Fresh insights into American culture past and present through the lens of food.
As summer heats up, three dynamic Cooking Up History programs in July, August and September share fresh insights into American culture past and present through the lens of food. Presented in collaboration with the National Museum of American History—home of Julia Child’s kitchen and the FOOD: Transforming the American Table exhibition—each session features a guest chef from places as diverse as New Orleans and Toronto and a Smithsonian host preparing a dish and exploring the history and tradition behind its ingredients, culinary techniques and enjoyment.
July 26 -_ _Pleibol and Eat Well! Latino Culinary Traditions and Américas’ Game
If you’re a baseball fan, you probably have some favorite ballpark foods ranging from nachos to tacos, but have you thought about the food heritages they draw on and who made them popular? Explore the tangible connections between baseball and Latino culinary traditions and how Latinos have created culinary fusions and experiences that reflect broader themes and trends in American history—the themes explored in the National Museum of American History’s new exhibition _¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas. _Celebrate the opening of the ¡Pleibol! exhibition by joining Dayanny de la Cruz, executive chef at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida, as she prepares a meal that represents the culinary cultures and heritage of baseball-loving families in Latino communities. 6:45 p.m. ET $20
**August 5 - **Lena Richard's New Orleans Cook Book: A Groundbreaking Story of Innovation and Resilience
Lena Richard, a Black chef and entrepreneur in New Orleans, built a dynamic culinary career in the segregated South, defying harmful stereotypes of Black women that severely diminished their role in the creation and development of American food culture and its economy. Guest chef and New Orleanian Dee Lavigne prepares a classic Creole dish as she recounts Richard's compelling story, which is currently featured in a recently installed case, “The Only One in the Room: Women Achievers in Business and the Cost of Success,” in the American Enterprise exhibition at National Museum of American History. This program is hosted in collaboration with the Southern Food and Beverage Museum where Lavigne is the Director of Culinary Programming. 6:45 p.m. ET $20
Women entrepreneurs: Continuing a legacy, creating new opportunities
March 22, 2023
By last year, Chef Dwynesha “Dee” Lavigne, a lifelong cook, was already a well-established culinary presence in New Orleans. She had worked in the industry for years, owned a pastry business and hosted a periodic cooking segment on WWL-TV.
Chef Dee Lavigne is following in Chef Lena Richard's footsteps
December 22, 2022
In February of 2022, Chef Dwynesha “Dee” Lavigne founded Deelightful Roux School of Cooking, following in the footsteps of her heroine, the late Chef Lena Richard. It’s been over eighty years since a Black woman has owned a cooking school in New Orleans, ever since Richard closed hers—the first—to pursue opportunities in New York City in the 1940s.
Meet the chef behind NOLAs’ African American-owned cooking school
September 26, 2022
Chef Dee Lavigne learned to cook at the age of seven. After a brief career in accountancy, she decided to ditch the world of spreadsheets and focus on her true passion: food. Now she runs the first African American-owned cooking school New Orleans has seen in over 80 years, whipping up Cajun and Creole classics for hungry travellers.
The Black Creole Chef Who Paved the Way for Food TV
May 19, 2022
A belated celebration of Lena Richard. In 1949 — more than a decade before Julia Child’s television debut — a boisterous Creole chef put on a cook’s uniform and made history.
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