Talks — What’s Your Food Story?” to share a few of those food stories with an even wider, in-person audience. The event, held at Union Kitchen in Ivy City (tour included), will begin with the chance to meet other food-minded folk and the for attendees to share their food stories at one of the storytelling booths. There will also be temporary vegetable tattoos.

Three featured storytellers will keynote the event, including Lauren Nixon and Anand Shantam. But Jones hopes the event shows people that anyone can have a food story, whether or not they work in the field.

 “I think it will be a great opportunity to open up the doors and connect with people,” says Jones. “If you talk about trying to change the food system, it will start with your peers and their stories.”

 Learn more about the event and register for free tickets here. Space is limited.



Sat, November 5, 2016

11:45 AM – 2:00 PM


Union Kitchen: Ivy City

1369 New York Ave. NE

Washington, DC