From our organizers:
Miss Edna Lewis was a farm-to-table chef before it became a fine-dining movement. She was the Grand Dame of Southern cooking before it became a national restaurant phenomenon. She was an intimate, lyrical food writer before the rise of the personal, Internet food essay. Her influence, much like her person, is quietly impressive, powerful, and only recently getting due recognition.
A child of the South who spent significant time in New York City, Miss Lewis never strayed far from her rural Virginia roots. Born into a farming community founded by formerly enslaved people – including her grandfather – Lewis told stories of her childhood and her beloved South in her cookbooks, interspersing anecdotes and recipes throughout.
In her new Foreword of the reissued In Pursuit of Flavor (Knopf 2019), Chef Mashama Bailey describes the vividness and immediacy of the work: “Miss Lewis showcases her expertise and techniques by taking us on a journey through her childhood. She brings to life the entire farmland as it was seen by someone who lived off the land. She picks fruits and vegetables and shows us how to prepare them for the cupboard. She shows us how to preserve the bounty of the season for later. She takes us to the river and creeks to teach us about the local catches.”
Join Kia Damon, Mary Goodbody, Francis Lam, Therese Nelson, Mayukh Sen, and Sara B. Franklin, as they celebrate Edna Lewis’s legacy as a chef and a person, and the reissue of In Pursuit of Flavor. An informal reception with small bites will follow.