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Jacques Torres + David Linden

The Compass of Pleasure

Sunday, April 17, 2011
7:00 PM–8:30 PM

Whether consuming chocolate, taking drugs, engaging in sex, or doing good deeds, the pursuit of pleasure is a central drive of the human animal. In The Compass of Pleasure Johns Hopkins neuroscientist David J. Linden explains how pleasure affects us at the most fundamental level: in our brain. The master chocolatier Jacques Torres provides the audience with samples of his most mouthwatering selections to allow participants to both experience pleasure while the process itself is being discussed.
The youngest-ever winner of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Pastry Chef of France) in history, Jacques Torres spent eleven inspired years as Executive Pastry Chef at Le Cirque, before leaving to open his renowned wholesale, retail, and e-commerce chocolate company, Jacques Torres Chocolate, in Brooklyn, NY. Torres has won numerous awards, including the James Beard Foundation Pastry Chef of the Year, the Chefs of America Pastry Chef of the Year, and Chartreuse Pastry Chef of the Year. He is a member of the Académie Culinaire de France, and in 2003 the James Beard Foundation inducted him into the Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. He joined the French Culinary Institute in 1993 as Dean of Pastry Arts. Torres is the author of two Dessert Circus books, and many will remember him as host of the Food Network TV show Chocolate with Jacques Torres. The Jacques Torres Ice Cream Shop opened in 2009, right next door to the original chocolate shop in Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY.
As he did in his award-winning book, The Accidental Mind, David Linden combines cutting-edge science with entertaining anecdotes to illuminate the source of the behaviors that can lead us to ecstasy but that can easily become compulsive. Why are drugs like nicotine and heroin addictive while LSD is not? Why has the search for safe appetite suppressants been such a disappointment? The Compass of Pleasure concludes with a provocative consideration of pleasure in the future, when it may be possible to activate our pleasure circuits at will and in entirely novel patterns.