Since it took me nearly a month to post about my New York trip, and I’ve been battling continually rocky terrain with events, deadlines, harvest, and school matters ever since then, you may get a sense that I’m running slightly behind. Fall is always rough for me, this year even more so.
But I’ve got a range of exciting news that I’ve been eager to share.
The first is the series of events related to this Sunday’s Mt. Pisgah Arboretum Mushroom Festival. I’m particularly excited about Dr. Steve Trudell’s talk on “Why Mushrooms Matter” tonight, Friday, October 28th, 7 p.m., at the LCC Forum building, and all the mushroom specialties that will be served during Mushroom Madness week at local restaurants. I tried Chef Mario Tucci’s chanterelle gnocchi on Wednesday at the Friendly Street Market café (Latitude Ten), pictured at the top of this post. Wow.
The second is that I’m heading up an interdisciplinary faculty and grad student research group on food studies at the University of Oregon. We meet monthly to discuss works in progress on their way to publication. This is the only official venue for food studies at the university right now, but there has been talk of expanding these efforts in various directions, so let’s keep our fingers crossed. Part of the group’s mission is to support and spread the news about visiting speakers who give public lectures on food. I hope to extend these efforts via my blog, too. Actually, they’ve been flying fast and furious, and I have had barely the time to publicize them at all, so I’m just going to say that I’ll try harder to wedge PR in.
Like this! I’m pleased to announce a reading and talk with wild foods expert Hank Shaw on November 14. My group is bringing him out to campus for what promises to be a vivid discussion of his new book.
Book Reading and Discussion
Author Hank Shaw
Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast
Monday, November 14, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
282 Lillis Hall, University of Oregon, Eugene
Hank Shaw is a wild foods expert, hunter, angler, gardener and cook, based in Sacramento. His exquisite and unusual wild foods blog, Hunter Angler Gardener Cook (http://honest-food.net), has been twice nominated for a James Beard Award, and was awarded best blog from the International Association of Culinary Professionals organization in 2010 — two major achievements in food writing. He is on tour for his already acclaimed new book, Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast (Rodale Books). The book explores North America’s edible flora and fauna that explains how to track down everything from wild mushrooms to mackerel to pheasant, and create locally sourced meals that go far beyond the farmers market or campfire cuisine.
At a public reading for the University of Oregon and Eugene area community, Shaw will share his experiences in the field and in the kitchen, discussing not only his sophisticated recipes and innovative techniques for preparing wild food that grows and roams in the Pacific Northwest – camas bulbs, venison, and wild berries, to name just a few examples – but also the political, social, and environmental issues surrounding hunting and gathering in the twenty-first century.
The visit will take place on the evening of Monday, November 14, and will follow a VIP foraging walk and dinner at Marché restaurant over the weekend. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
More news soon.
There’s also a fantastic lecture series by food historian Dr. Ken Albala, hosted by the History Department at OSU. He’s a major figure in food studies, and will be providing a three-part Horning lecture during the week of November 8 on food production, preparation, and consumption. Click this link to open a .pdf poster.
PERSPECTIVES ON EATING FROM THE PAST: GROW FOOD / COOK FOOD / SHARE FOOD
Tuesday / November 8, 4:00pm
Memorial Union / Room 109
Thursday / November 10, 4:00pm
Memorial Union / Room 109
Friday / November 11, noon
Memorial Union / Room 109
A three-lecture series about the historical development of three crucial components of human nourishment and their disjuncture in the industrial era. Ken Albala will describe without romantic sentimentality the ways our food production system, our methods of food preparation and modes of consumption have changed over time to the detriment of human happiness, health and community. Creative suggestions will be made regarding ways we can recapture the positive aspects of past foodways without endangering food security or turning back the clock by abandoning the many valuable advances of the last century. History offers constructive examples of how we can better grow food, cook it and share it, if only we have the means to listen and learn from food writers of the past.
Ken Albala is Professor of History at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. He is the author of many books on food including Eating Right in the Renaissance, Food in Early Modern Europe, Cooking in Europe 1250-1650, The Banquet: Dining in the Great Courts of Late Renaissance Europe, Beans: A History (winner of the 2008 International Association of Culinary Professionals Jane Grigson Award), and Pancake. He is currently researching a history of theological controversies surrounding fasting in the Reformation Era, and has co-authored a cookbook – The Lost Art of Real Cooking, the sequel of which is tentatively titled The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home.
Also next week is a public lecture on campus closer to home, one I’m proud to say is part of our “Food in the Field” Research Interest Group work-in-progress series:
Wednesday, November 2, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Prof. Nick Camerlenghi, Art History
“Terroir and Regionalism in Gastronomy and Architecture”
EMU Fir Room, University of Oregon
Abstract: Perhaps the most important reason that comparisons between gastronomy and architecture have rarely risen above mere analogy (think: McDonald’s and McMansions) is that gastronomy still has a limited foothold in academia by which to forge a common ground with other disciplines. Unfortunately, this trend speaks little of the innovations currently underway in gastronomy. A case in point is the recently founded University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy where all aspects of gastronomy—from earth to table and back to earth—are being treated in a scholarly fashion. This is a watershed moment that bodes well for future exchanges. This paper examines the notion of terroir—as recently re-elaborated in gastronomical thinking—in order to develop what promises to be a fruitful point of intersection between gastronomy and architecture.
And on a more personal note:
I have 20 lbs. of cranberries waiting for me in the cooler at Hentze Farm (thanks, folks!) that were ordered from one of the coastal tribes. Got a frantic call from the MFP coordinator who said they were beginning to look a little neglected. Sigh, I know the feeling. Homemade cranberry juice and chutney to come! Will hold off on the lecture for now.