I am very excited to announce a new conference, called the Crunch:Food 2.0 Conference. This is a joint venture between us (CrunchFood) and Jason Calacanis, who is also partnering with us on next month’s TechCrunch20 Conference. Crunch:Food 2.0 will have a little different format, perhaps more along the lines of what you’re used to at a conference, with a keynote each day, several panels of top food experts, breakout sessions, and plenty of networking (i.e., parties).
First, the name. I was unsure about the colon in between Crunch and Food, but Jason had an explanation that sort of made sense at the time, but he talks so fast and with such authority that I really just get too intimidated to question him too hard, and so… Crunch:Food 2.0. It might be too much punctuation, but we’re going with it.
We’re still nailing down the details, but the conference will take place in early spring of 2008 in New Orleans, and we’re thinking of using the theme “New Orleans is Cookin'” (I asked Jason why there was no “g” on the end of “cookin” but he just said to leave the marketing to him.) We’ve got some great ideas for sessions and panels. This is rough, but get a load of these ideas:
How to Keep Your Reduction Sauce from Totally Disappearing
Popsicles: Living Up To The Hype!
Panel: Why is regular cheesecake so good and chocolate cheesecake so bad?
Yogurt Smells Like Crap (And Tastes Like It, Too)
Caramelized Onions: Ruining Otherwise Perfectly Good Meals
Surviving Without Vegetables
Panel: Has Goat Cheese Jumped the Shark?
Jason thinks we need a few more positive-sounding sessions. He says he’s all about positivity. Like I said, these are just rough ideas, nothing’s set in stone.
We also have some great speakers and cook-off judges (did I mention the cook-offs?) lined up, including:
Meat Loaf – A natural for this event, Mr. Loaf (as the WSJ would call him) is a singer/actor with a love for food and good times. In addition to having one of the best-selling albums of all time with Bat Out of Hell, Meat Loaf was in the awesome movie Fight Club, sporting boobs no less, which it takes a guy secure in his manhood to pull off.
Giada De Laurentiis – Host of Food Network’s Everyday Italian, Giada is a very attractive celebrity chef. (We almost screwed up and got the Naked Chef, but realized just in time that it was a dude.)
Tara Lipinski – Winner of the figure skating gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics at the tender age of 15, Tara Lipinski is now old enough to hit on. She is an actress, having made a bunch of small appearances in TV shows and movies, including Vanilla Sky, which is the closest thing to food-related we could think of to make her seem relevant for the event. Don’t worry; we’ll announce other people that make more sense before the conference.
Bobby Brown – Former New Edition band member and successful solo artist (“My Prerogative”), Bobby Brown basically called us up when he got tipped off to the conference and said that he knows more about food than Hammer does about tech so we should invite him along or he would rip our motherf%&$@ing nuts off. Like I said, we’re just roughing things out, we’ll get other people, too, like maybe the Frugal Gourmet. (Update: The Frugal Gourmet is dead, my bad. No offense intended to anyone.)
Jason has also been burning up the phones lining up entertainment, and I don’t mean to brag but my man j. is hooked up. Check this out:
The Mountain Dew Code Red party on the last night of the conference will feature The Foo Fighters, but Jason got Dave Grohl drunk and talked him into agreeing to call them The Food Fighters for that one night. I love it.
On that same tip, we’re bringing in something especially for the teen eaters out there (this means you Y Combinator!) : the complete cast of High School Musical, who will perform for our event as High School Cafeteria. Even that heartthrob Zac
de la Rocha Efron is going to be there.
(Funny story: We almost had Fergie but when Calacanis suggested she change the lyrics to her hit song “My Humps” to “My Hummus”, she backed out.)
And there’s going to be lots more.
One of the sore spots about TC20 has been the criticism we’ve received over having MC Hammer there, even though I think we’ve justified that even more than should be necessary. Hammer has every right to be angry at how he’s been treated. (Please Hammer don’t hurt’em.)
Anyway, I want you to know that Jason and I took this into consideration when the opportunity to have Bobby Brown at the event came up. (We would’ve thought about this for Tara Lipinski, too, except she’s a girl and she’s hot.) I could waste a lot of time justifying this, but instead I’ll just let you read this IM I had with Jason today, because I think it shows our hearts are in the right place…
M: dude, what would you say if I told you we could get meat loaf and bobby brown both at crunchfood20?
J: I’d say I’d do anything for love but i won’t do that
J: its a meat loaf song
M: oh. good one.
M: can you cut it out with the mahalo shit every other sentence?
J: e kala mai
M: what the hell does that mean?
M: all right, anyway, my only concern is that we could get flak for bobby brown. after the hammer thing i want it to look like were not just pulling out all our old hiphop heroes or something.
J: f that, m! we can do what we want! we are m.a. and j.c.! anyone gives us flak like you say we just turn it around on em. theyre just jealous they couldn’t even get goddam bell biv davoe for their events know what im sayin? if any of these haters was in our position, theyd be pulling out every dam hero they could get there hands on. morrissey’d be at every f’ing conference if they were in control so dont let it get to you mike.
M: i guess your right
J: hell yes im right. Now I gotta fly. scobles been buggin me all day about whether he did a good enough job on the videos. later gator.
So, there you go. We’re trying to do right by you. See you next spring in N’awlins!