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history, cooking

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Cooking Up History: Celebrating Comida Chingona & the Low-Rider Lifestyle

Guest chef Silvana Salcido Esparza made her mark on the U.S. food scene with the comida chingona (“bad-ass food”) she serves at her Phoenix-based restaurant, Barrio Café. The restaurant’s offerings draw inspiration from Esparza’s Mexican heritage and seek to honor her family’s 800-year-old gastronomic legacy with a twist. Esparza is not only passionate about putting her own spin on Mexican food, but also cars, specifically low riders. Much more than your average car, these prized vehicles are artworks defined by eye-catching paint jobs, plush interiors, and hydraulics that enable them to hop, jump, and skip in city streets. As Esparza will explain during this cooking demonstration and conversation, there is an entire culture, including food culture, that surrounds the low-rider lifestyle in Phoenix. To this culture, she brings her own passions, including her commitment to honor and celebrate the contributions of women, past and present, as she endeavors to build a more equitable and inclusive community.   Fo… Venue: American History Museum. Event Location: First Floor West, Coulter Plaza. Cost: Free. Related Exhibition: Presente! Accessibility: Assisted listening devices. Saturday, September 17, 2022, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM.

Cooking Up History: Preserving the Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen

Join 2022 Julia Child Award Recipient Grace Young as she shares her journey in preserving Chinese American culinary traditions through her cookbooks and more recently in her advocacy work with Chinatowns. For Young, studying and cooking with traditional Chinese ingredients and cooking tools has been a decades-long pursuit. During her fieldwork, she met with many Chinese American chefs and cooks, mainly women, who kept alive their culinary cultures through creative adaptations and reimaginings of what Chinese food in America could taste like. Young has given special focus to the wok—an endangered yet deeply meaningful culinary tool in the United States. Shedding light on the history and culture of the wok, Young will tell stories of her own family’s relationship to this essential kitchen tool and how immigrant families, including her own, struggle to retain wok traditions. She’ll demonstrate key wok cooking techniques by preparing fried rice with Chinese barbecued pork.  Bringing this story into the present m… Venue: American History Museum. Event Location: First Floor West, Coulter Plaza. Cost: Free. Accessibility: Assisted listening devices. Friday, October 14, 2022, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM.

Cooking Up History: Nourishing Your Body, Nourishing Your Spirit with Ancestral Food

Mother-daughter duo Elena Terry and Zoe Fess address the health and well-being of their community, the Ho-Chunk Nation, by reviving and sustaining ancestral foods. During this program, which is geared toward youth audiences, guest chefs Terry and Fess will speak about the work of their non-profit Wild Bearies, a seed to table organization, that shares indigenous food cultures and traditions within the Ho-Chunk Nation and beyond. They will speak about their roles as community mentors but also their commitment to being life-long leaners, which has proven key to Wild Bearies’ success. They will also discuss the impact that their advocacy work has on their own relationship to one another as mother and daughter, as women, and as future ancestors to the Ho-Chunk people.  Honoring the Woodland region of the Ho-Chunk Nation, Terry and Fess will prepare Seedy SassSquash, a seed crust with squash custard, topped with wild rice or apple dust and cranberry sauce. This dish features Ho-Chunk ancestral squash, lost to the… Co-sponsor: UN Food and Agricultural Organization. Venue: American History Museum. Event Location: First Floor West, Coulter Plaza. Cost: Free. Accessibility: Assisted listening devices. Friday, November 4, 2022, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM.