Wow! Ummm, I’m in Good Company: The Roger Smith Cookbook Conference

So—sometimes you’re asked to be a part of something and you go, “Sure, okay, I’ll be with ya in body and spirit.”  And then you look whose going to be there with you..Melissa Clark, Joan Nathan, Ken Albala, Andrew F. Smith, Judith Jones, Gil Marks…I’d better invest in a really good autograph pen…bloggers, cookbook authors, food historians, culinary artists, fantastic receptions–and then you go….umm I’m here?  I will be on a panel with Toni Tipton-Martin, esteemed food writer and wordsmith of The Jemima Code blog: http://www.thejemimacode.com/ on the subject of African American cookbooks and African American foodways.  Here is a description of our part of the program:

“Cookbooks and the African American Experience”

Description:  More than a hundred years ago white American “epicures” (the  fashionable Gilded Age term) routinely praised the genius of “mammies”  and “colored cooks” while remaining clueless about crucial details –  for instance, the surviving fragments of African culinary legacies  that illiterate and enslaved women (sometimes men) had managed to  bring to North America from Africa itself and parts of the New World African diaspora, or these people’s profound influence  on the  nation’s foodways beyond the South. Even today, neither half of the  hyphenated label “African-American” comes in for much sustained  attention from most members of the culinary “cognoscenti’. The panel  will discuss the ways in which cookbooks can illuminate the complexly  woven identities of African-Americans over the last four centuries.

Chair: Kathleen McElroy, Researcher and Editor

Panelists:  Toni Tipton-Martin; Michael Twitty, Culinary Historian

Let’s see what happens!  Here’s the site:  http://cookbookconf.com/; the press release follows:

Press Release

Cookbook Conference Hosted February 9-11, 2012, by the Roger Smith Hotel, 501 Lexington Avenue in New York City http://cookbookconf.com/

What are cookbooks? Why have they been so influential? Will there be any cookbooks in 2020? These are some questions that will be considered at this first-ever cookbook conference. This three-day event will be an eclectic gathering of those who publish, write, edit, agent, research, or simply buy and use cookbooks.The objective is to share their very different learning experiences.

Thirty-one panels workshops incorporate over 80 cookbook writers, bloggers, agents, editors and publishers.Included are: Molly O’Neill, Darra Goldstein, Melissa Clark, Judith Jones, Anne Mendelson, Betty Fussell, Jessica Harris, Paul Friedman, Madhur Jaffrey, Laura Shapiro, Barbara Fairchild, Barbara Ketcham Wheaton, Joan Nathan, Ken Albala.

The core program offered Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11, will follow two tracks: I) Cookbooks Past and Present: Looking Beneath the Sauce-Splattered Page, and II) Cookbook 2020: The Future of the Cookbook. Built into the schedule are numerous opportunities to network with well-known personalities in the world of cookbook publishing and with peers. Receptions as well as lunches and breaks will highlight hand-crafted and local foods. An onsite bookshop operated by Kitchen Arts & Letters will feature books by authors participating in the conference.

Thursday, February 9, features three workshops: Introduction to Cookbook Publishing; Reading Cookbooks: a Structured Approach and Structured Dialogue; and A Cookbook for the Year 2020: An Experimental Case Study.

Registration is $299 for the complete full-day program on both Friday and Saturday and includes daily lunch and dinner receptions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. The Thursday workshops are an additional $75 each and are scheduled from 1:00 to 5:00pm.

For complete details about the speakers, program, schedule, venue and registration, visit http://cookbookconf.com or call the Roger Smith Hotel at 212-583-3195.

I hope to see you there!

Michael

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About michaelwtwitty

I am a Judaics teacher and Culinary Historian focusing on the foodways of Africa, enslaved African Americans, African America and the African and Jewish diasporas.
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