Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Beyond the Menu Aims for Thoughtful Conversations on Pittsburgh Food

The food-focused symposium aims to broaden the discussion about the region's food and drink culture.

There is a lot of buzz about Pittsburgh’s restaurant boom, but less dialogue about what’s happening elsewhere in the city’s culinary culture. Beyond the Menu, a series of discussions about the food and drink community, is designed to broaden the conversation. 

“There’s been a lot of fanfare about Pittsburgh food and drink culture. Who is benefitting from it?” says Eric Sloss, principal partner of Shift Collaborative and one of the organizers of the series. 

“We wanted to create an atmosphere to share ideas. We sought out mix people from inside and outside of Pittsburgh who are innovating ideas,” he says.

Previous sessions have featured Bill Fuller (corporate chef, big Burrito Restaurant Group), Rick Sebak (WQED producer/Pittsburgh Magazine contributor), Carey Polis (Bon Appétit Magazine), Brent Young (Whitfield at Ace Hotel, The Meat Hook) and Josephine Oria of La Dorita and Food Enterprise Incubator.

photo courtesy eric sloss

There are a handful more Beyond the Menu events this season, all of which are free to attend. On Saturday, New Sun Rising (a sponsor of the series) previews the Millvale Food Hub, a community-focused food incubator that will host culinary businesses such as Farm Truck Foods, Three Rivers Grown, 4th River Ferments and Steel City Soils. 

Later in October, the series will present the launch of First Course, an online platform designed to aid food entrepreneurs in building business skills, and also will participate in a celebration of Pittsburgh Food Day. The initial season of Beyond the Menu will end with Conflict Kitchen’s Dawn Weleski leading a panel discussion on diversity called “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” The panelists for that session still are to be named. 

I attended the first couple of Beyond the Menu events and thought the discussions were promising. For example, the kickoff event began with an informative — though nothing groundbreaking if you’re the type of person that follows restaurant culture in Pittsburgh — presentation about how the restaurant scene but later pivoted into a timely, meaningful chat about how to address the workforce shortage in Pittsburgh kitchens and how to make sure that lower-income residents aren’t left out when restaurants move into their neighborhoods. 

“I hope this generates a conversation. I hope the dialogue that’s happening here is accessible to everyone,” Sloss says.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Perspectives: Mourning Without a Road Map

A 30-year-old woman “who had lost her father too soon” learns the importance of following a plan when saying goodbye.

On Fitness: Peace and Posture Instead of No Pain, No Gain

Client by client, personal trainer Ian Riggins is dismantling the aggressive side of the fitness industry.

Angling for Tranquility: The Lure of Kayak Fishing

Kayak fishing is growing in popularity as anglers discover the peaceful joys of casting a line from the water's surface.

MultiStories: Pittsburgh's Art Deco Obelisk – The Gulf Building

As the Gulf Building rose into Pittsburgh skyline in the early 1930s, the prospects of its owner were headed in the opposite direction.

“First Man” Author to Appear at Heinz History Center

James R. Hansen, author of the authorized Neil Armstrong biography, will speak about the astronaut’s life on Nov. 1.

Results Are In: Jobs are Plentiful in Pittsburgh

Glassdoor’s newly released city shortlist for hot jobs ranks Pittsburgh #1.

The 400-Word Review: The Old Man and the Gun

Robert Redford's alleged final performance is a quiet, fitting farewell.

Sandwich, Helmet, Teammates Await Bell’s Return to Steelers

Le’Veon Bell reportedly intends to return to the Steelers before the second Browns game on Oct. 28, but hasn’t yet. But that didn’t stop some of his teammates from trying to have some fun with Bell at the media’s expense.

A New Day for Craft Beer in Pittsburgh

Day Bracey, along with Ed Bailey and Mike Potter, forges a more inclusive approach to craft brewing.

Southern Cuisine Served with a Big Side of Hospitality

Sugar and Smoke owner Andrea Robinson not only wants to feed customers of her new eatery in Bloomfield –– she wants to know their names.

Meet Pittsburgh's 40 Under 40 Honorees for 2018

For two decades, Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP have presented the annual 40 Under 40 list. And every year, 40 people who have been alive for less than four decades are chosen because of their career accomplishments, dogged volunteer work and commitment to the Pittsburgh region. This year is no different. Read on to learn more about some of our very best neighbors.

Restaurant Review: Pie for Breakfast

Pittsburgh gets an updated, all-day diner with a sense of place from the owners of Legume Bistro and Butterjoint.

This is Not a Drill: Can Pittsburgh Survive a Disaster?

Location and geography make Pittsburgh one of the safer places to be in a disaster, but just how well would we do in the face of a cataclysmic event?

Finding Her Voice: An Acid Attack Victim Fights Back

Hanifa Nakiryowa's life changed forever after becoming a victim of a disfiguring acid attack.

Joey's P.A.W. Provides Prosthetics and Wheels for Dogs

Finding a dog on the side of the road in South Carolina changed the lives of this Pittsburgh couple.