Umami Mart Registry
Tuna Above the Crowd

Exactly one week ago on March 26, about 150 people descended onto the Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin (just north of SF) for an OPENharvest food and art collective event. The Headlands hosted OPENharvest in a former gymnasium nestled within two hills. The space was filled with stories, artifacts and projections collected during our October 2011 trip to Tokyo, Nagano, Saitama and Niigata.

From knives purchased by Jerome Waag to Aya Brackett's large scale prints of sun-soaked landscapes, the space captured the natural-artisan side of Japan instead of the more dominant, urban jungle images of Japan that permeates guidebooks.

As with any OPENrestaurant event, the scene was relaxed and cozy -- like a fireplace. A long line of guests enjoying their Yamazaki whisky highballs snaked their way to a little window dispensing Meyer Lemon seasoned ramen. And that ramen, wow! Personally, I am a huge fan of assari (refreshing) ramen as opposed to tonkotsu-style ramen with its heavy pork broth -- so this ramen, using a clear shoyu broth with hints of Meyer lemon zest was really my style. The noodles had a good amount of spring, avoiding the fate of many lesser bowls of ramen (mushy).

Kayoko and I were womanning the "Radiation Station." Unfortunately we had power issues throughout the night and I lost some time tending to these hiccups. But I was really happy to talk with and share my thoughts about radiation and nuclear energy with some of the guests who were concerned about the situation in Japan. I ended up projecting my film FOOD + RADIATION on the main floor towards the end of the night. It was a proud moment to see it projected onto a huge wall for the first time!

Here are some pictures I took throughout the night. For captions, please enlarge the slideshow (bottom right corner) and click on “Show Info” on the top right corner. If you are on an iPad or iPhone, please access the photo gallery here.

It was a great night for conversation and good food, which I think sums up our OPENharvest project. It's not about a specific country or culture as it is more about connecting with people through food.

Kayoko Akabori, Anandamayi Arnold, Sasha Bernstein, Aya Brackett, Sylvan Brackett, Howie Correa, Sam Fuller, Charlie Hallowell, Kelly Ishikawa, Jerry Jaksich, Susan Kim, Chris Kronner, Yoko Kumano, Tal Mor, Jessica Niello, Stacie Pierce, Louesa Roebuck, Yuko Sato, Jeremy Tooker, Jerome Waag, Jonathan Waters, Neyah White, Sam White, David Wilson, Sasha Wizansky, Melissa Wong, Renata Yagolnitzer.