I must admit, when I first saw Daniel Klein walk by me during the conference breakfast, I was a little starstruck (just like most celebrities, I expected him to be taller!). There he was in the flesh instead of in some barn in the middle of nowhere interviewing a farmer.

Klein is a true mover and shaker in the food movement. He is extremely passionate, open and kind. Oh, and a little crazy. You see, he and his love, Mirra Fine (aka the cameragirl), travel around the country creating mini documentaries about sustainable food. For almost two years they’ve released a new film every week. I’m not even sure how you drive to some far away destination, film for hours, edit for hours, add cool music (from unknown and unsigned bands no less!) and release a film that showcases a tiny part of sustainable America. Klein and Fine are The Perennial Plate.

Daniel Klein & Mirra Fine of The Perennial Plate. Photo by Fran Collin

I’ve been following this dynamic duo for 8 months or so and genuinely enjoy their work. Meeting them in person at the 2012 Edible Institute earlier this month brought my admiration for what they do to a whole new level. It was amazing to hear them speak and tell their story.

About The Perennial Plate

A Kickstarter campaign was launched and successfully funded in 2010. They raised $10k to get started on their project of eating sustainably in Minnesota for one whole year. Episodes are released weekly online and they’ve done 95 as of today. This online documentary series grew in popularity and the second season brought the duo to other areas of the country.

Mirra Fine’s Super Short Story

Fine grew up in a strict kosher home. Her father was a dentist and all sweets were completely associated with cavities. Fine joined The Perennial Plate in Episode 12. She had never picked up a video camera, but “was the best of all the people we tried” said Klein during their presentation. Ironically, Fine became a vegetarian after the first episode which involved Klein killing a turkey. She is a self-proclaimed junk food and pop aficionado (her Twitter name is @KaleandCola).

Daniel Klein’s Super Short Story

Klein comes from an international background, growing up in England and Singapore. His mother ran a bed and breakfast and Klein was cooking from their kitchen garden at a young age. One of his first jobs was at a Thomas Keller restaurant in New York (rough!). Klein is a Huffington Post contributor and has worked on other films and documentaries throughout his career.

During Klein & Fine’s Edible Institute panel, they showed us several of their films. Here are two very worth watching (trust me, the guy in the Eating Insects episode, is hilariously weird…if there is such a thing. AND you get to watch Klein eat bugs!). Follow Klein and Fine’s work at www.ThePerennialPlate.com or via Twitter at @PerennialPlate.

 

The Perennial Plate Episode 78: Eating Insects from Daniel Klein on Vimeo.

Before you call this video gross, or trendy, or sensationalist… watch it. David Gracer, an entomophagy (bug eating) expert gives a pretty good case for making wider use of bugs. And of course I eat like 12 varieties… enjoy.

www.theperennialplate.com

The Perennial Plate Episode 74: God’s Country from Daniel Klein on Vimeo.

One of our favorite stories from the Real Food Road Trip. We really fell in love with these Ohio dairy farmers. The Stollers are the real deal

 

Fran Collin took the beautiful picture of Daniel & Mirra above. To see more of his work, visit www.work-for-food.com