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Taste Makers: A Conversation with Paul Freedman and Mayukh Sen

  • Museum of Food and Drink 62 Bayard Street Brooklyn, NY, 11222 United States (map)

Between Michelin stars, the World’s Best and America’s Hottest lists, and the more populist restaurant-rating apps, there is no shortage of ranking systems that dictate the best and most popular restaurants across the world. Yet what defines best, who gets left out, and why do we care so much?

Since its publication in 2016, Paul Freedman’s The 10 Restaurants That Changed America has shifted the conversation, going beyond the typical ranking system and asking: what makes a restaurant influential? In the new paperback edition, which features an afterword on the ten restaurants changing America now, Freedman continues to interrogate which establishments are changing how we eat out.

Join Paul Freedman and Mayukh Sen in conversation as they discuss Freedman's process in deciding The 10 Restaurants That Changed America (both then and now), the difference between quality and influence, how you can measure influence, and why it matters.

A reception and book signing will follow featuring dishes from two of the 10 restaurants.

This program is part of our Eat•Drink•Read series, sponsored by W. W. Norton.



Paul Freedman is a professor of history at Yale University where he has taught since  1997.  His doctoral degree was awarded in 1978 by UC Berkeley. His interests are in the Middle Ages the history of food and cuisine.  His book, Ten Restaurants that Changed America, a way of looking at US food history through ten examples, was published in September, 2016 and featured on a number of media including CBS Sunday Morning, All Things Considered, Marketplace, New York Times and PBS News Hour. In 2007 Freedman edited Food: The History of Taste, which won a prize from the International Association of Culinary Professionals and  has been translated into ten languages. 

Mayukh Sen Headshot.jpg


Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer based in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published in Food52.

Later Event: December 21
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