Kitchen Wisdom: People Who Guided Us in Our Quest to Find America's Hidden Kitchens

Davia Nelson, Jay Allison and Mark Furstenberg

Davia Nelson of The Kitchen Sisters, with Jay Allison and Mark Furstenberg (far right) of The Bread Line. The Kitchen Sisters hide caption

itoggle caption The Kitchen Sisters
NEH logo

  hide caption

itoggle caption

Listen: Mark Furstenberg reflects on finding hidden kitchens around the world.

Mark Kurlanksy

Mark Kurlanksy hide caption

itoggle caption

Below is a growing list of some of the thinkers, scholars, writers and humanists who have provided us with a further look into America's kitchen cultures:

Felix D. Almaraz Jr. — Professor of history at the University of Texas at San Antonio. His books include Knight Without Armor: Carlos Eduardo Castaneda, 1896-1958 (1999). Most recently, he has been working on two books about the missions of San Antonio from the 18th to the 20th century. He is former president of the Texas State Historical Association and of the Texas Catholic Historical Society.

Mark Furstenberg — Founder of The Bread Line, a "fast-food restaurant" that makes the traditional bread-based foods of many cultures. Furstenberg also teaches bread making, writes about bread and consults with bakeries throughout the United States. Before making a career of his lifelong baking hobby, he worked as a journalist, an administrator and a consultant for the Boston Police Department.

Mark Kurlansky — Author of the award-winning book Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World and, more recently, The Basque History of the World. Kurlansky has a long-standing interest in food and food history. A professional chef and pastry maker in New York and New England, he currently writes a regular column about food history for Food & Wine magazine. The Basque History of the World underscored Kurlansky's passion for immersion in cultures struggling to preserve or define their identity. He has written articles for The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, The International Herald Tribune and Partisan Review.

Neil Foley — Associate professor of history and American studies at the University of Texas. His book The White Scourge: Mexicans, Blacks, and Poor Whites in Texas Cotton Culture, published by the University of California Press (1997), won the Frederick Jackson Turner Award of the Organization of American Historians, the Pacific Coast Branch Award of the American Historical Association, and five other awards. Foley’s teaching fields include borderlands history, Mexican-American history, the American Southwest, race and ethnicity in the U.S., social and cultural history of the U.S., and comparative civil rights.

Donna Gabaccia — Charles H. Stone Professor of American History at the University North Carolina at Charlotte. Author of many books and articles about Italian migration around the world, and about immigrant women and immigrant life in the United States, including From Sicily to Elizabeth Street, Militants and Migrants and From the Other Side.

Joan Nathan — Curator, Smithsonian Folklife Festival on Food, 2005. Food writer, television personality. Nathan is also the author of The Flavor of Jerusalem, Jewish Cooking in America and her newest book, The Foods of Israel.

Michael Pollan — Noted journalist and best-selling author of The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World.

Myra Alperson — Founder and publisher of NoshNews, leader of NoshWalks walking tours of New York City's ethnic neighborhoods, and author of Nosh New York: The Food Lover's Guide to New York City's Most Delicious Neighborhoods.

Marion Cunningham — Food writer, storyteller and educator. Some of her many books include The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, The Fannie Farmer Baking Book and Cooking with Children.

Margaret Engel — Author of Food Finds: America's Best Local Foods and the People Who Produce Them. She is the managing editor of the Newseum, the museum of news, and the director of the Alicia Patterson Journalism Foundation.

Peggy Knickerbocker — A food and travel writer and author, Knickerbocker divides her time between San Francisco and Paris. She is a regular contributor to Saveur, Food and Wine and Taste magazines. Her books include Champagne: The Spirit of Celebration and Olive Oil: From Tree to Table, both published by Chronicle Books, and The Rose Pistola Cookbook, published in 1999 by Broadway Books.

Niloufer Ichaporia King — A Bay Area contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, Fine Cooking, and the Journal of Gastronomy, and a specialist in Asian cross-cultural cooking. King is regarded as both an anthropologist and food scholar, with leanings more towards the empirical in terms of the study of food. She is working on her new book on Parsi cooking and secret Bombay kitchens.

Jose E. Limon — Author of Dancing With the Devil: Society and Cultural Poetics in Mexican-American South Texas and American Encounters: Greater Mexico, the United States and the Erotics of Culture. He is a professor of English, Mexican-American studies and anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. His academic interests include cultural studies, Chicano literature, anthropology and literature, Mexicans in the United States, U.S.-Mexico cultural relations, critical theory and folklore and popular culture.

Patrick Martins — Director of Slow Food, U.S.A., a non-profit educational organization dedicated to supporting and celebrating the food traditions of North America.

Nancy Ralph — Director of the New York Food Museum.

Phyllis Richman — Former Washington Post food critic for more than 23 years and mother of award-winning public radio producer Joe Richman of RadioDiaries.com. Author of three mystery novels — The Butter Did It, Murder on the Gravy Train and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Ham.

Kim Severson — Food writer and San Francisco Chronicle editor. She is the author of Trans Fat Solution: Cooking & Shopping to Eliminate the Deadliest Fat from Your Diet.

Alice Waters — Executive chef and founder of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif. Waters is considered one of the most influential chefs of our time. She is the founder and director of the Chez Panisse Foundation and The Edible School Yard at Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley. Waters is currently working to make school lunch part of the curriculum in Berkeley's schools, part of an effort to bring organic food, grown by local sustainable farmers, into the school lunch program.

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed on this Web site do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

More 'Hidden Kitchens'

Comments