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Matters of Taste

Thursday 7 April 2016

1 Hour


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Ticket price

Three renowned food experts, writers Madhur Jaffrey and Professor Jessica Harris and Quo Vadis head chef Jeremy Lee, discuss their personal food journeys with head of Oxford Gastronomica Donald Sloan.

Our culinary taste is an expression of our self-identity and shapes how we are perceived by others. No matter where life takes us, our culinary taste keeps us firmly rooted to our cultural origins. Jaffrey, Harris and Lee will reflect on food memories from childhood and consider what their lives in food have taught them about their own communities and those of others. They will also dwell on the broader role of food in society. Does it bind those displaced from their childhood or ancestral homes, and how can we maintain distinctive food cultures when free movement of people is commonplace?

Jaffrey is a world authority on Indian food, an award-winning actress and bestselling cookery writer. Her first book, An Invitation to Indian Cookery, was published in 1973 and her series for BBC television Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery made her a household name. She has appeared in over 20 films, including Merchant Ivory’s Heat and Dust, and written more than 15 cookery books, her latest being Curry Easy: Vegetarian.

Harris is recognised as the USA’s most influential scholar on the food and foodways of the African Diaspora, a topic on which she has written 12 acclaimed texts, the most recent being High on the Hog: a culinary journey from Africa to America. She is professor of English at Queens College, CUNY; was the first recipient of the Ray Charles Chair in African American Material Culture at Dillard University in New Orleans; and in 2015 was awarded an honorary doctorate from Johnson and Wales University in recognition of her work as a culinary historian.

Lee is head chef at Quo Vadis in London’s Soho. He is renowned for his resolutely British culinary repertoire, informed by meticulous research and inspired by those for whom he has worked, including Simon Hopkinson and Alastair Little.

Sloan is head of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management at Oxford Brookes University and chair of Oxford Gastronomica.

In association with Oxford Gastronomica.