Never been to Cook It Raw? Neither had Chef Matt Jennings before October 2013. But looking at the event through his eyes, we can see what it is all about. From its website, we learn that Cook It Raw…

…brings together avant-garde chefs and traditional food producers to explore the possibilities of cuisine. By providing an arena for true exchange, the gathering not only encourages innovation on the plate, but addresses environmental, social, and cultural issues as well. By creating an opportunity for participants to share and develop their skills and knowledge, Cook it Raw leaves its creative mark on both the chefs who travel and the cultural life of the host country. And by sparking new personal and creative connections, Cook it Raw not only helps preserve foodways in danger of extinction but influences the ideas and techniques of some of the most innovative chefs in the world, advancing, in other words, the very future of cuisine.

Many activities occur throughout the week, the largest of which is a sit-down, plated meal. Chef Sean Brock had the honor of hosting that this year at his restaurant in Charlestown, McCrady’s. They served a 16-plate meal — each plate created and crafted and cooked and plated by a different chef. Every event brings new learnings and opportunities to collaborate.

Cook It Raw has nothing to do with raw food. Its guiding idea is to strip cooking to its raw elements: foraging, hunting, fishing, farming and low-tech skills like butchery and cooking over fire. — Julia Moskin, NYTimes

Through the eyes of @matthewjennings, see #rawCHS for what it is all about. A great way to connect, share, learn, and laugh. He tweeted his way through the days in Charleston. #rawCHS.

After the event, Matt reflected on what it meant to him:

I can only speak for myself and say that Cook It Raw changed me. It fueled my fire to want to be a better cook technically, sure. But more importantly it encouraged me to seek out the opportunities which thankfully exist in my life, to learn as much as I can about the foods I source, cook, serve and eat. Cook It Raw proved to me that if my generation of chef is going to strive to be as great as we can both professionally and personally, then we need to do a better job – all of us, consumers alike – in trying to understand what our ingredients mean to us, and how we can all best respect the foods we decide to purchase and utilize everyday.

And now, see that 16 plate meal served at McCradys as seen through the eyes of the diner @BrevilleUSA.