Educational Food and Drink Events in D.C.

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Every now and then, I just have to stop and marvel at the many culinary-themed lectures, exhibits and tastings going on in the D.C. area. What a great place for a food nerd to live, eh? Here's a sampling of upcoming events:


October 22 and 29 at 12:30 p.m.

Meet curator Cory Bernat and tour her exhibit of war-era American food posters in the USDA cafeteria. Bernat's lunchtime tours are only on those two days, but you can visit on your own anytime between 6:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. weekdays (through November 10, free).

October 23 and 24

Get a taste of West African-inspired Gullah food, including "Gullah Diva" Sallie Ann Robinson's crab fried rice and homemade pear preserves over biscuits, in a demonstration presented by the Smithsonian's Museum of African Art (1 to 3 p.m. in Room 3111 of the nearby Ripley Center, $10 at door).

The DC Green Festival (Washington Convention Center, tickets $10 to $25) will include talks about organic gardening and urban farms, among many other things.

Slow Food DC is offering a farm-based class about edible ornamental plants (2 to 4 p.m. October 24th, River Farm in Alexandria, free).

October 30 and 31

Celebrate the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with fire-pit cooking demonstrations and other activities at Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (10 to 4:30 p.m, free).


Slow Food DC hosts a potluck-paired book talk by Todd Kliman about the amazing Norton wine grape (Thursday, November 4 in Silver Spring, free).

Don't miss the action-packed Food For Tomorrow Symposium at Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, which kicks off with an advance screening of the movie Truck Farm (6:30 p.m. Friday, November 5. Tickets $18 to $20, including reception) and features a three-course intellectual feast of discussions about the future of our food system (9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, November 6. Free, but tickets required for morning session). It all wraps up with a tasting and talk about innovative East Coast winemakers featuring Dave McIntyre (6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, tickets $18 to $20).

Okay, there is one excuse I'll allow for missing the symposium: The Resident Associates' annual beer program is on the same afternoon. The theme is The Pursuit of Hoppiness, and if it's anything like last year's "Beer Planet," the suds-soaked lecture will leave your head spinning in more ways than one! (1 to 4:30 p.m., November 6 at the Brickskeller, tickets $65 to $82).

Slow Food DC presents a dinner and discussion about sustainable meat, featuring "Good Meat" author Deborah Krasner, at D.C.'s 701 Restaurant (Sunday, November 7, tickets $60).

The Culinary Historians Of Washington, aka CHoW, has food history lectures at its monthly meetings in Bethesda, usually on the second Sunday of each month. The next talk is titled "The Bakery, the Saloon, and the Quick Lunch: Ready to Eat Food in Working-Class Neighborhoods, 1880-1930," by Katherine Leonard Turner (Sunday, November 14, 2 to 4:30 p.m., free).

On select dates in November and December, learn about Arcimboldo, the 16th-century artist behind those weird vegetable-faced portraits at the National Gallery of Art. (Free, 60 mins, see schedule of gallery talks).

Interested in really old beer? Grab a ticket now for "Our Intoxicating Quest For The Perfect Drink," a Resident Associates lecture by renowned alcohol archaeologist Patrick McGovern, which will include tastings of ancient ales re-created by Dogfish Head Brewery (Thursday, December 2, 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets $25 to 35).

Prefer wine? Tastings and meze will follow a Resident Associates talk about the wine, food and culinary history of Cyprus (Wednesday, December 8, 6:45 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets $35 to $50).

December's CHoW meeting is slated to include a talk about Mexican culinary traditions by the talented Mexican Cultural Institute chef Patricia Jinich. (Sunday, December 12, 2 to 4:30 p.m., free).

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