Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America

Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America available at American Swedish Institute.

Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America

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America’s modern culinary history told through the lives of seven pathbreaking chefs and food writers.

Who’s really behind America’s appetite for foods from around the globe? This group biography from an electric new voice in food writing honors seven extraordinary women, all immigrants, who left an indelible mark on the way Americans eat today. Taste Makers stretches from World War II to the present, with absorbing and deeply researched portraits of figures including Mexican-born Elena Zelayeta, a blind chef; Marcella Hazan, the deity of Italian cuisine; and Norma Shirley, a champion of Jamaican dishes.

In imaginative, lively prose, Mayukh Sen—a queer, brown child of immigrants—reconstructs the lives of these women in vivid and empathetic detail, daring to ask why some were famous in their own time, but not in ours, and why others shine brightly even today. Weaving together histories of food, immigration, and gender, Taste Makers will challenge the way readers look at what’s on their plate—and the women whose labor, overlooked for so long, makes those meals possible.

A New York Times Editors' Choice pick.  Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Los Angeles Times, Vogue, Wall Street Journal, Food Network, KCRW, WBUR Here & Now, Emma Straub, and Globe and Mail.

February 24, 2022:  Virtual Book Talk with author Mayukh Sen and former Star Tribune Taste Editor Lee Dean.

About the author:

Mayukh Sen is a James Beard and IACP Award–winning writer based in Brooklyn. His work has been anthologized in two editions of The Best American Food Writing. He teaches food journalism at New York University.