This academic year, 2017-2018, William Paterson University will present a year of lectures, workshops, theater, music, film, art exhibitions, and panels around the topic of food. Entitled Food for Thought: A Unique Series of Events Exploring the Culture, Politics & Science of Food, and including international lunches and dinners and edible foraging hikes, will bring together William Paterson students, faculty, staff and food enthusiasts from our community to explore the many aspects of food in our society.
Most events are open to the public. Please continue to check our website for information on Food for Thought Spring 2018 events. Spring events will include a musical performance by Jen Chapin, who will also talk about the work she has carried on for the non-profit Why Hunger, founded by her father, the late Harry Chapin; a panel on food-writing featuring, among others, Jordana Rothman, restaurant editor of Food and Wine Magazine; a Business of Food panel featuring executives from NJ-based food businesses; and a Distinguished Lecturer series talk by Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA, who is acknowledged as the founder of the farm-to-table movement in the United States.
Jen 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.
Chatham, NJ native Alice Waters is internationally recognized as the pioneer of a farm-to-table 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. Waters has authored ten books, including her memoir Coming to My Senses, which will be available for purchase.
Book signing immediately follows lecture.
Admission: $28.00 General Admission
Alice Waters on Facebook
How can we help displaced people, newly arrived in a completely alien country find their way?
Syria Supper Club was created to do just that. American hosts open their homes, Syrians cook food from their culture and then sit to enjoy the feast with a table full of guests. Now in its second year Syria Supper Club has created a myriad of connections between long-established Americans and their newest neighbors. From a warm welcome to cultural exchange, breaking bread is the mightiest of bridge builders.
Admission: $10 Syrian Lunch
This event also takes place at 7:00 pm.
Syria Supper Club
Four prominent writers, including a former NY Times columnist, and the current restaurant editor of Food & Wine Magazine, discuss how food writers help shape what we eat. This panel discussion offers a fascinating look at food trends, celebrity chefs, and the foodie nation.
Members of the environmental/art and design collective SPURSE, authors of Eat Your Sidewalk, discuss food and the environment with Peter Hoffman, chef/owner of the former NYC farm-to-table restaurant Savoy. SPURSE will offer tastes of foraged foods during lecture.
Food for Thought Series presents The Long Island Vegetable Orchestra
The Long Island Vegetable Orchestra performs with freshly prepared instruments made out of vegetables like a saxophone-soundalike “cucumberphone”, pumpkin bass drums struck with lemon grass, various carrot flutes, Butternut Squashes that carry the sound of brass instruments, and other really cool inventions. Kids will never look at their vegetables the same way!
Pre-show creative activities begin at 1:15 p.m. Appropriate for all ages
Admission: $15 Adults • $12 Children
The Long Island Vegetable Orchestra
Food is more than fuel, it is history, family, love and heritage. What we eat in the United States today reflects the melting pot that makes this nation truly great. A fun journey into the stories of some of the most All-American food and the cultures behind it.
Melina Macall, The Food Activist, is an educator, researcher and community organizer in food justice and sustainable food systems.
Her work includes research in Cuba, changing food in US public schools, and guerrilla gardening - growing edible landscapes. She is co-founder of The United Tastes of America and it’s keystone program, Syria Supper Club.
Admission: $10.00 Heritage Lunch
The United Tastes of America
Film and Discussion
Does environmental sustainability mean it’s okay to poach, hunt and forage? Celebrity chef, food writer and environmentalist, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, tackles these sometimes-controversial issues. A post-film discussion on the ethics and importance of hunting will be led by Iain Kerr, co-founder of SPURSE, which has been at the forefront of ecological research, experimental design, and innovation leadership.
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