When we plan our meals or consider a restaurant menu, we are all now conscious of farm to table and local ingredients. We take things like mushrooms, zucchini, and durum wheat for granted. We may accept things from far away as long as we think they were sustainably raised things like avocado, mango, grapes, raspberries and cashews are all common on our tables.
But where did these first grow and how did they make it to the Chicago market? From The Food Explorer we learn where these seemingly everyday items originated and the lengths they had to travel before they reached our farms and markets.
David Fairchild was a young, white slave-owning scientist interested in biology in the 1890’s when he was invited to travel to far-away Java to study plants. This is the story of how that first foray led to a lifetime in what would become the USDA as he traveled the globe to search out plants which would provide new products for early American farmers and palates. We learn the lengths he had to go through to get seedlings, cuttings, leaves and spores shipped in mere days — far before DHL overnight air flights – including one shipment of 20 tons of plant material from China! And how he communicated and fought for these successes and a few of his failures.
As one of the book’s blurbs says, “Daniel Stone has written an elegant food history, a thrilling tour of a lost world sometimes glamorous, sometimes dangerous and always highly entertaining.”
We will honor his dedication and derring-do to bring us so many now-common fruits and vegetables with a special menu being planned by Chef Tim Graham and Sommelier Rebekah Graham of TWAIN restaurant. Join us!
DATE: Tuesday, April 30, 2019
TIME: 6:00- 8:00 pm
LOCATION: TWAIN restaurant, 2445 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
COST: $40 per person; includes dinner and one beverage of the restaurant’s choosing. Sign up and purchase tickets here.