Upcoming Events

Food of the Dead

The Woodlands, Philadelphia, PA

Sunday April 8, 2:00-4:00 pm

$35, $25 for The Woodlands & HFSDV Members (email The Woodlands for membership discount code)

To RSVP and purchase tickets at the door, please call 215-386-2181.

At the end of an early American funeral, participants were given a cookie spiced with caraway and stamped with a special design. They were often kept for years as a memento of the departed. Although mourning traditions have changed over time and vary from place to place, what they have in common is food and drink. From the home parlour to the funeral parlor from Irish wakes to sitting Shiva, consumption offers comfort in a time of grief. In this talk, we’ll look at the culinary traditions surrounding funerals throughout American history, and we’ll taste beer from Midas’s tomb, funeral cakes, and Mormon funeral potatoes.

The Unexpected History of American Food
Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, CT
Saturday, April 14, 2:00-3:00 pm
$10 for members, $15 for non-members. Reservations requested at rsvp@chs.org or 860-236-5621 x238.

We’ll examine how we determine what’s ordinary and what’s odd when it comes to food. She will focus on two particular flavors that have gone through ups and downs in American food trends: garlic (once dismissed by American cookbook author Amelia Simmons as “better adapted to the uses of medicine than cookery”) and the much-maligned MSG. Sarah will sign copies of her book, Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine, which will be available for purchase.

Hidden Immigration Stories of the Lower East Side: Stories and Food traditions of Local South Asian Communities

Henry Street Settlement, New York, NY
Thursday, April 26, 6:00 – 8: 00 pm
Free; registration required at henrystreet.org/HiddenHistories or at 212-766-9200X350

Join Sarah and MIT scholar Vivek Bald, author of Bengali Harlem and The Lost Histories of South Asian America and co-director of the documentary film In Search of Bengali Harlem for conversation about South Asian food traditions in our area. Includes, of course, complimentary food tasting!

Advanced Open Fire Cooking: Fine Dining on Flames
Brooklyn Brainery, Brooklyn, NY
Sunday, April 29, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
$65. Purchase tickets here.

This course is for students who have taken the Intro to Fire Cooking course and will focus on advanced techniques. We’ll make doughnuts, pizzas, a roast, and charred glazed peaches to name a few dishes. The class will cover ash cooking, ovens, roasting, brûlée, deepfrying and more. You’ll also have freedom to experiment with access to expert advice. We will make a feast and you will be full of food and knowledge by the end, and graduate a guaranteed fire-cooking bad ass.

This class will take place outdoors at the Old Stone House in Park Slope, Brooklyn (located at 5th Ave and 3rd Street). Details will be sent the day before class. 

Intro to Open Fire Cooking: Campfire Cuisine Beyond Hot Dogs
Brooklyn Brainery, Brooklyn, NY
Sunday, April 29, 2:00 pm- 5:00 pm
$55. Purchase tickets here.

In this hands-on class, you’re going to learn how to cook over an open fire. But what you’ll really learn are the primal cooking skills that will make you a better cook in your daily life.

We’re going to cover the four basic cooking techniques: baking, roasting, frying and boiling. While preparing a meal on an outdoor hearth, you’ll learn how to tell temperature without a thermometer, how to tell the doneness of food by using all of your senses, and how to build a bad-ass fire.

This class will take place outdoors at the Old Stone House in Park Slope, Brooklyn (located at 5th Ave and 3rd Street). Details will be sent the day before class.

The Masters of Social Gastronomy Present: The Secret History of Bodegas

Caveat, New York, NY

Monday, April 30, 7:00 pm

$10 in advance, $12 at the door. Purchase tickets here.

Sarah and fellow Master of Gastronomy Jonathan Soma will explore the history of bodegas and their connection to the origins of New York City itself. Hear how wave after wave of immigrants – Germans, Dominicans, Koreans, and more – each left their mark upon this New York institution. We’ll also be uncovering stories some of your favorite bodega products. What exactly is hiding in that Boar’s Head deli meat, and why is it the undisputed king of New York sandwiches?

And bodega cats. We’ll definitely be talking about bodega cats.

Please note this is a mixed seated and standing venue; arrive early for the best seats. Doors open at 7:00 pm. 21+.

The Masters of Social Gastronomy Present: Illicit Substances at Kings County Distillery
Kings County Distillery, Brooklyn, NY
Monday, May 7, 7:00 pm-9:00pm
$12. Purchase tickets here.

 Join Sarah and fellow Master of Gastronomy Jonathan Soma as they get high with the Victorians! From patent medicines to absinthe, Coca-Cola to laughing gas, we’ll start with a look at all the forms of socially acceptable substance abuse during the 19th century.

Later, we’ll fast-forward to modern-day America, where quasi-legal marijuana has spawned an industry of cannabis edibles. We’ll survey the range of altered-state culinary concoctions and see what both science and chefs have to say about epicurean euphoria.

