Edible Conversation Series
Edible Conversations is an exciting new series launched by the Roger Smith Hotel. It features authors of recently published books on food and drinks that have changed America and the world. Each program will include brief, lively presentations by authors, open dialogues with attendees, and samples of food and beverages based on recipes from the books. Authors will discuss the content of their books as well as the process by which they wrote their works. Expect surprises. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the book, which authors will be delighted to autograph.
Address: The Roger Smith Hotel, 16th floor
501 Lexington Ave, at 47th Street, New York NY 10017
Cross Street: 47th Street and Lexington Avenue
Subway: E, 6, V to 53rd and Lexington or 4, 5, 6, 7 to Grand Central
Tickets: $45 per person. includes food, beverages and a copy of the book
Reservations: Advanced reservations are required. Please contact
212.339.2097 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
January 31st, 2011 6-8:30pm
Curry: The Spicy Story of the World's Most Popular Dish
Speaker: Colleen Sen
Description: Although curry had its origins on the Indian Subcontinent (where, ironically, the word was not widely used until recently), it has become global food par excellence. Its many incarnations include the elegant, curries of Thailand; the exuberant curry/rotis of the Caribbean; kari/raisu, Japan's favorite comfort food; South African bunny chow; Indonesian gulais and rendang; British pub food and balti cuisine; Norwegian curried herring on toast; German currywurst; even Punjabi-Mexican-California pizza. Colleen Taylor Sen will discuss the origins of this popular dish (while debunking some myths about Indian food), explain how and why it spread so far and wide, and speculate on the reasons for its continuing popularity.
Speaker's bio: Chicago-based food historian Colleen Taylor Sen writes about the cuisine of the Indian Subcontinent. She is the author of the books Food Culture in India (2004); Curry: A Global History (2009); and Pakoras, Paneer, Pappadums: A Guide to Indian Restaurant Menus (201 Her articles on travel, food and restaurants have appeared in Travel and Leisure, Food Arts, Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune, Toronto Globe and Mail, and the proceedings of the Oxford Food Symposia. She is currently writing a history of Indian food.
Reserve a seat: http://curry.eventbrite.com
February 4th, 2011 6-8:30pm
A Conversation with Amanda Hesser
Speaker: Amanda Hesser
Description: For the past 160 years, the New York Times has chronicled the city's-- and nation's- food scene. This presentation will be a conversation with the author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook, Amanda Hesser, who spent 6 years researching and writing the best seller. Up for discussion will be the wild and surprising tales of restaurants, prominent food personages, such as Craig Claiborne, and recipes from 1877's tomato soup and 1907's roast quail with sage dressing to Eisenhower's steak in the fire and 1968's sour cream coffee cake.
Speaker's bio: Amanda Hesser is the co-founder of food52.com. Hesser, a longtime food columnis and editor for the New York Times, has also published a number of books. Her most recent book, The Essential New York Times Cookbook, is a bestseller.
For more about Amanda Hesser, visit www.food52.com
Reserve a seat: amandaahesser.eventbrite.com
February 28th, 2011 6-8:30pm
One Big Table: A Portrait of American Cooking
Speaker: Molly O'Neill
What are Americans cooking? To answer this question, celebrated author Molly O'Neill crisscrossed the country for ten years, interviewing home cooks and spending time in the kitchens of recent immigrants. Contrary to popular opinion, American home cooking is alive and well. She published her findings in her recent book, One Big Table Table: Many Americans, Many Meals. The presentation will intertwine family stories, personal histories, and comments about good food from stuffed Danish pancakes in Utah to tamales in Santa Fe and Vietnamese shrimp pancakes in Mississippi.
Speaker's bio: Molly O'Neill is the author of three award-winning cookbooks, a memoir, Mostly True and edited the Library of America's anthology American Food Writing, A long time newspaper columnist, she co-founded one of the first web-based multi media companies dedicated to food. Her studio creates web content, multi media projects and books and consults to several media and publishing companies, O'Neill teaches and speaks frequently. Her own writing is widely anthologized and has appeared in most national food magazines as well as The New Yorker and the Columbia Journalism Review. Her latest book, One Big Table: A Portrait of American Cooking is a portrait of America at the table.
