MAD Dispatches is a print collection of fifteen essays that explore the question, “What is cooking?” The first edition was originally published at the time of our fourth symposium as an attempt to add a new dimension to the discussion.

We think that the essays in this piece are timeless, so we decided to create a second edition in order to share them with all of you. It can be purchased via our online store.


Taken together, these pieces collectively argue for cooking as one of the great generalist disciplines. One capable of interacting with and absorbing endeavors of all kinds – art, history, chemistry, geography, community development, the list goes on – and of even providing a way to understand who we are and who we want to be. You’ll find discussions concerning the past and future of cooking; how progress happens in the kitchen, and whether it ought to; the ideas and people worth carrying forward into memory; and how cooks, purveyors, and writers stand to influence how we’ll feed ourselves in the decades to come.

We hope that the writings will make you want to dig deeper into the question of why standing behind a stove, or sitting around a table with friends and family, is important to you.

Contributors include:

Juan-Mari Arzak
Thomas Keller
Arielle Johnson
Massimo Bottura
Hervé This
Josh Evans
Michael Twitty

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About MAD

MAD (taken from the Danish word for “food”) is a not-for-profit organization that works to expand knowledge of food to make every meal a better meal; not just at restaurants, but every meal cooked and served. Good cooking and a healthy environment can and should go hand-in-hand, and the quest for a better meal can leave the world a better place than we found it. MAD is committed to producing and sharing this knowledge and to taking promising ideas from theory to practice.