SMITHSONIAN FOOD HISTORY GALA from Home

Live stream
SMITHSONIAN FOOD HISTORY GALA from Home
The Gala from Home features the sixth annual and first public presentation of the Julia Child Award to Danielle Nierenberg, co-founder and president of Food Tank, by The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. We will be joined by many special guests from around the globe.

FEATURED SPEAKERS

José Andrés
Chef/Owner of ThinkFoodGroup, Founder of
World Central Kitchen,
2019 Julia Child Award Recipient
Washington, D.C.
Dan Barber
Chef and Co-owner of Blue Hill and
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Pocantico Hills, NY
Rick Bayless
Chef,
2016 Julia Child Award Recipient
Chicago, IL
Lonnie G. Bunch III
Secretary,
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D.C.
Susan Feniger
Co-chef and Owner, Socalo and Border Grill,
2018 Julia Child Award Recipient
Los Angeles, CA, and Las Vegas, NV
Jessica B. Harris PhD
Author and Culinary Historian
Oak Bluffs, MA
Anthea M. Hartig PhD
Elizabeth MacMillan Director,
National Museum of American History
Washington, D.C.
Kathleen A. Merrigan PhD
Executive Director,
Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems
Tempe, AZ
Danny Meyer
Founder and CEO,
Union Square Hospitality Group,
2017 Julia Child Award Recipient
New York, NY
Mary Sue Milliken
Co-chef and Owner, Socalo and Border Grill,
2018 Julia Child Award Recipient
Los Angeles, CA, and Las Vegas, NV
Frances Moore Lappé
Author, Diet For a Small Planet
Cambridge, MA
Danielle Nierenberg
Co-Founder and President,
Food Tank,
2020 Julia Child Award Recipient
Washington, D.C.
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Jacques Pépin
Chef,
2015 Julia Child Award Recipient
Madison, CT
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Gala Program Participants

Stephanie Borkowsky

Intern,
Smithsonian Food History Project 2020
New York, NY

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Bobby Chinn

IndoChine Hospitality
Cairo, Egypt

Dr. Sandro Demaio

CEO,
VicHealth
Melbourne, Australia

Kim R. Ford

President and CEO,
Martha’s Table
Washington, D.C.

Edie Mukiibi

Vice President,
Slow Food International,
Founder Project DISCC
Uganda

Reema Nanavaty

Director,
Economic and Rural Development,
Self Employed Women’s Association
India

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Leah Penniman

Co-director,
Soul Fire Farm
Grafton, NY

Bernard Pollack

Co-founder and Chairman,
Board of Directors,
Food Tank
New York, NY

Fabricio Ribeiro

Founder,
Taakwary Ltda
São Paulo, Brazil

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Anna Ruggerini

Operations Director,
Barilla Foundation
Parma, Italy

Vimlendra Sharan

Director,
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,
Liaison Office for North America
Washington, D.C.

Eric W. Spivey

Chairman,
The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts
Santa Barbara, CA

Haile Thomas

Wellness + Compassion Activist, Speaker, Author, CEO of the HAPPY Org
Hudson Valley, NY

Marsha Ungchusri

Intern,
Smithsonian Food History Project 2019
Arlington, VA

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Shengen Fen

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Sandro Demaio

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Chat Script...

José Andrés

Chef/Owner of ThinkFoodGroup, Founder of World Central Kitchen,
2019 Julia Child Award Recipient

Twice named to Time’s “100 Most Influential People” list and recipient of the 2015 National Humanities Medal, José Andrés is an internationally recognized culinary innovator, New York Times best-selling author, educator, humanitarian, and chef and owner of ThinkFoodGroup, the award-winning collective of nearly 30 restaurants throughout the country and beyond. In 2010 Andrés founded World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit specializing in delivering food relief in the wake of natural and humanitarian disasters. Notably, his team served 3.7 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria and has since served more than 40 million meals worldwide. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, WCK has partnered with restaurants, small farms, and local partners around the country to combat food insecurity. A naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Spain, Andrés has been a tireless advocate for immigration reform and on July 4, 2014, was named by President Barack Obama as that year’s Outstanding American by Choice. Andrés was the 2019 recipient of the Julia Child Award.

