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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)

When thinking about the most influential restaurants in the country, it is easy to get caught up in Michelin stars and dollar signs. But what about the other restaurants that have changed the ways that everyday Americans eat out, and changed American culture itself?

By highlighting chefs such as Cecilia Chiang, a Chinese immigrant who helped elevate and popularize Chinese American cuisine, and restaurant chains like Schrafft’s, that catered to middle-class women looking for a place to dine in a mostly gender-segregated restaurant world, Paul Freedman’s The 10 Restaurants That Changed America shifted the national conversation on how we eat out.

Join Paul Freedman and Mayukh Sen as they continue this vital and ongoing conversation, discussing the difference between quality and influence in the restaurant world, how the restaurant landscape continues to shift, and why it matters to those of us who love food.

Stick around for a reception, featuring a dish from Cecilia Chiang's famed restaurant, The Mandarin, and a dessert from the beloved Schrafft's, and a book signing of the new paperback edition of The 10 Restaurants That Changed America, featuring an updated afterword on the ten restaurants changing America now.

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.

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