Events: Masters of Social Gastronomy is SWEET on You


Masters of Social Gastronomy
Tuesday, April 30th, doors at 7pm
Public Assembly (70 North 6th Street)
Free, but RSVP recommended  So we can bring enough samples!

Come on down to Public Assembly in Williamsburg on Tuesday, April 30, for our monthly Masters of Social Gastronomy lecture. This month we’re talking about **sugar and artificial sweeteners**.

If you’ve ever crossed the Williamsburg Bridge, then you’ve surely noticed the towering structures of the defunct Domino’s Sugar factory.  In this month’s MSG we’ll explore Brooklyn in an era when sugar was king, as well as take a behind-the-scenes peek at its modern day inheritor Sweet n’ Low.

But is giving in to our sweet tooth digging our own graves? Let’s break down the science behind the fear of sugar, from carcinogenic artificial sweeteners to the possible perils of that ubiquitous high fructose corn syrup.

MSG is free! Doors at 7, talks shortly thereafter, bring an ID with you. Please RSVP HERE so we know how many sweet samples to bring!

Events: From Pushcarts to Pizza Knishes

image courtesy joseph a

Saturday, April 13, 10am-11:30am$28 – includes 4 tastings (2 vegetarian, 2 meat)- buy tickets here!

Hearty knishes, delicate fishes, and piles of meat: these are the feature foods of some of the city’s oldest businesses that dot Houston street. We’ll spend 90 minutes exploring the neighborhood once known as Little Romania, a sub-culture of the Jewish Lower East Side, and learn the history of regional Jewish cuisine. We’ll taste our way through classic LES dishes, as well as some of the innovative new products that have kept these traditional food purveyors alive.This tour meets at 10 am in front of Yonah Schimmel’s Knishes, 137 E. Houston Street. From there, we’ll proceed to Russ & Daughters and Katz’s Delicatessen. Each stop features a tasting which is included in the price of the tour. Please dress appropriately for the weather! 

Events: Bitters, Infusions and Simple Syrups: A Custom Cocktail Workshop

Wednesday, April 10, 6pm-8:30pm
The New York Horticultural Society
Tickets $50; Register Here!
Doors open at 6:00pm;
Workshop starts at 6:30pm
Hort Members $30; non-members $50

Join us as Sarah Lohman teaches us how to recreate those ever-so-delicious cocktails that you thought only a trained “mixologist” could create. Learn how to infuse liquors with herbs and spices using historic recipes as inspiration, and concoct herbal cocktails with flavored simple syrups and fresh ingredients. She’ll also discuss how to use cocktail bitters—as well as their fascinating history—and you’ll make your own bitters from scratch. You’ll learn how to make your own botanically inspired cocktails with a hands-on demo. We’ll enjoy a cocktail in class and you’ll get to take home a sample of your own cocktail bitters.

Events: Learn the History of Vanilla!

Vanilla: A History

Thursday, 28th @ 6:30 or 8:30

At the Brooklyn Brainery, 190 Underhill Ave. Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

$15 – Buy Tickets Here

America’s most popular ice cream flavor has only been in use for thelast 200 years. Where did vanilla come from, and what came before it? Let’s learn and taste our way through its history.

In this class:

-Learn the history of vanilla and its culinary uses
-See how vanilla is farmed and processed
-Taste three different regional vanillas and one “pre-vanilla”flavor.

All in all, you’ll be filled with facts you can bust out at your next dinner party and dazzle your friends, as well as make better informed choices when using vanilla in your kitchen.

(Class size: 15, lecture + discussion w/ samples)

Event: The Masters of Social Gastronomy DO DRUGS

image courtesy 

At this month’s Masters of Social Gastronomy, we’ll look at the culinary world’s experiments with illicit substances. 

Let’s get high with the Victorians! From patent medicines to absinthe, Coca-Cola to laughing gas, we’ll look at all the forms of socially acceptable substance abuse during the 19th century.

Later, we’ll fast-forward to modern-day America, where quasi-legal marijuana has spawned an industry of cannabis edibles. We’ll survey the range of altered-state culinary concoctions and see what both science and chefs have to say about epicurean euphoria.

For Storytime, we’ll explore the 1971 cookbook “Supermother’s Cooking with Grass,” and this mama’s not using lawn clippings. For those preferring to stay on the good side of the law, we’ll also see if vodka sauce can make some seriously drunken noodles.

All the details:
Masters of Social Gastronomy
Tuesday, March 26, doors at 7pm
Public Assembly (70 North 6th Street)
Free, but PLEASE RSVP recommended  So we can bring enough samples!

Events: Between the Bread! MSG Talks Sandwiches

188185_307950029327071_1169368664_nThe Masters of Social Gastronomy Love Sandwiches!