Dan Barber

Chef and Co-owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns

Dan Barber is the chef and co-owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York, and the author of The Third Plate. Barber also co-founded Row 7 Seed Company, which brings together chefs and plant breeders to develop new varieties of vegetables and grains.

Rick Bayless

Chef, 2016 Julia Child Award Recipient

Perhaps best known as the winner of TV’s Top Chef Masters, Chef Rick Bayless is the owner of highly acclaimed Mexican restaurants in Chicago, including Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, side-by-side institutions that have earned the James Beard Foundation’s highest achievement for “Outstanding Restaurant.” The street food fiesta known as Xoco opened in 2009, drawing guests in with tortas from the wood-burning oven and golden crispy churros. In 2018, he opened Bar Sótano, a mezcal cocktail bar and hip taco spot located in the basement of Frontera Grill. Rick and his staff established the Frontera Farmer Foundation in 2003 to support small Midwestern farms, awarding nearly 200 grants totaling nearly $3 million. He also launched the Frontera Scholarship, a culinary school scholarship for Mexican American students in Chicago, and in 2019 founded Impact Culinary Training, a restaurant job readiness program on the city’s west side. Rick received the Julia Child Award from The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts in 2016.

Lonnie G. Bunch III

Secretary, Smithsonian Institution

Lonnie G. Bunch III is the 14th secretary of the Smithsonian. He assumed his position June 16, 2019. As secretary, he oversees 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, numerous research centers, and several education units and centers.

Previously, Bunch was the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum has welcomed more than 6 million visitors since it opened in September 2016 and compiled a collection of 40,000 objects that are housed in the first “green building” on the National Mall.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting, and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history.

A widely published author, Bunch has written on topics ranging from the Black military experience, the American presidency, and all-Black towns in the American West to diversity in museum management and the impact of funding and politics on American museums. His most recent book, A Fool’s Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump, chronicles the making of the museum that would become one of the most popular destinations in Washington.

Before his appointment as director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Bunch served as the president of the Chicago Historical Society (2001–2005). Bunch has worked at the Smithsonian in the past, holding several positions at its National Museum of American History from 1989 through 2000. As the museum’s associate director for curatorial affairs for six years (1994–2000), he oversaw the curatorial and collections management staff and led the team that developed a major permanent exhibition on the American presidency.

Susan Feniger

Co-chef and Owner, Socalo and Border Grill, 2018 Julia Child Award Recipient

Iconic culinarian, author, and entrepreneur Susan Feniger may be best known for her Modern Mexican concept, as seen in Border Grill restaurants, trucks, and catering, which she runs with her business partner of more than 35 years, Mary Sue Milliken. Now with locations in Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Downtown LA, LAX Airport, The Huntington Library, and Rose Bowl, Border Grill continues to serve street food-inspired regional Mexican cuisine with a commitment to sustainability and the best quality ingredients. In June 2018, Feniger and Milliken debuted BBQ Mexicana, a fast-casual eatery with locations at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas Ballpark, and most recently inside the new Allegiant Stadium. The chefs returned to Santa Monica with Socalo, an all-day California canteen and Mexican pub, in December 2019. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, she made a groundbreaking move in joining the nearly all-male kitchen at Chicago’s Le Perroquet, serendipitously meeting the only other woman in the kitchen—Mary Sue Milliken. Feniger opened City Café with Milliken in 1981 and Border Grill in 1985. A James Beard Award that same year confirmed their impact on the nation’s cuisine. In 2018, Feniger and Milliken were named the recipients of the fourth annual Julia Child Award from The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, marking the first women to be honored. Feniger is an active member of the community, and currently sits on the boards of the Scleroderma Research Foundation, Los Angeles LGBT Center, and L.A. Tourism & Conventions; works closely with Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, Share Our Strength, and Human Rights Campaign; and co-founded Chefs Collaborative.

Jessica B. Harris PhD

Author and Culinary Historian

Jessica B. Harris is the author, editor, or translator of 18 books including 12 cookbooks documenting the foodways of the African Diaspora, a topic on which she is considereda ranking expert. She has lectured widely and has written extensively for scholarly and popular publications. Harris consults internationally and worked with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on their cafeteria. She holds degrees from Bryn Mawr College; Queens College/CUNY; the Université de Nancy, France; and New York University. Harris was granted an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Johnson & Wales University and holds numerous awards and accolades. Harris is a member of the James Beard Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America and her books were inducted into their Cookbook Hall of Fame. In March 2020, she became a James Beard Lifetime Achievement awardee. Harris was a professor at Queens College/CUNY in New York for five decades and is currently professor emerita at that institution.

