Gala Celebration: Taste of the Tenement

Virtual and In Person | June 2022

For our gala celebration this year, we invited everyone to the table for a “taste” of the tenement, in honor of  Hulu’s Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi! All were welcome to an evening of festivities highlighting the stunning variety of Lower East Side foods, with two different ways for everyone to be a part of our biggest fundraising event of the year.

Whether you joined us through our virtual gala film premiere inspired by the show or joined special guests Padma Lakshmi and culinary historian Michael W. Twitty at our in-person celebration at Essex Market, we’re grateful for your support.

An Original Food Documentary

Taste of the Tenement

Our gala celebration this year was the premiere of our new gala film, Taste of the Tenement!

A special “Tenement take” on Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi, we explore the rich history of our vibrant Lower East Side neighborhood through the common thread that brings us all together: food.

There’s no one taste or flavor to define a neighborhood, especially one like the Lower East Side. No one knows that better than us… well, us and Padma Lakshmi. In November 2021, Padma visited the Tenement Museum for a special holiday edition of Taste the Nation. In the episode, viewers got a small taste of the many stories of food traditions born out of tenement life and the role of food in the cultural evolution of the Lower East Side.

The premiere of our new gala film on June 1st led viewers from Padma’s visit last year onto a culinary journey of tenement food traditions. Using historic and archival recipes, oral histories, scholarly interviews, and special guests Padma Lakshmi and Michael W. Twitty, author and culinary historian, we create a full course meal of the American experience through the lens of food.

What do you get when you mix together local history, a side of family stories, a dash of cooking, and set to bake? A deliciously tenement experience.

Behind the Gala

Catch a special look into our segment on Hulu’s Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi, the inspiration behind it all. And check out some great bonus content related to our new film!

From Padma’s Cookbook

Watch Padma in a special sneak peek as she shares the cultural significance of kichidi, a classic yet simple Indian dish of rice and lentils. Recreate a recipe that holds personal meaning and a tradition she hopes to pass down to her daughter.


Taste the Neighborhood

As part of our in-person celebration at Essex Market, New York City’s most historic public market, we partnered with a healthy spread of local eats! A mix of Lower East Side staples served guests their delicious food and a bit of history – with Joyva as our special dessert sponsor.