Tuesday, February 26th, 7pm
Public Assembly (70 North 6th Street) in Williamsburg

The history of sandwiches is laced with vice, ingenuity, and industry.

Sarah will relate this sordid tale via the PB&J, perhaps the sandwich Americans feel the most passionate about. But jelly wasn’t always thought to be peanut butter’s natural companion and at MSG you’ll get to experience long-forgotten peanut butter sandwiches of the past.

Later, Soma will take us on a tour of America’s best sandwiches, from national standbys like the BLT to regional treasures like the Po’ Boy. He’ll go to bat for thegrilled cheese as the greatest sandwich of all time, and use the power of experimentation to uncover the Perfect Grilled Cheese.

During Storytime, former-Sandwich-Artist Soma will spill the beans on Subway’s secrets, because we know you’ve always wondered what exactly that “Subway smell” is. Afterward, they’ll put on their brave faces while tasting the most bizarre and innovative sandwich combinations history has to offer.

RSVP HERE. So we know how many free samples to bring.

Events: A Culinary History of New Amsterdam


Before New York Was New York: A Culinary History of New Amsterdam 
Tuesday, February 19th, 7:30 PM
@ The Farm on Adderley, 1108 Cortelyou Rd, Brooklyn
$60 (+ beverages, tax & gratuity)
To sign-up, send an e-mail to [email protected].

The Farm on Adderley is thrilled to welcome ‘historic gastronomist’ Sarah Lohman to host a meal inspired by what people were eating in New York in the 1600s and the lasting influence of Dutch tastes. The meal will be inspired by a cookbook compiled by the Lefferts family, who had a stronghold on land in the Flatbush (“Vlacke Bos”) area of Brooklyn.


House Made Breads/Butter/Cheese
rye + beer + walnut preserves

Smoked Eel
roasted apples, baby turnips
Kale & Bread Soup “Sop”
yellow eye beans, hominy

Salted Beef
pumpkin, parsnips
Corn “Panne­koeken”
“Koolsla” – cabbage, butter, vinegar
Crullers – cinnamon, apple, raisin
Caraway “koeckjes” w/ quince preserves

To sign-up, send an e-mail to [email protected].

Podcast: Fake Meat!


Each month, MSG takes on a curious food topic and breaks down the history, science, and stories behind it. In this podcast, Sarah Lohman of Four Pounds Flour will give you a run-down of vegetarianism in the west. From Benjamin Franklin’s ”Tow-fu” to Dr. Kellogg’s commercial “Protose,” we’ll explore just how long we’ve been eating things that masquerade as meat.

Soma will be taking charge of all your favorite modern imitation meats, exploring the many faces of soy and revealing the not-so-secret fungi factories that power your favorite frauds. We’ll take a look at crafting mock duck and tempeh at home, as well as where to shop if your culinary prowess fails.

And if you live in the New York City area, come on out to see MSG LIVE at Public Assembly in Williamsburg on Tuesday, January 29th.

Events: Masters of Social Gastronomy does Monosodium Glutamate

MSG does MSG!

Tuesday, January 29, 7pm
Public Assembly (70 North 6th Street) in Williamsburg
FREE – but please RSVP on Facebook

To celebrate its one year anniversary, this month’s Masters of Social Gastronomy takes on its namesake: monosodium glutamate (MSG)! Savory spice or fatal flavor?

Sarah Lohman of Four Pounds Flour will track MSG back to its source in traditional Japanese food, showing how time and money can turned an innocuous plant into the darling of mass production

Soma will take on modern-day interpretations of MSG, from its role in “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” to its many relatives hiding in everyday foods. Science fact will be separated from science fiction as myths are deflated and truths laid bare.

While Sarah crafts organic MSG from scratch, Soma will bend science to his iron will and produce factory-farm MSG in his very own kitchen.

RSVP on Facebook so we can bring lots of MSG-laden samples to delight your palate

Events: How the Kitchen Has Changed

How the Kitchen Has Changed
Saturday, January 12th, 2-4pm
The New York Historical Society
RSVP required at [email protected]; $10 materials fee

Saturday, January 12th 2-4 pm
What does eighteenth-century Tupperware look like? How about a nineteenth-century toaster? In this program, you’ll go on a family scavenger hunt in the New-York Historical Society to uncover the kitchens of the past. Then we’ll cook together, making cinnamon toast from SCRATCH—everything from grinding the sugar to making butter by hand! You’ll find out how much the kitchen has changed from 1813…to 1913…to 2013!


This is a series of three deep-dive, family programs on New York City’s food history. Each two-hour program allows participants to experience historic foodways through an exploration of kitchen objects based on the New-York Historical Society’s collection and cooking. The first program focuses on seventeenth-century Dutch food traditions, the second on how kitchen tools have changed since the early nineteenth
century, and the third on how food rationing affected families during WWII. Sign up for one or all programs in the series!