Concord, MassachusettsTwo weeks of talks, readings, and discussions celebrating the written and the spoken word.
Hank Phillippi Ryan
Book: Ten Restaurants That Changed America
Paul Freedman is a history professor at Yale who teaches both the Middle Ages and the history of food. He is the editor of the ICP Award-winning Food: The History of Taste and the author of Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination.
In Ten Restaurants That Changed America, Freedman tells the history of dining out in America through ten legendary restaurants, from Delmonico’s to Sylvia’s to Chez Panisse.
Combining a historian’s rigor with a foodie’s palate, Freedman reveals how the history of our restaurants reflects nothing less that the history of America itself. Whether charting the rise of our love affair with Chinese food through San Francisco’s fabled The Mandarin, evoking the richness of Italian food through Mamma Leone’s, or chronicling the rise and fall of French haute cuisine through Henri Soule’s Le Pavillon, he uses each restaurant to tell a wider story of race and class, immigration and assimilation.
Freedman also treats us to a history of the then-revolutionary Schrafft’s, a chain of convivial lunch spots that catered to women, and that bygone favorite, Howard Johnson’s, which pioneered midcentury, on-the-road dining. Lavishly designed with more than 100 photographs and images, including original menus, Ten Restaurants is a significant and highly entertaining social history.