For Storytime, we’ll explore the 1971 cookbook “Supermother’s Cooking with Grass,” and this mama’s not using lawn clippings. For those preferring to stay on the good side of the law, we’ll also see if vodka sauce can make some seriously drunken noodles.

This talk will be held at the Kings County Distillery, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard at the 299 Sands Street entrance. Entrance details will be provided the day before the event.  21+ only. There will be a mix of seating and standing room. Doors open at 6:30 pm; the talk begins around 7:00 pm.

The Masters of Social Gastronomy Present: Strange Meat at the Institute of Culinary Education

Institute of Culinary Education, New York, NY
Tuesday, May 8, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
$15. Purchase tickets here.

Join Sarah and fellow Master of Gastronomy Jonathan Soma for a special evening at the Institute of Culinary Education looking at a mysteriously off-the-menu topic: STRANGE MEAT!

Sarah, ever the outdoorsman, will recount her adventures eating beaver, bear, and mouse “mouffle,” along with the historic precedent for each.

Soma will take on unusual meat preparations, from how to turn beef jerky into cotton candy to what to do with a pig’s head (or a cow’s head, if you have a driver’s license). He’ll also be getting to the root of the oft-misquoted line, “a bird in the hand is worth two sharks in the ground.”

In addition, ICE instructor Emily Peterson will lead a cooking demonstration.

Drink and a snack included. 21+ only. This talk takes place at the Institute of Culinary Education, 225 Liberty Street in Manhattan. You must enter a first and last name on the next page in order to receive admission to the event.

Hidden Immigration Stories of the Lower East Side: Sephardic Jewish Food Traditions
Henry Street Settlement, New York, NY
Monday, June 4, 6:00-7:30 pm
Program is free, but RSVP required by phone at (212) 766-9200, x2250 or at https://web.charityengine.net/default.aspx?tsid=10068

Join Sarah and Jessica Underwood Varma, Education Associate for Costumed Interpretation at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, in conversation about Sephardic Jewish food traditions.  Includes a complimentary food tasting of bumelos, a fried dough ball.

The Eight Flavors of American Mixology
Prospect Heights Brainery, Brooklyn, NY
Tuesday, June 5, 8:30 pm -10:00 pm
$13.  Purchase tickets here.

Inspired by her popular book, Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine,  Sarah uses eight different ingredients as a path to explore the history of American mixology, from the 18th century to the present day. This talk will explore the histories of juniper, citrus, nutmeg, ice, anise, grenadine, cola, and flavored vodka; with brief digressions into tea, bitters, eggs, hay, the “no flavor” push of the vodka era and Red Bull.

From Thick to Thin: A History of Dieting
Prospect Heights Brainery, Brooklyn, NY
Thursday, June 7, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
$13.  Purchase tickets here.

From William Banting’s “Letter on Corpulence,” to “Fletcherizing” with John Harvey Kellogg, Sarah will explore “reducing” in all its forms, as well as look at how the ideal body has changed over time.  We’ll also taste some of the best (and worst) foods historic diet trends have to offer. 

Ice Cream: How to Make Your Own & History

Prospect Heights Brainery, Brooklyn, NY
Saturday, June 9, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
$27.  Purchase tickets here.

Sarah says, “I won’t lie: buying an ice cream maker has been one of the best investments of my life. I am amazed at the endless joy it has brought me; and now, I want to share that joy with you.”  Learn the simple steps of making homemade ice cream, from heating the custard to freezing the final product. We’ll also address how to make sorbets and other frozen delights as well as chat about the history of ice cream in America and popular flavors from the past. Finally, we’ll sample and compare Philly-style and custard-based ice creams. *Note this is demo + lecture class with q&a and dairy-based samples.  Class size is limited to 14.

Umami: A Yummy Tour of Little Tokyo
Brooklyn Brainery, class takes place in Manhattan, see below*
Sunday, June 10, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm or 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
$35.  Purchase tickets here.

In the past decade, the East Village has transformed from a post-punk wasteland to an east-coast outpost of Japanese culture. From Ramen to Squid, Bubble Tea to Curry, we’ll explore all the internationally influenced food Little Tokyo has to offer.

Which fast food chains have their only American outposts in Little Tokyo? What’s the difference between traditional and modern Japanese desserts? What are the three primary flavors of Japanese street food? The answers to these questions and more as you learn to eat in the neighborhood where New York and Tokyo meet.

*Note: We’ll meet in Manhattan, in front of 101 Astor Place by the Keith Haring sculpture. Tour includes four tastings of sweet and savory snacks. Vegetarian options are available.

Soda Fountain Favorites
Central Synagogue, New York, NY
Tuesday, June 12, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
$15. Purchase tickets here.

Learn the stories behind three fountain favorites: the egg cream, Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray soda and the Lime Rickey.  Will include a demo of how to mix each drink, as well as a tasting!

This event is open to members and non-members of Central Synagogue between the ages of 21-39.