Smithsonian Food History Weekend

Cooking Up History: Culinary Traditions within the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma with Chef Nico Albert, from the 2020 Food History Weekend

Recovering Food Histories with Toni Tipton-Martin and Friends 

Join journalist, cookbook author, editor, television host, mentor, and community advocate Toni Tipton-Martin, the 2021 Julia Child Award recipient, for a virtual salon on November 12th. Tipton-Martin will convene a panel of trailblazing women in a conversation about the role of research and archives in recovering and enriching historical narratives around food history. The discussion will explore the essential acts of primary research, writing, mentorship, and public outreach.

Tipton-Martin will kick off the event with award-winning journalist and biographer A’Lelia Bundles. Together, they will share new perspectives on Bundles’s great-great-grandmother, Madam C.J. Walker, the noted Black entrepreneur, philanthropist, and activist. Through their careful research in the Madam Walker Family Archives, a new understanding of Walker's intellectual salons, hosted in her home, has emerged.

Honoring the tradition of Walker’s salons, the event will continue with Tipton-Martin welcoming author, host, and executive producer, Padma Lakshmi, and journalist, food historian, and cookbook author, Sandra Gutierrez. At the heart of this event lies a message about the role women play as researchers, writers, and keepers of their communities’ histories; the critical role of women’s networks in facing challenges and barriers as well as in mentoring future generations; and the inspiring ways in which women can support each other in personal and professional realms.

This program will be pre-recorded and released on the National Museum of American History’s YouTube channel on November 12th.


What is the Food History Project?

The Smithsonian Food History project at the National Museum of American History welcomes everyone to join in exploring history through the lens of food. The museum’s food history team conducts research, collects objects and documents, creates exhibitions, and develops dynamic public programs that illuminate the fundamental role of food in shaping many aspects of American history and cultural life.

Our food programs are based on the museum’s research and collecting initiatives and include on-line offerings as well as on-site programs and demonstrations. These events bring visitors together for relevant discussions that start with history and expand to the present and future of food in the United States. Special activities include free daytime programs, including live cooking demonstrations, and the annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend. The National Museum of American History is committed to examining the historical roots of contemporary issues concerning food and drink in the United States. To stay in the loop, sign up for our food history email newsletter here.


Julia Child Award


What is Food History Weekend?

Every year, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History brings together food innovators, activists, educators, entrepreneurs, chefs, and scholars for conversations, cooking demonstrations, and hands-on activities with museum visitors to inspire a broader understanding of the history of food in the United States and the role we all play in shaping the future of food.


Dora Escobar During Cooking Up History at 2019 Smithsonian Food History Weekend


Made By US and Food Justice

Made by US is a new national movement spearheaded by leading U.S.history organizations who have come together to offer transformational, civic-focused programming leading up to the Nation’s 250th Anniversary in 2026. The National Museum of American History is one of the leading organizations behind the Made by US initiative. This video discusses the past, present, and future of food justice and food access in the United States. Speakers include NMAH historian Dr. Ashley Rose Young, Celia Cody-Carrese from Food Foward, and Caroline Klibanoff from Made by US.