From the original American celebrity chef, a slave named Hercules who escaped to freedom from Washington’s Mount Vernon in 1797, to President Barack Obama crouched on a tiny plastic chair discussing the state of the world over a beer in Vietnam with Anthony Bourdain, the culinary history of the White House is fraught, epic, and ultimately humanizing.
During our fifth Dinners of the Past, come explore how food has played a integral role during four presidencies. Beginning with Jefferson’s penchant for French cuisine, and his chef and slave, James Hemings who helped define the American palate and restaurant culture to this day, we will then sit with Teddy Roosevelt’s big personality and paradoxical love of big game hunting and environmental conservation, then join Richard Nixon as he attempts to use chopsticks in the People’s Republic of China during the heart of the Cold War, and finally enjoy one of Barack Obama’s favorite desserts, utilizing fresh ingredients in the White House.
From the President’s Table, we can uncover forgotten histories, and understand how food can be a tool for diplomacy and cultural understanding, across the table and across the aisle.
We cannot accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies. Tickets will go on sale 10/10 at 10 AM.
ABOUT VICTORIA FLEXNER
Victoria is the founder and resident historian of Edible History. She is a former museum educator who has worked at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New York Public Library, and The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Victoria holds a degree in History from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom and is currently enrolled in the MA Historical Studies program at The New School in New York City. She has led more than 30 Edible History dinners around New York City—in restaurants, urban farms, historical homes, and even a pottery studio.
ABOUT JAY REIFEL
Jay is Edible History’s Executive Chef, who takes on the challenge of recreating recipes from period manuscripts, quite literally bringing the past to life through dishes that are hundreds of years old. Jay studied Pastry at the French Culinary Institute and has worked at the Michelin 2-star Corton and New York’s legendary WD-50. A veteran of the New York City underground supper club scene, he has had a long interest in historical cuisine. He specializes in a hybrid of modern techniques with classically inspired French cuisine, as well as strong Asian flavor influences.
ABOUT JOHN HUTT
MOFAD Executive Chef John Hutt is a lifelong chef with a passion and interest in theory, history, science and culture of food. He has opened restaurants, written papers, cooked a lot of food for a lot of people, and travelled the world eating and drinking delicious things. He came to MOFAD from the El Bulli institute in Barcelona, where he was working on the theory and practice of food and cooking.