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Lena Richard and Julia Child: Two Women Who Changed Culinary History

03/10/2021 @ 7:00 pm 8:00 pm

In partnership with Smithsonian Affiliations.

FREE with registration. REGISTER HERE.

Through their cookbooks, teaching, and television programs, these extraordinary women inspired generations of people to take cooking seriously. They challenged perceptions and stereotypes of women in their respective eras and made lasting contributions to culinary history. Their stories, reflective of their very different backgrounds, reveal insights about women, race, food, and culture in 20th-century America. 


Paula Johnson, Curator, National Museum of American History 

Ashley Rose Young, PhD, Historian, National Museum of American History

About the speakers:

Paula J. Johnson is a curator and public historian in the Division of Work and Industry at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.  She is responsible for the food technology and marine resources collections and directs the Smithsonian’s Food History Project. Johnson was one of the curators who collected Julia Child’s home kitchen in 2001, and led the team that created the current exhibition, FOOD: Transforming the American Table. She has shaped and contributed to many public programs on food history and has served as a curator for several museum exhibitions. She holds degrees in English (BA) and Folklore/Anthropology (MA), and has published books and articles on the fisheries of the Chesapeake Bay, traditional watercraft, maritime communities, and food and museums.

Dr. Ashley Rose Young is the Historian of the American Food History Project at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. She is the host and historian ofCooking Up History,” the museum’s cooking demonstration series. She also co-curated the museum’s main food history exhibition, FOOD: Transforming the American Table along with Paula Johnson and other food history team members. She is currently working on two books: an academic manuscript about New Orleans’ street food culture and an historically-informed cookbook about Chef Lena Richard. Young earned a Ph.D. in History from Duke University, an M.A. in History from Duke University, a B.A. in History from Yale University, and was also a visiting scholar at Oxford University.


Presented by Smithsonian Affiliations, in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Affiliate organizations across the country. 

Image Credit
Lena Richards’ cook book New Orleans Cook Book, 1940. Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
Julia Childs’ cook book Mastering The Art of French Cooking, 1961. Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
Speakers headshots by Jennifer Brundage (Smithsonian)


7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Event Category:


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