National Museum of American History Appoints New Members to Kitchen Cabinet

Leading Culinary Experts Advise on Food History and Programs
September 17, 2018
First image: a chef adds ingredients to a table full of plates. Second image: a red bucket filled with red and green apples. Third Image: A hand sprinkles cheese on pizza dough.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has recently named a number of new members to its food history advisory board, the Kitchen Cabinet: Sileshi Alifom, owner and operator of DAS Ethiopian Cuisine, Washington, D.C.; Melanie Asher, CEO, founder and master distiller of Macchu Pisco, Bethesda, Md.; Mary Bacarella, executive director of Pike Place Market, Seattle; Joanne Chang, Pastry Chef, Founder of Flour Café and bakery, Boston; Neil Dahlstrom, manager of corporate history and archives at John Deere, Moline, Ill.; Jim Dodge, director of specialty culinary programs at Bon Appétit Management Company, Palo Alto, Calif.; Geoffrey Drummond, executive director of The Food Lab at Stony Brook Southampton, N.Y.; Darra Goldstein, Willcox B. and Harriet M. Adsit Professor of Russian, Emerita, Williamstown, Mass.; Anthony Hesselius, vice president of Linda Roth Associates, Inc., Washington, D.C.; Ilyse Fishman Lerner, Founder and CEO of On Rye (closed December 2017), Restaurant Association Metropolitan, Washington, D.C.; Alexandra Nemerov, assistant curator at Glenstone, Potomac, Md.; Maricel Presilla, chef, culinary historian and author, Hoboken, New Jersey; Vincent Szwajkowski, chief marketing officer at ArcLight Cinemas & Pacific Theaters, Washington, D.C.; Julia Turshen, Author of Feed the Resistance and Small Victories, Accord, NY.; and Grace Young, culinary historian and author, New York.

As the home of Julia Child’s kitchen, the museum is committed to examining the relationship between food, drink and agriculture on American history through its Smithsonian Food History Project. It formed the Kitchen Cabinet in 2014 as part of a new approach to telling the story of American history through food. The Kitchen Cabinet is made up of leaders in food scholarship, culinary history and food-related businesses in America. Learn more at

Exhibitions and Programs
“FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000” is the museum’s first major exhibition on food history. Since its opening in 2012, the exhibition has taken millions of visitors on an exploration of some of the major changes in food and wine in postwar America. From the impact of innovations and new technologies, to the influence of social and cultural shifts, the exhibition considers how these factors helped transform food and its production, preparation, and consumption, as well as what we know (or think we know) about what’s good for us. Julia Child’s home kitchen, with its hundreds of tools, appliances, and furnishings serves as the opening story of the exhibition.

In addition to its foundational exhibition, the museum has developed a diverse menu of programs and demonstrations that bring visitors together for relevant discussions that start with history and expand to the present and future of food in America. These activities include free daytime programs, regular “Evenings at the Museum” that mix historical topics with themed food and drinks, and the annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend.

Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history. The museum helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. It is currently renovating its West exhibition wing, developing galleries on business, democracy and culture. For more information, visit The museum is located at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue S.W. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free.


Current Members of the Kitchen Cabinet:

Sileshi Alifom, Owner and Operator, DAS Ethiopian Cuisine, Washington, D.C.

Melanie Asher, CEO, Founder and Master Distiller, Macchu Pisco, Bethesda, Maryland

Mary Bacarella, Executive Director, Pike Place Market, Seattle

Dr. Warren Belasco, Food Historian, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

Lydia Botham, Executive Director, Land O’Lakes Foundation, St. Paul, Minnesota

Joanne Chang, Pastry Chef, Founder, Flour Café and Bakery, Boston

Llewellyn Correia, Regional Executive Chef, Wegmans Food Markets, Centreville, Virginia

Darrell Corti, Corti Brothers, Sacramento, California

Neil Dahlstrom, Manager of Corporate History and Archives, John Deere, Moline, Illinois

Michael Dellar, Co-Founder, Lark Creek Restaurant Group, Principal One Market Restaurant, San Francisco, California

Jim Dodge, Director of Specialty Culinary Programs, Bon Appétit Management Company, Palo Alto, California

Geoffrey Drummond, Executive Director, The Food Lab at Stony Brook Southampton, New York

Darra Goldstein, Willcox B. and Harriet M. Adsit Professor of Russian, Emerita, Williamstown, Massachusetts

Jessica B. Harris, Culinary Historian, author, Professor Emerita, Queens College/CUNY, New York City

Anthony Hesselius, Vice President, Linda Roth Associates, Inc., Washington, D.C.

Pati Jinich, Chef, Host, “Pati’s Mexican Table,” Chevy Chase, Maryland

Kim Jordan, Co-Founder, Executive Chair, Board of Directors, New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins, Colorado

Ris Lacoste, Chef, Owner, RIS, Washington, D.C.

Ilyse Fishman Lerner, Founder and CEO, On Rye, Restaurant Association Metropolitan, Washington, D.C.

Linda Lovejoy, Community Relations Manager, Wegmans Food Markets, Gates, New York

Doug Margerum, Owner, Director of Winemaking, Margerum Wines, Santa Barbara, California

Alexandra Nemerov, Assistant Curator, Glenstone, Potomac, Maryland

Libby H. O’Connell, Cultural Historian, author, Washington, D.C.

Linda Novick O’Keefe, Founding Chief Executive Officer, Chicago

Maricel Presilla, Chef, Culinary Historian, author, Hoboken, New Jersey

Todd Schulkin, Executive Director, The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, Santa Barbara, California

Eric W. Spivey, Chairman, The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, Santa Barbara, California

Tanya Wenman Steel, CEO, Cooking Up Big Dreams and Tanya Wenman Steel LLC, New York City

Vincent Szwajkowski, Chief Marketing Office, ArcLight Cinemas & Pacific Theaters, Washington, D.C.

Julia Turshen, author, Feed the Resistance, Small Victories, Accord, New York

Susan Westmoreland, Food Director, “Good Housekeeping,” New York City

Izabela Wojcik, Director of House Programming, James Beard Foundation, New York City

Grace Young, Culinary Historian, author, New York

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