Carbonell is the founder and owner of Café Con Leche coffee shop in the Southwest neighborhood of Detroit. Carbonell aims to bring together different cultures - be it Spanish coffee to Detroit or coffee shop culture to the Southwest - and Café Con Leche is doing an excellent job in achieving this goal. We are honored to have this multicultural perspective represented in our cricket flour bake-off. As anthropologists we know food has so much social and cultural significance, and it is great to have an entrepreneur join us who has been so successful who is actualizing this in his business.
Detroiters likely recognize Mancini by name, but if not, they are sure to recognize Supino Pizzeria in Eastern Market. The small shop with thin crust pizzas inspired by Italy is a breath of fresh air in a city where chains for thick crust pizzas are born. The biggest buzz around Mancini right now is that he will be opening a full-menu Italian restaurant, La Rondinella. Maybe this summer? We all can't wait. Maybe he will consider a desert incorporating nectar-filled ingluvies like those eaten in traditional Northeast Italy. We are excited to hear what he has to say about the potential of insects as food.
McMillan is the award-winning author of the book The American Way of Eating, a contributing journalist to news sources such as NPR, Slate, and National Geographic to name a few, as well as an active blogger on her popular website traciemcmillan.com. Her list of awards and achievements are extensive and we in Michigan are proud to call her one of our own. McMillan works to address the inequalities of our food system and hunger in America. Her perspective is going to be invaluable at our event as we think about who can benefit from insects as food.
O'Meara is a freelance graphic designer turned specialty preserves entrepreneur with her business Beau Bien Fine Foods. O'Meara incorporates sweet and savory flavors from herbs, spices, peppers and flowers to create new combinations of flavors that please the palate. Additionally, she designs all of the company's beautiful packaging and promotional materials. This intersection of taste and presentation is definitely something we think a lot about in entomophagy, and we are lucky to have her input at our event.
Raskind is the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The. Dean. When I first started my job at Wayne State I raved about how supported and included I immediately felt, and Dean Raskind's participation in our event speaks volumes to this. With an event like this, it will be easy to get swept up in the fun and the tastings, but Raskind's presence will help us remember that we are here for a larger purpose; to explore the anthropology and apply what we do as academics to something even greater.
With Robbins-Ruszkowski as a judge, we nearly have one third of the faculty of the Department of Anthropology actively participating of this event (in addition to myself, Todd Meyers, and Yuson Jung). I view Robbins-Ruszkowski as the glue of the judging panel. Her expertise in sociocultural anthropology and focus on individual experience within broader contexts of culture, history, politics, etc., lends itself to great discussions about American perceptions of insects as food.
Simmons, founder and owner of Five Star Cakes, comes to us from FoodLab Detroit, one of our community partners for this event. Foodlab helps individuals grow and experiment with their food start-ups so that they can cultivate a successful business rooted in the Detroit community. Five Star Cakes is an excellent example of the Detroit entrepreneurial spirit. Simmons not only knows her baked goods, but she knows what it takes to turn specialty products into a thriving business model. We are lucky to have her input as we try to create delectable baked goods using cricket flour.