Everyone eats. Food is a major part of every culture in the world. Food is essential. Food has been used to humiliate people. Food is a vehicle to show love. For some food is a sign of status. Even the food choices people make can be a political act.
Guests met at the Cole Auditorium for a special FocusOn: Food event, featuring Chef Edward Lee in conversation with Nate Erickson, food and drinks editor of Esquire Magazine followed by a Q & A session and book signing.
FocusOn: is a new series presented by Greenwich Library designed to guide patrons through an in-depth exploration of a single subject.
Edward Lee is the author of Smoke & Pickles; chef/owner of 610 Magnolia, MilkWood, and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, Kentucky; and culinary director of Succotash in National Harbor, Maryland, and Penn Quarter, Washington, DC. He appears frequently in print and on television, including earning an Emmy nomination for his role in the Emmy Award-winning series The Mind of a Chef. Most recently, he wrote and hosted the feature documentary Fermented.
Nate Erickson is the food & drinks editor of Esquire Magazine
American food is the story of mash-ups. Immigrants arrive, cultures collide, and out of the push-pull come exciting new dishes and flavors. But for Edward Lee, who, like Anthony Bourdain or Gabrielle Hamilton, is as much a writer as he is a chef, that first surprising bite is just the beginning. What about the people behind the food? What about the traditions, the innovations, the memories?
A natural-born storyteller, Lee decided to hit the road and spent two years uncovering fascinating narratives from every corner of the country for his new book, Buttermilk Graffiti.
Sixteen adventures, sixteen vibrant new chapters in the great evolving story of American cuisine. And forty recipes, created by Lee, that bring these new dishes into our own kitchens.
There’s a Cambodian couple in Lowell, Massachusetts, and their efforts to re-create the flavors of their lost country. An Uyghur café in New York’s Brighton Beach serves a noodle soup that seems so very familiar and yet so very exotic—one unexpected ingredient opens a window onto an entirely unique culture. A beignet from Café du Monde in New Orleans, as potent as Proust’s madeleine, inspires a narrative that tunnels through time, back to the first Creole cooks, then forward to a Korean rice-flour hoedduck and a beignet dusted with matcha.
During the session, Chef Lee engaged patrons of all ages while providing insight on a variety of topics, including the difference between culinary misappropriation and sharing, race relations and food, the convergence of cultures and the American experience. Guests were taken on an exploration of our relationship with food, and the future of food – from a historical, environmental, technological and very personal perspective.
Chef Edward lives in Louisville and Washington, DC, and you can find him on Instagram and Twitter @chefedwardlee.
FocusOn: Food is made possible through the support of the Greenwich Library Board of Trustees and contributions by generous donors. Books will be available for sale and signing at the event through Diane’s Books. This series is open to all at no charge. Please register online using the Library’s online calendar. Doors will open at 6:15 pm.
The Greenwich Library system consists of the Main Library and its Byram Shubert and Cos Cob branches. The mission of Greenwich Library is to provide exceptional resources, programs and services that promote the joy of lifelong learning and discovery, and to offer a welcoming place for people to gather and share experiences.
With 1,800 programs and events per year, the Library seeks to serve as the cultural and intellectual crossroads of the community. Greenwich Library has a total circulation of about 1.2 million, the highest reported in Connecticut. Greenwich Library was recently named a five-star library by Library Journal for the ninth time. Greenwich Library is located at 101 West Putnam Avenue in Greenwich. Cos Cob Library is located at 5 Sinawoy Road in Cos Cob. Byram Shubert Library is located at 21 Mead Avenue in Greenwich.
More information is available online at www.greenwichlibrary.org or by calling 203-622-7900.