On September 10th, 2011 I had the privilege of attending my first live TED Talk in Taipei. The Theme of this event was “The Road Less Traveled.”

We arrived at Zhongshall Hall around 1:30PM and made our way in after getting our tickets and information packets. The first speaker was Andre Chang. He is a chef in Singapore and owns his own restaurant that is listed in the “top 100” in the world. He noted his philosophy of only using the freshest seasonal produce. Andre also described his menu. Eight words and no prices. His “Octaphilosophy” includes: Unique, Pure, Texture, Memory, Salt, South, Artisan, Terroir. If you want to visit his website here is the link Restaurant Andre.

The second speaker was probably my favorite. Page Tsou spoke of his meager upbringing and love of the arts. While in school he battled his family for their acceptance of his desire to be an artist. He is currently based in London and completed a project titled “Back of the Heads” where he photographed Londoners and then used the photo inspiration for pencil sketches. After the third speaker Eames Demetrios, there was a short Q and A.

Three of the speakers spoke in English and three in Mandarin. There was head set translation provided to audience members.

The second half featured an organic farmer from Hsinchu, named Lai Ching -soong. Disaster relief architect Hsieh Ying-chun and singer Todd Mack rounder out the second half. Todd Mack was best friends with journalist Daniel Pearl, who was abducted and murdered by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002. In response he started Daniel Pearl World Music Days which has since turned into a non-profit organization that has held peace-loving concerts all around the globe.

Being an avid viewer of TED Talks online I was very excited to be able to witness this salon in person. I hope this will be the first of many TED events I can participate in.

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