Something to Chew On: Food and Those Who Cook, Grow, and Write About It

Day of Week: Wednesday
Course Length: 10 weeks
Starting: 09/22/2021
Ending: 12/08/2021
Period of Day: Period 2
Course Fee: $100.00
Standard period time.

Course Description:

Our course features food-related memoirs and much, much more. We will look at food from many different aspects—professional chefs and the challenges (chaos?) of running restaurants; restaurant reviewers; cuisine in favorite destinations such as France, Italy, and other places around the world; and growing food, including new ideas like food coops and community supported agriculture. We will read five books and portions of a sixth; most are under 250 pages. The other four weeks we will recommend a handful of videos and articles to read in advance of class. The course will be highly interactive, and will include brief “mini-lectures,” short explanations of related topics, videos, PowerPoint presentations, and lots of time for lively discussion.

For those who, like Oliver, ask “Please Sir, I want some more,” we will suggest additional articles, films, and books guaranteed to satisfy. While not all of us may do a lot of cooking, this course should be of interest to anyone who eats and, in a “normal” world, even goes to restaurants—or at least, takes out restaurant food!

Preparation time other than reading the books will probably take less than an hour for each class; preparation time for the books will depend on each individual’s reading speed.

Books and Other Resources:

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, by Anthony Bourdain
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Food Critic in Disguise, by Ruth Reichl

French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork and Corkscrew, by Peter Mayle
Living in a Foreign Language: A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Love in Italy, by Michael Tucker

Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India, by Madhur Jaffrey
The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love, by Kristen Kimball

Additional readings and videos will be provided.

Course Leader Bio(s)

Dana Kaplan

I had a varied career as a marketing and sales promotional writer and manager of creative teams before retiring gratefully several years ago. At LLAIC I have taught three courses on mystery fiction and one history class on the Gilded Age with Sandy Grasfield. I am an avid and adventurous home cook and gardener and the author of a self-published (for family and friends) memoir-cookbook.

Lois Novotny

I have taught a number of courses at LLAIC, ranging from opera to ballet to Jane Austen and movies based on her novels. I enjoy cooking and eating in restaurants, and look forward to being able to return to doing that. This is my first course on food!