Brain food

It's one of the earliest lessons we learned about eating: we're not supposed to talk with our mouths full. But forgive us, Miss Manners, if we violate protocol for the Let's Talk About Food Festival, going down from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 25 (rain date: Sunday, June 26). The outdoor gab- and grub-fest on the Cambridge Parkway, located behind the Royal Sonesta and adjacent to the Museum of Science (1 Science Park, Boston, 617.723.2500), is part of an innovative series of food-focused programming that the museum has staged over the past year. Each installment - from film screenings to discussion forums - has been designed to keep sophisticated and socially responsible foodies informed on how our dinner plates reflect a complex worldwide food system, one that constantly intersects with issues related to science, technology, and the environment. And June's free riverfront festival will bring on the main course. At the demo kitchen on its main stage, star chefs (like Rialto's Jody Adams and Erbaluce's Charles Draghi) and local food experts (like Cooking for Geeks author Jeff Potter and Red Sox nutritionist Tara Mardigan) will provide informative presentations and live cooking demonstrations that should pique your curiosity and whet your appetite. If you really want to dig into some of the meaty issues affecting both planet and palate, check out the hands-on educational opportunities at the activity area or pull up a seat at the "Endless Table," a 600-foot-long table meant to foster discussion among participants and guests. Of course, if you're more inclined to simply graze along the Charles, a food-truck food court and a slew of exhibiting vendors will be on hand to dole out delicious bites. Sounds appetizing, but sometimes the most important part of a dining experience is good conversation - so we're grateful that Let's Talk About Food gives us plenty to chew on. For more information on the festival and other events in the series, visit