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Resilient Kitchens is the 2024 James Beard Book Award winner in the food issues and advocacy category and a collection of essays about the lives of immigrants in the United States before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, told through the lens of food. The volume highlights diverse perspectives from professional food writers, restaurateurs, scholars, and activists, whose stories range from emotional reflections on hardship, loss, and resilience to journalistic investigations of racism in the American food system. In this talk, the volume’s editors and several of its contributors offer reflections on how the book memorialized a delicate fulcrum in American history between early lockdowns and our ongoing negotiations with the virus as part of the constant background of our lives. Speakers will discuss food and foodways as critical issues in contemporary American life as well as tools for telling stories about immigrant cultures and identities.

Guest Panelists:

  • Philip Gleissner, Assistant Professor of Slavic and East European languages and cultures at The Ohio State University

  • Harry Kashdan, Scholar of Food and Migration based in Washington, DC

  • Tien Nguyen, Award-winning multimedia journalist

  • Guillermina Gina Núñez-Mchiri, Dean at SDSU’s Imperial Valley Campus and Professor in the Department of Women’s Studies

  • Krishnendu Ray, Professor, Food Studies; Director, Food Studies Ph.D. Program


  • Melissa Fuster, Associate Professor, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
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