Maximum Flavor

The writers behind the popular blog Ideas in Food are coming to dinner in Richmond.


Of the big-deal food events coming to Richmond this year, Monday night’s at Heritage is among the most anticipated by a certain set of local chefs. They’re followers of the influential blog Ideas in Food, whose authors are former chefs Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot.

They will present their new book in a multi-course dinner called Maximum Flavor (the book’s title) at their friend Joe Sparatta’s Fan district restaurant Monday with seatings from 6 – 8:30 p.m. About 20 spots are left, tickets are $75 and include a signed copy of the book.

The menu was finalized today. “I just got off the phone with Alex,” Sparatta says, “and it’s been an interesting collaborative process. It’s my third dinner with him so I know what to expect. Everybody’s so excited to have an opportunity to pick his brain, and it’s a privilege to do this. I can’t even tell you how much he’s helped me over the years.”

That help includes the couple’s free sharing of techniques, resources and philosophy on the cooking process. “I can call them with a technique question, and they have such a broad range of techniques to achieve deliciousness,” Sparatta says. He mentions as current examples the use of pressure cooking and the use of gram scales instead of free-form measuring, “having the mentality that you can create consistency” with that precision.

Sparatta has recruited other city chefs to share the experience – longtime Ideas in Food fan Lee Gregory of the Roosevelt, Owen Lane of The Magpie and more working the kitchen, “to establish relationships with other great chefs here” by connecting them to the Ideas in Food team. See more at and

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