Musical recipes... a soul food journey... a history of peanut butter... food bloggers... urban farmers and foragers...Dirt Candy... Julia Child... America's banana king... the hidden financial and political aspects of food... the astrological signs of the delicatessen... foodways of the African diaspora... cooking on TV. The Lunch Hour NYC exhibition currently at the Schwarzman Building has inspired us to offer some truly varied food related programs at the Mid-Manhattan Library. If you haven't seen this fascinating exhibit, which looks back at a century of New York lunches, why not combine a visit with one of our upcoming programs?
On Saturday, December 8th, the acclaimed band One Ring Zero will perform songs from their latest release, The Recipe Project: A Delectable Extravaganza of Food and Music at 2 p.m. The songs from The Recipe Project are actually recipes from famous chefs sung word for word and set in a musical style suggested by the chef. You can hear some sample songs on the Recipe Project website, like "Brains and Eggs" based on a Chris Cosentino recipe, "Creamless Creamed Corn" from a recipe created by Tom Colicchio, or my personal favorite, "Raw Peach" from a Mark Kurlansky "recipe." Other chefs who collaborated on the project include Mario Batalli, John Besh, David Chang, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Andrea Reusing, Aaron Sanchez and Michael Symon.
We invite you to take a soul food journey on Monday, December 10th at 7 p.m., when award-winning filmmaker Byron Hurt presents his PBS documentary Soul Food Junkies. In the film he shares what he has learned about the African American cuisine known as soul food and its connection to cultural identity. His research was prompted by his father's reluctance to stop eating the food he loved despite the fact that it was a threat to his health. Mr. Hurt will answer questions after the the screening.
Hungry for more? We have lots of programs dealing with many different aspects of food and cooking coming up. Join us one evening at 6:30 for:
- Top food bloggers chat: Deb Perelman, creator of the Smitten Kitchen blog and author of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook speaks with Adam Roberts, creator of The Amateur Gourmet and author of Secrets of the Best Chefs: Recipes, Techniques, and Tricks from America's Greatest Cooks, on Monday, December 17th.
- Kara Newman, spirits editor for the Wine Enthusiast, discusses her book, The Secret Financial Life of Food: From Commodities Markets to Supermarkets on Tuesday, December 18th.
- Author Rich Cohen talks about his latest book, The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King, a biography of United Fruit Company head Samuel Zemurray, on Thursday, December 20th.
- Author Jon Krampner offers an informal history of peanut butter, the all-American food, from his forthcoming book, Creamy and Crunchy, on Thursday, January 3rd.
- TV Takeaway: Kathleen Collins, author of Watching What We Eat: The Evolution of Television Cooking Shows talks about what cooking shows teach us on Wednesday, January 9th.
- Amanda Cohen, Ryan Dunlavey and Grady Hendrix, authors of Dirt Candy: A Cookbook: Flavor-Forward Food from the Upstart New York City Vegetarian Restaurant will dish the dirt about running a NYC restaurant, the unique history of vegetarian and kosher restaurants in New York and the creation of a graphic novel, among other things, on Monday, January 14th.
- Award-winning author Bob Spitz will discuss his recent biography, Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child on Wednesday, January 16th.
- Diane Kochila, one of Greece's greatest culinary authorities, presents an illustrated lecture from her cookbook, The Country Cooking of Greece, on Wednesday, January 23rd.
- Discover an an organic city full of intrepid and eccentric people who want to make things grow in journalist Robin Shulman's talk, based on her book Eat the City: A Tale of the Fishers, Foragers, Butchers, Farmers, Poultry Minders, Sugar Refiners, Cane Cutters, Beekeepers, Winemakers, and Brewers Who Built New York on Tuesday, January 29th.
February and March
- Screenwriter, comedy writer and entrepreneur Seth Front offers a humorous presentation on the "Culinary History of Jews in America based on the Astrological Signs of the Delicatessen" on Monday, February 11th.
- Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University explains Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics in an illustrated lecture based on her latest book on Tuesday, February 12th. You can find lots of helpful information about nutrition and public health on Dr. Nestle's website, Food Politics.
- Esteemed culinary historian Jessica B, Harris talks about her IACP award-winning book, High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America on Tuesday, March 5th. If you're interested in this topic, please take a look at our list of books by Dr. Harris, Food and Foodways of the African Diaspora, too.
Many NYPL branches are offering food related programs and classes for different ages in conjunction with the Lunch Hour NYC exhibition. Check the program schedule for upcoming events near you. NYPL staff have also created some booklists on food and cooking and there are more coming! You can find these on our NYPL Recommendations page. At Mid-Manhattan, we've recently put together lists of fun Films for Foodies and Food & Cooking Memoirs. Bon appétit!