“MEMPHIS — It’s easy to understand why some people in this town of soul music and dry-rub ribs don’t know what to make of the tall tech billionaire in a big white cowboy hat who has been opening restaurants and buying up hundreds of acres of land that used to grow cotton.
Kimbal Musk, 45, got rich working in tech alongside his older brother, Elon. Now he wants to do for food what his brother has done for electric cars and space travel.Although Mr. Musk has food ventures humming along in Colorado, where he lives, as well as in big cities like Chicago and Los Angeles, he has become enamored of places like Tennessee, Indiana and Ohio — parts of the country he believes are the ripest for a revolution in eating and agriculture.
“The Americana here gives me goose bumps,” Mr. Musk, who grew up in South Africa, said during a visit to Memphis last spring. “I’ve been to Graceland twice. The community has been so welcoming, it’s just ridiculous.”Mr. Musk is promoting a philosophy he calls “real food,” which nourishes the body, the farmer and the planet. It doesn’t sound much different than what writers like Michael Pollan and everyone who has ever helped start a farmers’ market or community garden have preached for years.”