BERKELEY, Calif. (BCN) - A cannabis salon, a former Obama ambassador's take on Trump and the longtime Chez Panisse head chef were all on tap at Berkeleyside's Festival of Ideas in downtown Berkeley today.
This is the sixth year of the two-day event featuring a mix of political activists, playwrights, professors and more. It was held by Berkeleyside, an East Bay news outlet, Friday and today at the Berkeley Repertory Theater and the Freight and Salvage coffeehouse.
Like a Pied Piper of produce, longtime Chez Panisse head chef Cal Peternell led about 40 people from the theater to the Berkeley Farmers Market to demonstrate how to pick out the freshest offerings.
"I'm stopping for cherry tomatoes here because how can you not?" Peternell said as the group paused at the River Dog Farm booth at the open-air market.
Meanwhile, Former Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, an Obama appointee, held forth on "Things we've forgotten to worry about," a conversation with Berkeleyside co-founder Lance Knobel, at the Freight and Salvage.
The former ambassador said one of her friends who still works at the State Department is now the only person of color on her floor.
"This is after years of trying to build up the number of women and people of color in the State Department," Jenkins said.
Jean Whitehead of Berkeley, one of hundreds who attended the event, said she came because "I like Berkeleyside," and that she especially enjoyed the cannabis salon, which featured a panel of two entrepreneurs, a scientist and an RN.