Exploring Food History Together

Through research, collections, exhibitions, and programs, the American Food History Project at the National Museum of American History invites everyone to join the conversation about food history and why it matters. By exploring diverse and compelling stories of American food history, we can discover together the roles we play in understanding the past and shaping the future of food. 

Join us for Food History Weekend 2022 which will honor the efforts of community advocates who are working to conserve, share, and celebrate their ancestral food traditions in various communities across the United States. The weekend begins with the annual Smithsonian Food History Gala on Thursday, October 13, during which culinary historian and cookbook author Grace Young will receive the 2022 Julia Child Award presented by The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. Young, the eighth recipient of the award, is a tireless advocate for the preservation of American Chinatowns and all their cultural, economic, and gastronomic riches. Tickets are on sale now!

Grace Young will present a special Cooking Up History program on Friday, October 14 at the museum, free and open to all. Sharing the ancestral knowledge she documented for her cookbooks, Young will prepare fried rice with Chinese barbecued pork during the hour-long, live cooking demonstration and conversation. Additional Cooking Up History demonstrations will run throughout the fall season and will be held at noon on the Coulter Plaza & Stage.

The museum will also host an “Objects Out of Storage” event on October 14, inviting visitors to take a closer look at objects and documents donated recently by Young. Other objects from the museum’s collections that illuminate the rich and diverse cultures of Chinatowns and Chinese American communities across the United States will also be available.

Food History Weekend will conclude on the evening of Friday, October 14, with “Last Call,” our annual beer history program hosted by the American Brewing History Initiative. This year’s event, “¡Salud! to American Latinos in Beer,” will explore the past, present, and future of American Latinos in the brewing industry, in celebration of the recently opened Molina Family Latino Gallery at the National Museum of American History, and the forthcoming National Museum of the American Latino. Join us as we raise a glass to say, ¡Salud!

To learn more, check out the collections below as well as the programs and research in the side menu. Be sure to sign up for our food history email newsletter for all the latest happenings. Cheers!


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Chef Lena Richard and others filming a television segment
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