Academic discussions of ethnic food have tended to focus on the attitudes of consumers, but author and professor Dr. Krishnendu Ray explores the culinary world from the perspective of the ethnic restaurateur.

He will be elaborating on this and other topics during his talk “The Ethnic Restaurateur” at Common House on the Sterling College campus on Saturday, May 28th, at 7 p.m.

There will be a Q&A and book signing afterwards. This talk is free and open to the public.

Ray’s work uses New York City as a lens to explore the lived experience and aspirations of immigrants working in the food industry. Using interviews with immigrant restaurateurs, chefs and alumni at the Culinary Institute of America, ethnographic observation, as well as historical sources, Ray explores changing tastes in a major American city in the 20th century.

Ray is an instructor for the School of the New American Farmstead course “Food Writing from the Farm.” He is the Department Chair of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University, and the author of The Ethnic Restaurateur and The Migrant’s Table: Meals and Memories in Bengali-American Households. He is the co-editor of Curried Cultures: Globalization, Food and South Asia. The Washington Post said that The Ethnic Restaurateur “…challenges standard theories of aesthetic taste and culture-making in an American city…a very insightful sociological study on the American culinary world.”

The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College takes inspiration from the vibrant working landscape of Vermont and the College’s curriculum in sustainable agriculture and land management programs. It explores food systems issues on local, regional, and global levels. The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College connects the College’s mission of environmental stewardship education by linking ecological principles of land management with the entrepreneurial community-building spirit of today’s artisan food movement.


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