LET'S TALK ABOUT HOUSTON EATS!
Two-day conference Houston Eats! Texas Gulf Coast Food: Past, Present and Future, February 2 & 3
Originally planned for September 2017, a week after Harvey hit Houston hard, the two-day conference Houston Eats! has a new date! A collaboration between Gulf Coast Food Project and Foodways Texas, Houston Eats! opens on February 2 with a keynote address by Dr. Tyina L. Steptoe, author of Houston Bound: Culture and Color in a Jim Crow City, Texan, and associate professor of History at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Houston is celebrated as one of the most diverse cities in the country, opening the stage to a gastronomic abundance where you can find anything from Lebanese kibbeh, Spanish tapas, Venezuelan arepas, Peruvian tiradito, Indian pani puri, Malaysian laksa, Greek gyros to a wide array of authentic Mexican regional food, all alongside Gulf coast traditions like gumbo, shrimp & grits, crawfish boils, chili and BBQ.
Was Houston always that diverse? Where does that diversity originate? How did it impact the way Houston eats today? What does it mean for the region’s (culinary) future?
These questions, and more, are explored over the course of the two-day conference with speakers and panels representing a wide local food network: historians, farmers, food writers, sociologists, activists, artists and more.
Topics range from Vietnamese immigrants settling on the Gulf Coast to the history of Mexican restaurants and tortilla factories; barbeque traditions from here to the Cajun country; Chinese bakeries to ancient roots of earth-oven baking; and much more. The program also includes a panel discussion “Expanding Local Farm and Food Communities: Key Arenas of Opportunities for Activists” led by food writer Pam Walker with Casey McAuliffe (Councilwoman for the City of LaMarque, and market manager of Galveston’s Own Farmers Market), Judith McGeary (sustainable farmer and director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance), Paula McDermott (chair of the Austin/Travis County Food Policy Board), and Edible Houston’s publisher Kim Korth.
The conference concludes on Saturday, February 3, with a conversation between the Houston Chronicle’s restaurant critic Alison Cook, and two of of Houston’s premier restaurateurs, Sylvia Casares, chef and owner of Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen and author of The Enchilada Queen Cookbook, and Kaiser Lashkari, chef and owner of Himalaya Restaurant.
Where, when & what
The conference is being held at the University of Houston’s main campus in the M.D. Anderson Library (Friday, February 2) and in the Student Center South, Multipurpose Room 237S (Saturday, February 3). The conference is 9am to 6pm both days.
The conference is free but you need to pre-register for tickets. More information, including the full program, visit http://www.uh.edu/gcfp/conference.html