The National Museum of American History will host the eighth annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend and Gala in person October 13-14
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will host its eighth annual Food History Weekend Oct. 13-14, a multifaceted in-person event that features two days of dynamic presentations, including a demonstration of live cooking, a roundtable on the history of brewing and out-of-storage exhibits.
The weekend kicks off Thursday, October 13 with the Smithsonian Food History Gala, one of Washington, DC’s premier culinary events, to be held in person at the museum after two years of virtual presentations. As a highlight of the evening, culinary historian and cookbook author Grace Young will receive the Julia Child Award presented by Julia Knight, Museum Director of Poster House, on behalf of the Julia Child Foundation for Food and Culinary Arts . The Julia Child Award recognizes an individual who has made a profound and significant difference in the way America cooks, eats, and drinks. Young, the eighth recipient of the award, is a tireless advocate for the preservation of America’s Chinatowns and all of their cultural, economic and gastronomic riches and their critical needs in the face of growing violence against members of the Asian American and Islander community of the Peaceful.
“As the nation’s flagship history museum and home to Julia Child’s kitchen, we are honored to explore and share the intersections of democracy, history and food, with careful focus on cultural equity and justice,” said Anthea M. Hartig, Elizabeth MacMillan Director. “Understanding the complexities of the nation’s past helps us make sense of contemporary experiences and enables us to move forward and create real change, with the guiding and enduring inspiration of Julia Child and Grace Young. “
Since 2015, each annual Smithsonian Food Story Weekend has brought together culinary professionals, practitioners, educators and scholars to engage with the public through dynamic food experiments and demonstrations. This year’s theme, “Conserving Food Cultures,” honors the efforts of community advocates who work to conserve, share, and celebrate their age-old food traditions in diverse communities across the United States.
Smithsonian Food History Gala
The October 13 gala is a fundraising dinner to benefit the museum’s food history research, programming and exhibit. The evening will feature the celebration of the eighth annual Julia Child Award by the Julia Child Foundation for Food and Culinary Arts. The evening’s unique menu will be created by Chef Peter Chang, a master of Chinese cuisine and one of the Washington, DC area’s most admired chefs. The first course will be a special dish of eight flavors; eight is an important number in Chinese culture. Other menu highlights include Chang’s Sichuan cumin lamb served with rice and forbidden greens, vegetarian options, lime passion fruit pie, and more. Several Washington chefs, including Chef Tim Ma of Lucky Danger, Laoban Dumplings and Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate; Danny Lee and Scott Drewno, chefs and co-founders of The Fried Rice Collective; and Queen’s English chef Henji Cheung will prepare special hors d’oeuvres to honor Young.
Chantal Tseng, bartender, sommelier, cocktail designer and educator, will design specialty cocktails featuring Ming River Sichuan baijiu, a grain alcohol. The wine and beer pairings will feature wines from California, New York and Virginia and beers from California, Colorado and Maine.
Other special guests include Francis Lam, host of “The Splendid Table,” who will be the evening’s emcee, as well as guest speakers Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Ph.D., museum curator and professor emeritus at the New York University, and Sara Moulton, chef, cookbook author and television personality. Former Julia Child Award recipient Toni Tipton Martin will complete the list of special guests.
More information about the event as well as individual ticket sales and table sponsorships for the gala can be found on the museum website website.
The evening is made possible thanks to the main support of the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, Winiarski Family Foundation, Cabot Creamery Co-operative, The Cafaro Foundation, Johanna Mendelson Forman, Macchu Pisco, Napa Valley Vintners, Joan Nathan and the Gerson Family, Wegmans Food Markets, AARP, Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate, Clark Construction, Potomac Construction, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association and Shan Nain Benevolent Association, Al Diaz and Angela Phillips Diaz, and Danny Meyer.