Anthea M. Hartig PhD

Elizabeth MacMillan Director, National Museum of American History

Anthea M. Hartig is the Elizabeth MacMillan Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the first woman to hold the position since the museum opened in 1964. Hartig oversees more than 250 employees, a budget of over $40 million, and a collection that includes 1.8 million objects and more than three shelf-miles of archives. She officially began her tenure on February 18, 2019. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hartig has put in place two task forces, one on collecting around the current crisis and the other a digital response team to create new content, particularly in the area of K-12 education. During this time, Hartig is also coordinating security, facilities, and other functions in cooperation with the Smithsonian leadership and other museum directors.

Hartig is currently leading the museum in crafting a vibrant new strategic plan to take the museum through to the Semiquincentennial of the United States in 2026 and beyond. It will support the museum’s efforts to become the most accessible, inclusive, relevant, and sustainable American history museum. Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History seeks to empower people to create a just and compassionate future by exploring, preserving, and sharing the complexity of our past. An award-winning public historian and cultural heritage expert, Hartig is dedicated to making the nation’s richly diverse history accessible and relevant. Before joining the Smithsonian, she served as the executive director and CEO of the California Historical Society (CHS) in San Francisco. Under her leadership, CHS doubled its staff, created over 30 exhibitions, created its digital library, and created the Teaching California initiative, a free online history portal for K-12 stuents that brings the archive into the classroom.

Kathleen A. Merrigan PhD

Executive Director, Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems

Merrigan is an expert in food and agriculture, celebrated by TIME magazine as one of the 100 “Most Influential People in the World” in 2010. She serves as the Kelly and Brian Swette Professor in the School of Sustainability and executive director of the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at Arizona State University. From 2013-2018, she was executive director of sustainability, director of the GW Food Institute, and professor of public policy at George Washington University. From 2009 to 2013, Merrigan was deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the United States Department of Agriculture, a 110,000-person, $150 billion federal department. Over the decades, Merrigan has been actively involved with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, including serving as the first woman chair of the Conference of Ministers. She is well known for having authored U.S. law establishing organic food standards. Merrigan is currently a board member of FoodCorps, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), Artemis, and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). She is a partner in Astanor Ventures and an advisor to S2G Ventures, two firms investing in ag-tech innovations. Merrigan holds a PhD in public policy and environmental planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MA in public affairs from University of Texas at Austin, and a BA from Williams College.

Danny Meyer

Founder and CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group, 2017 Julia Child Award Recipient

In 1985, at the age of 27, Danny opened his first restaurant, Union Square Cafe, launching what would become a lifelong career in hospitality. Thirty years later, Danny’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) comprises some of New York’s most beloved and acclaimed restaurants, including Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Maialino, and more. Danny and USHG founded Shake Shack, the modern-day “roadside” burger restaurant, which became a public company in 2015. Under Danny’s leadership, USHG is renowned not only for its acclaimed restaurants but also for its distinctive and celebrated culture of Enlightened Hospitality. This guiding principle of prioritizing employees first and foremost has driven and shaped USHG’s ongoing evolution from a small group of restaurants into a multi-faceted hospitality organization. Danny’s groundbreaking business book, Setting the Table (HarperCollins, 2006), a New York Times Bestseller, articulates a set of signature business and life principles that translate to a wide range of industries. A celebrated speaker and educator, Danny has set industry standards in areas such as hiring practices, innovative leadership, and corporate responsibility and addresses a wide range of audiences on such topics around the country. Danny has been generously recognized for his leadership, business achievements, and humanitarianism, including the 2017 Julia Child Award, the 2015 TIME 100 “Most Influential People” list, the 2012 Aspen Institute Preston Robert Tisch Award in Civic Leadership, the 2011 NYU Lewis Rudin Award for Exemplary Service to New York City, and the 2000 IFMA Gold Plate Award. Together, Danny and USHG’s restaurants and individuals have won an unprecedented 28 James Beard Awards, including Outstanding Restaurateur (2005) and Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America (1996). Danny and his wife, Audrey, live in New York City and have four children.

