For the lunch break at their 2013 event, the team at TEDxAustin wanted to create an experience that allowed audience members to interact with one of the ideas shared on the event stage.
That is why they invited chef and speaker Elizabeth Andoh to curate a lunch based on the idea in her talk — a meditation on washoku, a Japanese culinary philosophy that centers on reaching a balance between aesthetics, nutrition, and taste through the use of 5 flavors, 5 colors, and 5 cooking methods in meals.
TEDxAustin searched out five local chefs to participate in the project, who worked with Andoh to create washoku-inspired, Austin-sourced bento boxes for attendees. Sponsors donated sustainable, local ingredients, including compostable, bamboo bento boxes, and chefs created washoku meals inspired by their own, locally-developed culinary interests.
Attendees had several boxes to choose from, filled with dishes like butternut pecan salsa, fire-roasted shrimp, jalapeno cheese grits, house-smoked drum, and fennel cilantro slaw.
One attendee wrote, “The time, effort, and thought that went into the lunch was amazing.”