MBJ: Musk gives ‘real’ talk at Rhodes College
The Musk brother who is on a mission to change communities through food was in Memphis Wednesday night to speak at Rhodes College.
Kimbal Musk presented his “Food is the New Internet” talk to an audience of students and the general public. But, before Musk jumped into his presentation, he took a few moments to specifically address the Millennials in the room by telling them his journey to discovering his passion.
Musk, the cofounder of The Kitchen Restaurant Group and its nonprofit, The Kitchen Community, described how he started in finance — hated it; transitioned to the Internet — liked it; and ultimately made his way to food — loved it.
After he and brother Elon sold their Internet company in 1999 for roughly $300 million, Musk, not sure what to do next, ultimately decided to pursue something he had always enjoyed: cooking.
From his restaurants, which source ingredients from local farms, to his nonprofit, which builds Learning Gardens in schoolyards to teach children where food comes from, Musk told the audience people want real food.
“There are some very important people out there who think that our problem is that we need to grow more food to feed the world. That is a big pile of sh*t.” Musk said. “We have been growing more food than we need since the ’60s … what we have is a terrible distribution problem. The problem is not actual number of calories we are producing — we have food waste issues. The problem is industrial food. Twenty-first-century food is going to be real food. Real food is food that is truly nourishing for the consumer, the community and the planet.”
Musk described how the excitement and opportunities about the Internet in the 1990s is a similar energy to the incredible things he sees coming down the pipe today in the food sector.
Following his presentation, Musk introduced Miles McMath, the former culinary director for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who was just named executive chef at The Kitchen at Shelby Farms Park.
Musk and his team have already built 47 Learning Gardens in Memphis schools over the last year and are committed to 100. The Kitchen restaurant at Shelby Farms will open this summer, and The Kitchen Next Door will make its Crosstown Concourse debut in 2017.