Sam Kass, White House Food-Policy Adviser. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool / Getty Images
The November issue of Food & Wine is about to hit newsstands with the magazine's list of "40 Big Thinkers 40 & Under." These wunderkinder, say the editors, are "changing the way Americans eat and drink," which seems a tad exaggerated. (Though who knows, maybe 34-year-old entrepreneur Siggi Hilmarsson really will give Greek yogurt a run for its money with skyr, the yogurt of his native Iceland.)
Inevitably, depending on how old you are and what mood you're in, these lists are either inspiring or depressing. Either way, based on our reading of this current list, here are some tips that just may help you get on next year's:
• Do Something Green: It's no surprise that the same words that pop up on restaurant menus across the country (eco, local, sustainable) also crop up in this awards list, from a 39-year-old "urban-farm pioneer" to a 40-year-old "eco-wine" importer.
• Make It Artisanal: If foodies love "locally grown," they go gaga for "artisanal." But the word has been around the block a few times (to wit, the recent New Yorker cartoon that shows a factory under the sign "Artisanal Everything, Inc."). No longer is simply artisanal enough -- it has to be mega-artisanal, like the 33-year-old "spirits inventor" who makes his St. Germain elderflower liqueur from "petals picked by hand each spring in the French Alps."
• Start a Wacky Food Blog or Website: Rooftop gardening not your thing? Don't want to figure out how to cure your own artisanal bacon? Unite, desk junkies, and launch a blog or website instead. At least six slots on the Food & Wine list go to bloggers or "e-entrepreneurs" such as the Food Lab's 31-year-old Kenji Lopez-Alt and the two twentysomethings who started Foodzie.com.