Smithsonian Food History Weekend

2019 Food History Weekend: Power Through Food logo

2019: Power Through Food

Gala Festival | Cooking Up History | Deep-Dish Dialogues | Last Call

From November 7 to 9, 2019, our fifth annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend will bring together food innovators, entrepreneurs, chefs, scholars, and enthusiasts to engage museum visitors around the theme Power Through Food. With a special focus on migrant and refugee women and organizations, the weekend will explore how their food-related enterprises are helping create sustainable livelihoods and stronger communities.

With cooking demonstrations, hands-on learning, dynamic conversations, Smithsonian collections, a black-tie gala, and beer history, there’s something for everyone!

The Gala
Thursday, November 7, 2019

Headshot of chef José Andrés

The fifth annual Smithsonian Food History Gala is a black-tie evening to support the ongoing research, collecting, and programs of our American Food History Project. The evening will feature:

  • The presentation of the 2019 Julia Child Award to chef José Andrés
  • Chef, restaurateur, and food critic Andrew Zimmern as master of ceremonies
  • Chef and restaurateur Ann Cashion as a featured speaker
  • Cook, teacher, and food writer Samin Nosrat as a featured speaker
  • Chef Jacques Pépin as the award presenter on behalf of The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts
  • Three-course menu created by chef José Andrés

Learn more and purchase tickets!

The Festival
Friday, November 8, and Saturday, November 9, 2019

The Food History Festival is two free days of hands-on learning, live demonstrations, talks, and stories exploring how women are building, saving, and empowering communities through food. Talented chefs, local organizations, experts, community activists, museum curators, entrepreneurs, and more will be on hand to spark conversation, lead activities, and dig into food history with museum visitors of all ages. Programs include:

  • Curator's Corner - Meet the museum staff responsible for collecting and
  • telling the stories in the newly updated FOOD exhibition.
  • Marketplace
  • The Kids Table

See below for the full lineup:

Photo of chef Maneet Chauhan at a live cooking demonstration with food historian Ashley Rose Young

Cooking Up History

Friday, November 8

  • Eritrean Food En Route
    12:00 – 12:30 p.m.
    Phil Vang and Chef Yebralem, Foodhini Inc. ❘ Eritrean cuisine

    Foodhini—Washington, D.C.’s online food delivery service that supports refugee and migrant chefs—comes to the Smithsonian! Join Foodhini’s founder, Phil Vang, and Foodhini chef Yebralem as they prepare one of Yebralem’s signature Eritrean dishes. During the demonstration, they will discuss Foodhini’s mission and how the company not only features Eritrean food, but the dishes of a diverse group of chefs from across the globe.

  • In the Kitchen with Chef Jacques Pépin
    1:00 – 1:45 p.m.
    Jacques Pépin ❘ La Technique
    (*Free tickets are required.)

    Join us for this special ticketed cooking demonstration featuring chef, author, teacher, and artist Jacques Pépin, the first winner of The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts’ Julia Child Award. Pépin is known for his spirited personality and masterful culinary techniques, and his demo will delight dedicated chefs, cooks, and food enthusiasts of all ages.

  • Persian Cuisine in the U.S.
    3:00 – 3:30 p.m.
    Chef Zohreh Mohagheghfar, graduate of Emma’s Torch ❘ Persian cuisine

    Join Chef Zohreh Mohagheghfar as she prepares a Persian dish that embodies her memory of home. Mohagheghfar migrated from Iran to the United States and trained as a professional chef through Emma’s Torch, an organization that seeks to empower refugees and asylees by offering culinary training courses and placement support in professional kitchens across New York City. During the demonstration, Mohagheghfar will speak about her experiences at Emma’s Torch and how the organization has empowered her to find a position working as a professional chef in a French restaurant after graduating from the program.

Saturday, November 9

  • Cooking Healthy: Kids in the Kitchen
    10:30 – 11:00 a.m
    Ellie Krieger ❘ Kid-friendly, healthful cuisine

    Chef, TV personality, and cookbook author Ellie Krieger makes healthy cooking fun during this demonstration geared toward families. How do you engage all members of the family in cooking and preparing meals? Learns some tips and tricks from Krieger to try at home with the whole family. After the demonstration, Krieger will sign copies of her new book, Whole in One: Complete, Healthy Meals in a Single Pot, Sheet Pan, or Skillet. Books will be available for purchase on site.

  • Mera Kitchen Collective: A Taste of the Baltimore Farmers’ Market
    12:00 – 12:30 p.m
    Iman Alshehab, Mona Ahmed, and Aisha Alfadhalah of Mera Kitchen Collective ❘ Syrian cuisine

    Three dynamic chefs from the Mera Kitchen Collective will prepare recipes they feature at catered events, cooking classes, and their food stand at the Baltimore Farmers’ Market. Their worker-owned cooperative empowers women entrepreneurs to create dishes that reflect the global cuisines represented in their group. Join us as we prepare a Syrian dish with chefs Iman, Mona, and Aisha and learn more about the Mera Kitchen Collective.

