Smithsonian Food History Weekend 2018

Calendar of Events

On a purple background is shown three teal illustrations of food vegetables, fish and grains with test to the right in light purple and yellow
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the home of Julia Child’s kitchen, will host its fourth annual Food History Weekend Nov. 1–3—a multifaceted festival that is made up of four distinct events. Over three days museum visitors and local audiences will participate in cooking demonstrations, conversations, hands-on activities, book signings and displays. This year’s theme, Regions Reimagined, will explore the history and changing dynamics of regional food culture in the U.S. Chefs, farmers, fishers, entrepreneurs, cookbook authors and historians will look at how regions define themselves, shape communities and evolve through food. More information is available at
Editor’s Note: All programs are free and held at the museum unless noted. A detailed schedule follows:
Smithsonian Food History Gala
Thursday, November 1, 6:30 p.m.
Flag Hall
Tickets required: $500, visit
The museum will host a black-tie fundraising gala benefitting the museum’s food history programming and exhibition. The evening will feature the presentation of the Julia Child Award to Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger by the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. Presenters include Chef Bobby Flay as master of ceremonies and Barbara Fairchild, Chef Traci des Jardins and Chef Kajsa Alger as featured speakers.
Smithsonian Food History Roundtables
Friday, November 2, 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Warner Bros. Theater
Free registration and information:
The Roundtables will feature four sessions of moderated conversations about region, foodways and the dynamics of change. After each session, select participants will sign copies of their books. Seating will be on a first come/first served basis.
Session 1: “The Power of Place”
9:45 – 10:45 a.m.
William Cronon, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison; Ronni Lundy, author; Sean Sherman, chef; and Corby Kummer, writer and editor, Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition, will discuss the evolving concept of region and how it has shaped everything from our sense of self and community to economic activity and agricultural landscapes.
Session 1 Book Signings
10:45 – 11:10 a.m.
Ronni Lundy will sign copies of Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, and Sean Sherman will sign copies of The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen.
Session 2: Selling Regions
11:10 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.
Jennifer Dueck, Ph.D., University of Manitoba; Jessica B. Harris, Ph.D., culinary historian and author; Lucy Long, Ph.D., Center for Food and Culture; Amy B. Trubek, Ph.D., University of Vermont; and Ashley Rose Young, Ph.D., food historian at the museum, will discuss how communities, food entrepreneurs and tourism-related industries sell the concept of a region.
Session 2 Book Signings
12:10 – 12:40 p.m.
Jessica B. Harris will sign copies of High on the Hog and My Soul Looks Back, and Amy B. Trubek will sign copies of Taste of Place and Making Modern Meals.
Session 3: Reclaiming the Pacific Northwest
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Gayle Goschie, owner of Goschie Farms; Edouardo Jordan, chef; Elizabeth Woody, creative thinker and maker; and Rebekah Denn, journalist, will discuss how the Pacific Northwest has been shaped by abundant natural resources and the diverse cultural communities that have protected, claimed, exploited and reclaimed the region’s food traditions.
Session 3 Book Signings
2:30 – 3 p.m.
Elizabeth Woody will sign copies of Salmon Nation and Seven Hands, Seven Hearts.
Session 4: Remixing the South
3 – 4 p.m.
Sandra Gutierrez, author; Matthew Raiford, farmer; Michael Twitty, culinary historian and food writer; Sam Vong, Ph.D., curator at the museum; and Joe Yonan, Food and Dining editor, The Washington Post, will discuss what makes food “Southern” and who gets to decide.
Session 4 Book Signings
4 – 4:30 p.m.
Sandra Gutierrez will sign copies of The New Southern-Latino Table, Michael Twitty will sign copies of The Cooking Gene and Joe Yonan will sign copies of America the Great Cookbook.
Smithsonian Food History Festival
Saturday, November 3, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
The Food History Festival will present a full day of free activities for visitors of all ages to explore the past, present and future of regions, food and community. Activities will include live cooking demonstrations, film screenings, exhibition tours, hands-on activities and rarely exhibited objects on display. Note: There will be no tastings. The museum’s Eat at America’s Table Cafe will be open from
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Cooking Demonstrations
11:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza, 1 West
  • 11:15 – 11:45 a.m.: Details coming soon
  • 12:15 – 12:45 p.m.: “Mexican Regional Cuisine in the U.S.” with Aáron Sánchez
  • 1 – 1:30 p.m.: “Punjabi Traditions Meet Mexican Flavors in California” with Maneet Chauhan
  • 2 – 2:30 p.m.: “Expressing the South in Seattle” with Edouardo Jordan
  • 3 – 3:30 p.m.: “Creating Food and Community on Smith Island, Chesapeake Bay” with Janice Marshall
  • 4 – 4:30 p.m.: “Indigenous Foodways of the Midwest” with Sean Sherman
Deep Dish Dialogues
10:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Warner Bros. Theater, 1 Center
Seating on a first come/first served basis. Free registration:
Curators, authors and experts will dig deep into how food and regions are connected. Participants will sign copies of their books after their presentations.
  • 10:45 – 11:15 a.m.: “Past, Present, and Place in Mexican Cuisine” with Chef Aáron Sánchez in conversation with museum curator Stephen Velasquez
  • 11:15 – 11:45 a.m.: Chef Aáron Sánchez will sign copies of Simple Food, Big Flavor.
  • 12:45 – 1:45 p.m.: “Edna Lewis and the Taste of Place” with Sara B. Franklin and others in conversation with Joanne Hyppolite, curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • 1:45 – 2:15 p.m.: Sarah B. Franklin signs copies of Edna Lewis: At the Table with an American Original
Sounds of Faith: Punjabi-Mexican Dance
12:30 and 2:15 p.m.
Flag Hall, 2 Center
A special performance reflecting the rich culture of central California and the Punjabi-Mexican community that formed there at the beginning of the 20th century.
Hands-on Activities
10 a.m.–4 p.m
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza, 1 West
Food history will be available for visitors of all ages in the museum’s activity spaces: At The Kids Table, budding chefs will be able to participate alongside the cooking demonstrations with objects to touch, smell and see. In Wegmans Wonderplace, children ages 0–6 and their adults will explore a miniature Julia Child’s kitchen and practice planting the farm. Spark!Lab will allow curious minds ages 6–12 to create, collaborate and invent.
Last Call: The Great History of American Brewing
Saturday, November 3, 6:30 – 9 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza, 1 West
Tickets required: $45, visit
The Food History Weekend will culminate with a conversation among brewers, historians and other experts led by the museum's brewing historian, Theresa McCulla. Following the talk, participating breweries from different regions of the country will pour sample craft beers. Brewing-inspired activities and historical objects from the museum’s collections will also be available.
About the Museum
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 is located on Constitution Avenue N.W., between 12th and 14th streets, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For more information, visit For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.
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Valeska Hilbig
Jennifer Kerr