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Culinary Conversations

Culinary Conversations explore the vibrant food life of immigrant New York, both past and present. Among our featured guests you will find cookbook authors, food critics, historians, and filmmakers, along with a full cast of working food producers from neighborhood butchers to three-star chefs. Culinary Conversations are multi-sensory events, combining talk, tastings, screenings, and cooking demonstrations in a series of evening programs.


November 16th, 2012

2:30 AM

In their new cookbook, the proprietors’ of Mile End put their indelible stamp on Jewish comfort food. Join Noah and Rae Bernamoff for a discussion, demo and tasting of the schmaltz-laden standards that sustained our immigrant ancestors.

GRAN cocina latina

December 12th, 2012

2:30 AM

Mexicans, Colombians, Ecuadorians, Peruvians, Cubans and Guatemalans, among other immigrant groups, are quietly re-inventing a pan-Latin cuisine here in New York. Restaurateur, chef and author, Maricel Presilla, gives her take on this cultural and culinary flowering. This event will include a discussion, tasting and cooking demo.

welcome to kutsher’s

January 23rd, 2013

2:30 AM

In 20th century borscht belt dining rooms, the traditional foods of East European Jews collided with American abundance. Revisit this exuberant union with the filmmakers of Welcome to Kutsher’s, an award-winning documentary about the last standing Catskill’s resort. This event includes a screening, discussion and double tasting of borscht belt specialties, traditional and reimagined.

mission chinese

February 13th, 2013

2:30 AM

Chef Danny Bowien brings his intuitive smarts to Chinese American standards like fried rice and Kung Pao Chicken. The results are uncanny, both familiar and utterly original. Join us for a conversation with this culinary innovator and Lucky Peach editor, Peter Meehan, followed by a cooking demo and tasting.

The New Little Germany: New York Revisits the German Table

March 20th, 2013

1:30 AM

From the proliferation of local beer gardens to the growing visibility of Austro-German dining spots, New York City is rediscovering the pleasures of the German table. Join former NY Times restaurant critic Mimi Sheraton, Schaller & Weber charcuterie master Jeremy Schaller and chef Kurt Gutenbrunner of The Standard Biergarten for an insider's look at this culinary awakening. Additional presenters to be named soon.

*Please note: This event replaces the previously scheduled Foods of Coney Island.


Eleven Madison Park

April 24th, 2013

1:30 AM

Chef Daniel Humm and general manager Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park sit down with food critic William Grimes to discuss New York's historic culinary gems, the inspiration for their ambitious new tasting menu. The evening includes dishes from the new menu and a signing of I Love New York, Humm and Guidara's forthcoming cookbook.

Eat the City: Farming the Five Boroughs

May 29th, 2013

1:30 AM

On rooftops, in vacant lots and warehouses, New Yorkers are planting and harvesting a bounty of city-grown crops. Eat the City author Robin Shulman leads a roundtable of urban agriculture advocates including sustainability expert Derek Denckla of The Greenest, community garden activist, Marlene Wilks and Ian Marvy, director of Red Hook's Added Value. After the panel, local farm-to-table food and drink vendors set up shop to offer a diverse tasting menu while bluegrass combo The Katydids provide live music. 

Current vendors include The Meatball Shop, The Landhaus, Home by the Range, Red Hook's Fort Defiance and more. Beer tastings by Sixpoint Brewery.

Torrisi Italian Specialties

June 20th, 2013

1:30 AM

Dubbed the "future of Italian food in America" by the NY Times, Chefs Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone of Torrisi Italian Specialties channel the eclectic immigrant flavors of Chinatown, the Lower East Side and Little Italy into their distinctly local take on Italian-American cuisine. Mitchell Davis, VP of the James Beard House, joins to tackle the question of what it means to cook "Italian" in today's New York. A tasting follows the discussion.

Stay tuned for spring culinary conversations including celebrity chefs, a culinary tour of chinatown's diverse cuisine, an insider account of butcher shops and a conversation with urban farmers.

Jane Ziegelman

Jane Ziegelman is the series
curator and host of Culinary
Conversations. Ziegleman, food
historian and writer, is the author
of the bestselling book, 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families In One New York Tenement. The book and Culinary Conversations are products of Ziegelman's twenty year relationship with the Museum. She has presented food-related talks and cooking classes in libraries and schools across the country.

From the city's earliest history, immigrants have created in a strange environment - the familiar foods of home. Historically, the immigrants' hunger was fed by merchants and peddlers, restaurant keepers, food artisans, tradespeople, and home cooks, transforming New York's culinary life in the process. While the immigrants have changed, the food saga is still unfolding as new groups continue to settle in New York, forever redrawing the city's culinary map.

$30 each

Tickets may be purchased in a series (for three or more events) at a discount rate.

Culinary Conversations are held in a wheelchair accessible space equipped with induction loops. For a full list of accessible programs and services, visit our accessibility page.

Call 1-877-975-3786 for details. tickets are limited and all sales are final.

Foods of the lower east side

Taste dumplings, fried plantains, cream puffs and more while exploring the immigrant experience andsome of the ways immigrant foods have shaped American food on this walking tour. Learn more >

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