  • Vietnamese Cuisine in Lincoln, Nebraska
    1:00 – 1:30 p.m.
    Thuy and Khanh Nguyen ❘ Vietnamese cuisine

    After migrating to Lincoln, Nebraska, Thuy Nguyen provided for her family by opening a specialty market featuring products and produce from across Asia. Over the years, she built her business with her children, opening Banhwich Café and Pho Factory, which are now local favorites in Lincoln. Join us as Thuy and her daughter Khanh share the family’s migration story while showing us how to make a recipe from their much-beloved Vietnamese restaurants.

  • Behind-the-Scenes at Bad Saint
    2:00 – 2:30 p.m
    Genevieve Villamora ❘ Filipino cuisine

    Join Genevieve Villamora, co-owner of Washington, D.C.’s award-winning restaurant Bad Saint, as she speaks about how the restaurant’s menu reflects the Filipino heritage of her family. She will prepare a signature dish from the restaurant, reflecting upon the culinary influences and cultural histories that define Bad Saint’s cuisine and dining experience.

  • Salvadoran Cuisine in the District
    3:00 – 3:30 p.m.
    Dora Escobar, La Chiquita ❘ Salvadoran cuisine

    Join Chef Dora Escobar as she prepares a favorite dish from El Salvador and discusses her personal and professional path in the United States. During the demonstration, Escobar will also discuss the inspiration behind her restaurant La Chiquita and the role of activism in the city’s foodscape.



Three participants at a panel discussion during Food History Weekend

Deep-Dish Dialogues

Friday, November 8


  • Culinary Game Changers and the Julia Child Award
    10:30 – 11:45 a.m.
    A Conversation with Julia Child Awardees, 2015–2019
    (*Free tickets are required.)

    Since 2015, The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts has presented the annual Julia Child Award to individuals who have made a significant contribution to American culinary history and contemporary life. Join us for a dynamic conversation among the award winners as they reflect on Julia’s legacy and discuss how their work in food extends and amplifies the critical importance of culinary education, innovation, mentoring, and bridge-building for a new generation.

    Participants: Jacques Pépin, Rick Bayless, Danny Meyer, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger
    Moderator: Carla Hall
  • Empowering Communities Through Food
    1:30 – 2:45 p.m.
    A Conversation with Women Migrants, Refugees, and Entrepreneurs

    How can culinary knowledge and skills provide a path toward economic well-being and cultural expression for migrant and refugee women? What obstacles, challenges, and opportunities do they face? Join this session for a conversation among women food entrepreneurs and activists working in different types of organizations and enterprises as they share their experiences and explore how to create sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their communities in the United States.

    Participants: Manal Kahi (Eat Offbeat, New York City), Daniela Hurtado (La Cocina VA, Arlington), Lourdez Gonzalez (Misky Bakery, Lincoln, Nebraska), Emily Lerman (Mera Kitchen Collective, Baltimore)

    Moderator: Julia Turshen


Saturday, November 9

  • Saving Communities Through Food: A History
    10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
    A Conversation on Women and Food Activism in American History

    With culinary historian, author, and editor Jessica B. Harris, this panel will explore how African American women have protected and sustained individuals and communities through the creative production and distribution of food. Harris, Psyche Williams-Forson and Tambra Raye Stevenson of Women Advancing Nutrition Dietetics and Agriculture (WANDA) will explore African American activism through food, including the publication of NCNW’s cookbook The Black Family Reunion Cookbook (1991). Case studies will provide a lens for understanding the long history of women using their culinary skills to make a difference in their communities and beyond.

    Participants: Jessica B. Harris, PhD; Tambra Raye Stevenson; Psyche Williams-Forson
    Moderator: Crystal Moten, PhD



    Three participants at a panel discussion during Food History Weekend

    The Last Call: Brewing History After-Hours
    Friday, November 8, 2019, at 6:30 p.m.

    Join us for an evening of conversation with several of the most transformational figures in the beer industry and brews spanning the spectrum of the craft beer revolution. Also enjoy after-hours access to the FOOD exhibit and brewing history objects out of storage, including recent acquisitions.

    Tickets: $45 

    Brewing a Revolution

    A conversation with the founders of craft beer: Fritz Maytag, former owner of Anchor Brewing Company; Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company; Charlie Papazian, past president of the Brewers Association and founder of the Association of Brewers; and Michael Lewis, professor emeritus at University of California, Davis.

    Craft beer tastings with:

    • Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Milton, Delaware)
    • Anchor Brewing Company (San Francisco, California)
    • Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (Chico, California, and Mills River, North Carolina)
    • Raleigh Brewing Company (Raleigh, North Carolina)
    • New Belgium Brewing Co. (Fort Collins, Colorado)

    Purchase Last Call Tickets



    The National Museum of American History welcomes visitors of all ages and abilities. Requests for accessibility services at our programs and special events can be made by voicemail at 202-633-3150 or by email at Two-week’s notice is preferred.

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