Smithsonian Food History Weekend

This year, we’re going virtual in celebration of our 2021 Julia Child Award recipient, Toni Tipton-Martin!

We’ll kick off our events this year on November 4th with a celebration as Toni Tipton-Martin receives the seventh annual Julia Child Award presented by The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.

Then, on November 12th, Tipton-Martin will host a virtual salon, convening trailblazing women on the importance of recovering and sharing food histories that have been ignored and overlooked for too long.

Both events will be pre-recorded and released on the National Museum of American History’s YouTube Channel. We can’t wait to see you this year!

Recovering Food Histories with Toni Tipton-Martin and Friends 

November 12th, 12:00 pm on YouTube

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; as well as A’Lelia’s great grandmother and namesake, A’Lelia Walker, who was known for hosting elaborate and fanciful salons in Harlem. 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 New York Times best-selling 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.



Toni Tipton-Martin

Toni Tipton-Martin

Culinary journalist, author, editor-in-chief, and community health advocate Toni Tipton-Martin is the 2021 recipient of the Julia Child Award, created by The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts to recognize an individual who has made a significant impact on the way America cooks, eats, and drinks. The award will be presented at the National Museum of American History as part of its American Food History Project. Registration details will be added soon, check back later!

A native of Los Angeles, Tipton-Martin graduated from the University of Southern California School of Journalism. She was a nutrition reporter for the Los Angeles Times and in 1991 became the first African American woman hired as the food editor for a major daily newspaper, Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer. A prolific researcher and writer, Tipton-Martin worked independently for many years, publishing articles and books, and speaking widely on African American food culture. In 2020 she was named editor in-chief of the magazine and television show Cook’s Country. Throughout her career, Tipton-Martin has collected and researched African American cookbooks, amassing a collection that served as the foundation for her award-winning 2015 book, The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks. Her 2020 book, Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking, builds on and reveals the largely unrecognized diversity of Black culinary contributions.

Tipton-Martin’s work extends to teaching, mentoring, and participating in community, regional, and national programs on food and nutrition. She is a founding member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and Foodways Texas and was invited twice to the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama in recognition of her work with families and communities

A'Lelia Bundles

A’Lelia Bundles

A’Lelia Bundles is the author of On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker, the 2001 New York Times Notable Book about her entrepreneurial great-great-grandmother and the inspiration for Self Made, the fictional Netflix series starring Octavia Spencer. Ms. Bundles is at work on her fifth book, The Joy Goddess of Harlem: A’Lelia Walker and the Harlem Renaissance, about her great-grandmother whose parties, arts patronage and international travels helped define the era.

A former network television news executive and producer at ABC News and NBC News, Ms. Bundles is a vice chairman emerita of Columbia University’s Board of Trustees and chair emerita of the board of the National Archives Foundation.

She is on the advisory boards of the March on Washington Film Festival, the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute and the Smithsonian’s American Women’s History Initiative.

Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi is an Emmy-nominated food expert, television producer, host and The New York Times best-selling author.

She is the creator of the critically acclaimed Hulu series Taste the Nation, winner of the 2021 Critics Choice Award. Taste the Nation will return for a holiday seasonette in November 2021, and its second season will begin filming in early 2022. Lakshmi also serves as host and executive producer of Bravo’s two-time Emmy-winning series Top Chef.

Lakshmi is co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) and an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Artist Ambassador for immigrants' rights and women's rights. Lakshmi was also appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

She established herself as a food expert early in her career, hosting two successful cooking shows: Padma’s Passport, and Planet Food and writing the best-selling Easy Exotic, which won the “Best First Book” award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Lakshmi followed this with the publication of her second cookbook, Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet and her memoir The New York Times best-selling Love, Loss and What We Ate. She later published The Encyclopedia of Spices & Herbs. In August of 2021 she published her first children’s book, The New York Times best-selling Tomatoes for Neela.

Additionally, Lakshmi is a visiting scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She has received the 2018 Karma Award from Variety, as well as the 2016 NECO Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Sandra Gutierrez

Sandra Gutierrez

In a career that spans more than two decades, Sandra A. Gutierrez, journalist, food writer, cookbook author, food historian, and professional cooking instructor, has taught thousands how to cook.

Born in the USA, this bilingual, award-winning author of four cookbooks is considered one of the top national experts on Latin American Foodways and on the United States Southern Regional cuisine.

She is the former food editor for The Cary News. Her articles and recipes have been featured in many national and international publications, including Eating Well, Food & Wine, Southern Living, The Washington Post, USA Today, NBC Latino, FOX Latino, People Español, Cosmopolitan, In-Style magazine, Men's Fitness, Cooking Light, The Oxford American, Better Homes and Gardens and in newspapers across the country. As a recipe tester and developer, Sandra has over 3,000 original recipes and over 1500 articles published worldwide.

Her books have won her special recognition from The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and the Wall Street Journal. Sandra is the author of four books: The New Southern-Latino Table: Recipes that Bring Together the Bold and Beloved Flavors of Latin America & The American South (2011), Latin American Street Food: The Best Flavors of Markets, Beaches, and Roadside Stands from Mexico to Argentina (2013), Empanadas: the Hand-Held Pies of Latin America (2015); winner of a Gourmand Award for best single-subject cookbook in the United States, and Beans and Field Peas: A Savor the South Cookbook (2015).

Sandra is a frequent speaker at conferences, universities, and literary festivals. Sandra has appeared in numerous television shows, including the nationally syndicated Daytime TV show on NBC. Sandra is a founding member of the North Carolina Chapter of Les Dames D'Escoffier.

A frequent judge for major food writing awards, in 2017, Sandra was awarded the M.F.K Fisher Grand Prize Award for Excellence in Food Writing. Sandra’s work and life story were featured in the Exhibit Gateways/Portales at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum from 2016-2019. In 2019 her work and culinary objects became part of the permanent FOOD exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. On September 15, 2021, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Sandra was honored by the Smithsonian Institute as a “Woman to Know” and one of seven “Latinas who shaped American culture.”


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 to receive updates from the food history team 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.