Charlie cart

By the Numbers: Food

November 1, 2021

350 Number of classes offered annually through Free Library of Philadelphia’s (FLP) Culinary Literacy Center. According to FLP, this kitchen classroom is the first of its kind created at a public library in the US. $9,000 Amount that Chattanooga (Tenn.) Public Library spent on a Charlie Cart—a mobile kitchen that includes a convection oven, an … Continue reading By the Numbers: Food


Foodlink Community Café in Rochester (N.Y.) Public Library’s Central Library provides culinary training and work experience for people who have faced barriers to employment. Photo: Foodlink

Cafés with a Conscience

November 1, 2021

“We talked about how we could make things better in our neighborhood,” says Patricia Uttaro, director of RPL and Monroe County Library System. “We have been doing a lot of work with our library on social justice and conversations on race. We wanted to find a solution there.” RPL collaborated with Foodlink, a local nonprofit … Continue reading Cafés with a Conscience


Food and Family Tradition

June 26, 2021

Moderated by Karen Murgolo, editorial director of the Lifestyle and Culinary imprint at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and editor of Trisha’s Kitchen, Yearwood’s talk was brief but rich in details about her family’s influence on her cooking and her new book. When asked how food keeps family traditions alive, Yearwood said that the dinner table was where … Continue reading Food and Family Tradition


Padma Lakshmi and Juana Martinez-Neal

Food, Form, and Function

June 26, 2021

On its surface, Tomatoes for Neela (Penguin Young Readers, August), tells the story of a young Indian-American girl named Neela who collects “plump, juicy plum tomatoes” with her paati (grandmother) to make a sauce. But the picture book, illustrated by Peruvian-American mixed-media artist Juana Martinez-Neal (whose art earned her the 2020 Sibert Medal for Fry … Continue reading Food, Form, and Function


Stanley Tucci

His Life through Food

June 26, 2021

Twenty-five years ago, he wrote, directed, and starred in Big Night, a scrumptiously shot cult classic that introduced filmgoers to Primo and Secondo, brothers running an Italian restaurant in 1950s New Jersey, and their timpano, an encased, baked pasta dish as painstaking as it was showstopping. These days Tucci is hosting the CNN travelogue show … Continue reading His Life through Food


Marcus Samuelsson (left) and Osayi Endolyn [Photos: Angie Mosier (Samuelsson); Lucy Schaeffer Photography (Endolyn)]

Newsmakers: Marcus Samuelsson and Osayi Endolyn

November 2, 2020

Among the many talented Black chefs whose cuisine is highlighted: Cheryl Day of Savannah, Georgia’s Back in the Day Bakery; Gregory Gourdet of Portland, Oregon’s Departure; and former Top Chef contestant Nyesha Arrington of Los Angeles. Samuelsson and Endolyn spoke with American Libraries about their work—and about the racial dynamics of the food publishing world. … Continue reading Newsmakers: Marcus Samuelsson and Osayi Endolyn


Sunday Roast Chicken with Chickpeas and Couscous

October 22, 2020

Reprinted with permission from The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food (Voracious, October) by Marcus Samuelsson and Osayi Endolyn. When I think about Alberta’s history—her fierceness combined with her incredible charm and grace—I am humbled by how much she accomplished, when she started with very little. She had an 8th-grade education, but … Continue reading Sunday Roast Chicken with Chickpeas and Couscous


Jeff Henderson

Hungry with Knowledge

January 26, 2020

“I was growing up hungry in a single-parent, dysfunctional home in the 1960s,” he told the crowd at American Library Association President Wanda Kay Brown’s program at the Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Philadelphia on January 26. “I had a little homeboy dream that I’d be able to buy a house on a hill with … Continue reading Hungry with Knowledge


Howard County (Md.) Library System’s Longest Table 2019, held at Howard Community College on September 21, drew 231 guests. (Photo: Geoffrey S. Baker/Howard County Library System)

Tables of Content

January 2, 2020

The origins of these events can be traced back to communal meals such as the World’s Longest Lunch, held annually across Australia. In 2015 the first Longest Table meal served 400 people along a two-block stretch of downtown Tallahassee, Florida. That inaugural evening was organized by city and county leaders, local nonprofit The Village Square, … Continue reading Tables of Content


The BeeChicas tend to one of two rooftop beehives at Boulder (Colo.) Public Library. (Photo: The Bee Chicas)

File under Bee

September 3, 2019

When Theresa Beck, a member of the Boulder, Colorado–based beekeeping team and advocacy group the BeeChicas, shared her idea with Kathy Lane at the Bee Boulder Festival in 2014, she didn’t think of it as more than a playful suggestion. But Lane, who is programs, events, and outreach coordinator for the Boulder Public Library (BPL), … Continue reading File under Bee