The culture, politics and science of food will be explored during a year-long series of events at William Paterson University in Wayne titled Food for Thought. Events, including talks, theatre and musical performances, panel discussions, workshops and art exhibits, are designed to supplement University programs in a wide range of disciplines, from chemistry and communication to public health and women’s studies, and explore the many aspects of food in society. All events are open to the public.
Food for Thought opens on Friday, February 23, 2018, with the Jen Chapin Trio. Chapin has been celebrated for “brilliantly soulfully poetic urban folk music” (NPR) that “brings a jazzy edge to the folk form” (The New Yorker). Chapin’s music reflects her musical upbringing and a lifetime of passionate activism, through ongoing work with WhyHunger, founded by her late father Harry Chapin, and other food justice groups. The performance will be held at 8 p.m. in Shea Center. Admission is $25.
Alice Waters, an American chef and farm-to-table activist, will discuss the movement that advocates for organic, sustainable and locally sourced food for everyone. Waters’ restaurant, Chez Panisse, is ranked among the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants,” and her commitment to finding the highest-quality ingredients has created a network of farmers and purveyors dedicated to viable agriculture. A book signing immediately follows the lecture, which will be held in the Shea Center, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $28.
Enjoy traditional Syrian cuisine and learn how the New Jersey Syrian Supper Club has created a myriad of connections between Americans and recent immigrants. Feast with other guests while learning about Syrian culture and the current struggles Syrians face. The We All Eat International Food Festival: Taste of Syria event will be held at University Commons 211, March 21 at 12:30 p.m. Admission is $10 with lunch included.
Four prominent food writers, including a former New York Times columnist and current restaurant editor of Food & Wine magazine, discuss how food writers and social responsibility help shape what we eat. This panel discussion offers a fascinating look at food trends, celebrity chefs and the foodie nation. The discussion will be held in the Cheng Library Auditorium on March 27 at 2 p.m. Admission is free.
What’s next after Farm-to-Table? Sidewalk-to-Table? Peter Hoffman, chef/owner of the former NYC farm-to-table restaurant Savoy and Ian Kerr and Matthew Friday, members of the environmental/art and design collective SPURSE, will discuss the future of food and offer tastes of foraged foods as part of the WP Green Affair, an all-day sustainability event. The lecture will be held in the University Commons Ballroom A on April 4 at 11 a.m. Admission is free.
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, New Jersey 07470