Renowned Food Writer Claudia Roden To Serve Up Lecture at Yale

Critically acclaimed food writer and memorialist Claudia Roden, who turned the pleasures of eating into a division of cultural anthropology, will give a talk on the worlds contained in a bowl of soup, at 5 p.m. on October 28, in the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall Street, room 208.

Her talk, titled “A Good Soup Holds History and Culture: Reconstructing Worlds through Food,” is free and open to the public, and is part of her tenure as the Franke Visiting Fellow at the Whitney Humanities Center.

Roden was born and raised in a Sephardic Jewish family in Cairo and educated in Paris. Her family left Egypt in 1956 after the Suez crisis, and settled in London. She started collecting recipes through a desire to preserve a lost heritage, and continued to write about food with a special interest in the historical, social and cultural background of cooking. She has traveled the globe extensively, and the volumes she has produced are recognized as archival works of art. In the words of the historian Simon Schama,“Claudia Roden is no more a simple cookbook writer than Marcel Proust was a biscuit baker. She is, rather, memorialist, historian, ethnographer, anthropologist, essayist, poet, who just happens to communicate through ta’am—taste.”

Roden has served as “gastronomic foreign correspondent” for various newspapers, given master classes and seminars for chefs and restaurateurs and planned menus and provided recipes for Guy’s Hospital in London (now a model for other hospitals). Among her best-selling titles are “The New Book of Middle Eastern Food” (an enlarged, and updated edition of her first book, which came out in 1968); “Mediterranean Cookery,” which accompanied the BBC TV series “Claudia Roden’s Mediterranean Cookery”; and “The Good Food of Italy—Region by Region,” following the long-running series “The Taste of Italy” in the Sunday Times Magazine.

A new book, “The Food of Spain,” is forthcoming from Ecco/HarperCollins. Roden’s international accolades include six Glenfiddich Awards, the James Beard Award, the National Jewish Book Award, the Guild of Food Writers’ Award, the André Simon Award, Italy’s Premio Orio Vergani, Holland’s Prince Claus Award for Cultural Achievement, France’s Versailles Award, and Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Most recently, the James Beard Foundation inducted her into the Cookbook Hall of Fame.

The Franke Visiting Scholars and Artists Program is made possible by the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Franke of Chicago. The creation of this special residential fellowship is intended to ensure ongoing interdisciplinary exchange and creative debate at the Whitney in particular and at Yale in general. The Frankes also endowed an annual series of lectures and seminars at the Whitney, which present enduring topics in the humanities to Yale undergraduates and to the broader New Haven community.

For more information on this event, contact Sue Stout at 203 432-6556 or

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Dorie Baker:, 203-432-1345