A biographer and a memoirist will talk about giants of the culinary world in this session on food. John Birdsall’s biography of the charismatic and legendary taste-maker, James Beard, in the words of the Publishers Weekly starred review, “ offers a tangy portrait of the backstabbing world of post–WWII food writing along with vivid, novelistic evocations of Beard’s flavor experiences…” Fanny Singer’s Always Home, titled before coronavirus but more apt now than ever, is as much an homage to her mother, food icon Alice Waters, as it is a memoir. According to Kirkus Reviews, Singer’s memoir “bursts with sensuous descriptions of tastes, fragrances, and textures as she recounts her “very rich and full and just a little bit unconventional” young life.” Bonus: there are sixty recipes included! Join us for some delicious discourse all about the epicurean life, hosted by Amy Traverso, senior food writer at Yankee magazine and author of The Apple Lover’s Cookbook, newly re-released in a revised and updated edition.
The Gastronomy of Memory
John Birdsall is a two-time James Beard Award–winning author and former restaurant critic. He is the coauthor of a cookbook, Hawker Fare, with James Syhabout and has written for Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Los Angeles Times. His latest book is The Man Who Ate Too Much: The Life of James Beard, a “rich, entertaining account of an essential tastemaker,” according to a starred review by Publishers Weekly.
Fanny Singer is a curator, chef, writer, and co-founder of the design brand Permanent Collection. Her work has been published widely, including in Artforum, WSJ Magazine, Frieze, and more. Her first book, My Pantry: Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own, which she published with her mother, Alice Waters, received high praise. Singer’s newest book, Always Home: A Daughter’s Culinary Memoir, tells the intimate story of Singer’s relationship with food and her mother through a series of vignettes and recipes. Publishers Weekly says, “In this wondrous memoir-cookbook hybrid . . . Singer’s language is read-out-loud luscious, and her culinary coming-of-age story savory and sweet.”
Amy Traverso is the senior food editor at Yankee Magazine and the co-host of Hallmark Home & Family. Previously, she was food editor at Boston Magazine and an associate food editor at Sunset Magazine. Traverso has appeared on the Martha Stewart Show, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, and Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. Her 2011 book, The Apple Lover’s Cookbook, winner of the IACP Cookbook Award for Best American Cookbook and a finalist for the Julia Child First Book Award, is being reissued this fall.