Reserve a Seat: http://onebigtable.eventbrite.com
March 5th, 2011 6-8:30pm
Whiskey: What It Is and How It Came to Be
Speaker: Kevin R. Kosar
Description: Be it bourbon, rye, corn, Irish, or Scotch, whiskey has an infamous and celebrated history. Kevin R. Kosar will discuss what whiskey is, how it is made, and how the types of whiskey differ. He'll also explain the drinkhistory, from its obscure medieval origins as a sometimes lethal, herb-infused concoction to the high-quality, meticulously crafted liquor, globally traded product that it is today.
Speaker's bio: Kevin R. Kosar founded AlcoholReviews.com in 1998. He is the author of Whiskey: A Global History (London: Reaktion, 2010), and a contributor to the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America (2004). Kosar has served as a judge at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, co-hosted "Vodka Festival" in New York City's Grand Central Station, and wo Academy of Wine Communications' wine writer award. For further details, see www.kenvinkosar.com
Reserve a seat: http://whiskeywhatandhow.eventbrite.com
April 4th, 2011 6-8:30pm
How the Lowly Spud Changed the World
Speaker: Andrew F. Smith
Description: This is a surprising tale of how the lowly potato rose from obscurity to global stardom. It is filled with bold domesticators, intrepid explorers, savvy farmers, hungry consumers, wise cooks, fast food entrepreneurs, and experimental scientists. The story also has its dark side from famines to frankenfoods. The presentation will cover why the potato has become the most commonly eaten vegetable in the world and why we love the potato dishes and products.
Speakers bio: Andrew F. Smith has taught food history at the New School University in Manhattan since 1995. He is the author or editor of eighteen books, including the Potato: A Global History and Starving the South; How the North Won the Civil War. He is also the editor of the Edible Series published by Reaktion Books. He has been regularly interviewed on radio and television, including National Public Radio, Discovery, the History Channel, and the Food Network.
For more about Andrew Smith, visit www.andrewfsmith.com
Reserve a seat: http://spuds.eventbrite.com
may 2nd, 2011 6-8:30pm
Spices: A Change Agent in World History
Speaker: Fred Czarra
Description: Spices were exchanged throughout the ancient world traveling west from East and South Asia to Africa. The Arab trading networks brought spices across the deserts and waterway of the Middle-East to Rome. But it was after the 16th Century that a truly global transformation took place connecting the cultures and economies of the eastern and western worlds and bringing with it the beginning of globalization. Since that time the use of spices has evolved from limited use in the west to a true "globalization" of spices in the cuisines of cultures all over the globe. Leading the way has been the chili pepper, one of the three spices that did not originate in tropical South and East Asia.
Speaker's bio: Fred Czarra is an internation education consultant and Adjunct Professor of World Geography and World History at St. Mary's College of Maryland. He is the author or co-author of seven books, including Spices: A Global History. For more information, visit SpicesinWorldHIstory.com
May 16th, 2011 6-8:30pm
Our Love Affair With Lobster: First You Scorned Me Now You Love Me?
Speaker: Elisabeth Townsend
Who were the courageous people who first ate lobster? How did they catch and cook it? Were there really 40-pound lobsters? How was lobster transformed from peasant food into a luxurious delicacy? What invention delivered lobster to dinner plates far from any ocean? Can you cook them humanely? These are just some of the questions Elisabeth Townsend will answer for anyone who likes to eat lobster or has chased a lobster across the kitchen floor.
Speaker's bio: Elisabeth Townsend writes about food, wine and travel. her work has appeared in the Boston Globe, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Gastonomica and other newspapers and magazines. She is the author of Lobster: A Global History. She is a member of the Culinary Historians of Boston.
For more about Elisabeth Townsend, visit elisabethtownsend.com
Reserve a seat: http://lobster.eventbrite.com
June 6th, 2011 6-8:30pm
From Tallahassee to Tokyo: The Scoop on Ice Cream's Global Allure
Speaker: Laura Weiss
In Ice Cream: A Global History, Laura B. Weiss takes the reader on a vibrant trip from ancient China to modern-day Tokyo and recounts how this delicious treat became a global sensation. weiss tells of donkeys wooed with ice cream cones, Good Humor-loving World War II-era German diplomats, and sundaes named "Over the Top." She writes about Chinese emperors, Italian immigrant ice cream vendors, and shrewd entrepreneurs---and how as US brands sweep the globe,indigenous ice creams like gelato continue to thrive.
Speaker's bio: Journalist Laura Weiss is author of Ice Cream: A Global History and an adjunct professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, NYC. She's written from the New York Times, Daily News, the Food Network web site, AOL Travel, and Saveur (forthcoming), among others.
Reserve a seat: icecreamglobal.eventbrite.com