The Making of a Museum

2004: The question

Dave Arnold, a budding food writer and inventor, starts with a question: "Why isn't there a Smithsonian-scale museum of food and drink?" He begins sketching out ideas.

2011: First Step

Dave holds an inaugural get-the-ball-rolling fundraiser to start the Museum of Food and Drink. Wylie Dufresne, Christina Tosi, David Chang, Mark Ladner, and Carlo Mirarchi, among others, pitch in.

2012: Moving Forward

Peter Kim quits his job as an attorney and becomes MOFAD's first (unpaid) executive director. Emma Boast volunteers to join the effort. They generate support for the museum, establishing a Culinary Board of some of the country's most distinguished chefs.

2013: Boom!

The museum launches a Kickstarter campaign to fund its first exhibition, BOOM! The Puffing Gun and the Rise of Cereal. The campaign raises over $100,000 from more than 830 backers – the most ever raised by a museum on Kickstarter.

MOFAD begins touring a giant 1930s-era cereal puffing gun around the city. Over 10,000 people come to see live demonstrations of the machine, discover the history of cereal, and taste freshly puffed grains. BOOM! draws accolades from The New Yorker and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications.

2014: MOBILE MUSEUM

MOFAD is a museum without a home. In addition to BOOM!, the museum holds MOFAD Roundtable debates around New York City, taking on controversial issues such as the soda ban, GMOs, and the future of meat. The museum's community of supporters grows, and MOFAD's Advisory Board adds Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and Mario Batali.

2015: First Home

MOFAD gains the support of its first major sponsor, Infiniti. The museum opens MOFAD Lab, a 5,000-square-foot design studio and gallery space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. MOFAD debuts the exhibition Flavor: Making It and Faking It, which features never-before-seen tasting and smelling technology. The New York Times hails Flavor as "not just hands-on, but tongue-on and nostrils-on."