FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000

Reforming Restaurants

Moving beyond experimental home cooking and communal kitchens, alternative groups turned to restaurants as a means of recruiting and converting people to the experience of eating differently. Prime among these were places with vegetarian cuisine, from the country collective Moosewood in Ithaca, New York, to the urban, Zen Buddhist haute including Greens restaurant and Tassajara Bakery in California. Across the country, every college town’s “health food” eatery was also part of this trend.

Moosewood Cookbook, 1977

Moosewood Cookbook, 1977

Promoted at first by “back-to-the-landers” and feminists, the Moosewood restaurant and cookbook became culinary touchstones for those interested in alternative foodways.

Gift of Helene Quick

Recipe, Moosewood Cookbook, 1977

Recipe, Moosewood Cookbook, 1977

Courtesy of Mollie Katzen and Ten Speed Press

The Tassajara Bread Book, 1970

The Tassajara Bread Book, 1970

The Zen Center of San Francisco recruited Edward Espe Brown, a Buddhist monk, to open the Tassajara Bakery. It made artisanal, whole-grain breads and supplied alternative restaurants and customers newly interested in food good for their physical and spiritual health. Brown’s book inspired many people to bake bread at home.

Gift of Rayna Green

The Greens Cookbook: Extraordinary Vegetarian Cuisine from the Celebrated Restaurant, 1987

The Greens Cookbook: Extraordinary Vegetarian Cuisine from the Celebrated Restaurant, 1987

Gift of Rayna Green