Mary Sue Milliken

Co-chef and Owner, Socalo and Border Grill, 2018 Julia Child Award Recipient

Throughout a groundbreaking, nearly 40-year career, Mary Sue Milliken finds the key to her success in following her insatiable curiosity. She is best known for Border Grill restaurants, trucks, and catering, which she runs with her business partner of more than 35 years, Susan Feniger. Mary Sue seeks to amplify the flavors of amazing ingredients, surprising guests with texture and color while maintaining harmony on the plate at every Border Grill location—Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Downtown LA, LAX Airport, The Huntington Library, and Rose Bowl, as well as gourmet food trucks and catering. In June 2018, Milliken and Feniger debuted BBQ Mexicana a fast-casual eatery with locations at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas Ballpark, and most recently inside the new Allegiant Stadium. The chefs returned to Santa Monica with Socalo, an all-day California canteen and Mexican pub, in December 2019. Milliken leads with a staff and community-forward approach with sustainability at its core. She has also witnessed the industry catch up to Border Grill in offering accessible, seasonal, ethnic cuisine, and empowering women to join the male-dominated realm of professional cooking. “We ditched the patriarchy long ago,” Milliken recalls, “and took charge of our own destiny.”

Along with Feniger, Milliken found acclaim with CITY Restaurant in 1985 and captured the hearts of Angelenos with Border Grill’s ’85 debut, evidenced by a James Beard Award the same year. Milliken uses her platform to enact societal change, serving on the boards of both Share Our Strength and the James Beard Foundation. In 2018, Feniger and Milliken were named the recipients of the fourth annual Julia Child Award from The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, marking the first women to be honored.

Frances Moore Lappé

Author, Diet For a Small Planet

Frances Moore Lappé is the author or coauthor of 19 books, including the three-million-copy selling Diet for a Small Planet. Her latest work is Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, coauthored with Adam Eichen and focusing on the roots of the U.S. democracy crisis and how Americans are creatively responding to the challenge. Frances is co-founder of Oakland-based Food First and the Cambridge-based Small Planet Institute, which she leads with her daughter Anna Lappé. The recipient of 19 honorary degrees, Frances has been a visiting scholar at MIT and U.C. Berkeley and in 1987 received the Right Livelihood Award, often called the “Alternative Nobel.”

Danielle Nierenberg

Co-Founder and President, Food Tank, 2020 Julia Child Award Recipient

In 2013 Danielle Nierenberg co-founded Food Tank, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. Food Tank is a global convener, research organization, and non-biased creator of original research impacting the food system. Nierenberg also conducts extensive on-the-ground research, traveling to more than 70 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. She has met with thousands of farmers and farmers’ groups, scientists and researchers, policymakers and government leaders, students and academics, as well as journalists, documenting what’s working to help alleviate hunger and poverty while protecting the environment. Nierenberg’s knowledge of global agriculture issues has been cited widely in more than 20,000 major print and broadcast outlets worldwide, and she speaks at more than 100 events per year, including major conferences all over the world. Nierenberg is the recipient of the 2020 Julia Child Award from The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.

Jacques Pépin

Chef, 2015 Julia Child Award Recipient

Jacques Pépin is world-renowned as a chef and the host of 13 acclaimed and popular cooking programs on public television. He is also celebrated as a respected instructor, a prolific author of dozens of cookbooks, and a gifted artist. Through his long and distinguished career, Pépin has advanced the art and craft of culinary technique, as showcased in an American Masters film chronicling his life, Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft, which debuted on PBS in May 2017.  In May 2019, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 46th Annual Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

Born near Lyon, France, Pépin’s love for cooking started early in his parents’ restaurant. He began his culinary training at age 13 in Paris, and subsequently served as personal chef to three French heads of state. Moving to the United States in 1959, he worked as a chef and recipe developer for many restaurants, including Howard Johnson’s, while completing his education. Pépin’s 1976 book La Technique, a volume on the fundamentals of French cuisine, became a standard in the field. He has received 16 James Beard Awards, including the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. He is especially remembered for the Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home television series, for which both he and Julia Child won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2001. In addition, he has created, along with his son-in-law, Rollie Wesen, The Jacques Pépin Foundation, with the goal of transforming lives and enriching communities through the power of culinary education. In 2015, Pépin was the first to receive the Julia Child Award from The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.