Public programming begins Friday, October 14 with a free “Cooking Up History” live demo with Young. Sharing the age-old knowledge she documents for her cookbooks, Young will show how to prepare fried rice with barbecued Chinese pork and discuss her efforts to preserve Chinese-American culinary culture at home and in emerging Chinatowns. of disappearances across the country during the hour-long cooking demonstration and conversation. . The popular “Cooking Up History” series is made possible by Stephanie Bennett-Smith, Ph.D., with additional support from Wegmans Food Markets.
The museum will also host an “Objects Out of Storage” exhibit, inviting visitors to take a closer look at the objects and documents Young recently donated to the museum. The exhibit will include the Young family’s nearly 70-year-old wok and a set of Canton Rose porcelain as well as a copy of The French chef’s cookbook signed by Child for a young teenager. Other artifacts from the museum’s extensive collections include gifts from Cecilia Chiang (1920-2020), the Chinese-American restaurateur, chef, and founder of the Mandarin restaurant in San Francisco; Paul and Linda Ma, Chinese-American restaurateurs and Chinese culture educators in New York; and Virginia Lee Mead (1869–1942), whose father founded the Chinese Merchants Association in 1918 in New York.
Attendees will also get a chance to see “Rallying Against Racism,” a new installation at the museum of a large red banner that members of the Chinese-American community carried during an anti-Asian hate march through Chinatown. of San Francisco on February 29, 2020.
Friday evening, October 14, Smithsonian Food History Weekend will conclude with “Last Call,” the annual paid brewing history program, which this year is hosted in conjunction with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the Latin American. The event “¡Salud! to American Latinos in Beer,” will explore the past, present, and future of American Latinos in the brewing industry, representing a diverse and vibrant common thread among brewers and beer lovers nationwide. Many of these brewers look for a variety of ingredients with Latin roots – prickly pear, piloncillo sugar, tamarind, guava and more – when creating new styles of beer. Building taprooms and communities that look, sound and taste innovative, inclusive and delicious, they are writing the next chapter in American beer history. “Last Call” is made possible by the Brewers Association.
Speakers include Carmen Favela of Mujeres Brew House, San Diego; Javier Lopez, Casa Humilde Cerveceria, Chicago; Gabriel Montoya, DeadBeach Brewery, El Paso, Texas; Juan Camilo, Dyckman Beer Co., New York; and Liz Garibay, founder of the Chicago Brewseum.
Attendees will also be able to view a number of artifacts representing brewing history, including materials from Highland Brewing Co. of Asheville, North Carolina, documenting operational changes to the brewery during the COVID-19 pandemic. ; a recent donation from Modist Brewing Co. of Minneapolis, documenting the brewery’s support for #BlackLivesMatter protesters following the May 2020 killing of George Floyd; beer can labels donated by Narrows Brewing Co. of Tacoma, Wash., whose creative designs referenced Americans’ diverse experiences of living during the COVID-19 pandemic; a bottle of hand sanitizer donated by Urban South Brewing Co. in New Orleans, documenting the brewery’s 2020 pivot from producing beer to producing hand sanitizer — a transition that recalls the history of prohibition; and artifacts from the museum’s collections documenting the long history of beer brewing in Mexico from the Mexicali, Tecate, and Dos Equis breweries.
Full schedule of Food History Weekend events and attendees available on the museum website.
The founding exhibition of the museum,FOOD: transforming the American tableis a long-term exhibition that explores the various technological, social and cultural forces driving major changes in food production, distribution and consumption since 1950. Audiences can also explore the rich and complex histories of Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent through the museum’s collections, exhibits, archives and scientific research on line.
Through unparalleled collections, rigorous research, and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History seeks to empower people to create a more just and compassionate future by examining, preserving, and sharing the complexity of our past. The museum, located on Constitution Avenue NW between 12th and 14th Streets, is open Friday through Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free and no pass is required. The doors of the museum are always open online and the Virtual Museum continues to expand its offerings, including online exhibits, materials, and K-12 educational programs. The public can follow the museum on social networks at Twitter, instagram and Facebook. For more information visit the museum website. For information about the Smithsonian, the public can call (202) 633-1000.
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