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Sunday, June 16, 2024

New exhibit explores culinary artistry

On May 9, Peter J. Shields Library will turn its Nuevo Latino Cuisine exhibit into an afternoon of culture, food, history and education.

The event will take place at Putah Creek Lodge from noon to 5 p.m. with a $50 entrance fee. Provided with open conversation, book signings and guest speakers, community members will also get to taste the various cuisines catered by Bay Area restaurant Pica Pica.

“The library has never done anything like this before,” said Myra Appel, head of the Humanities, Social Sciences and Government Information Services Department, who worked on the exhibit. “This is an important event because it marks a coming together. The library is a place of diversity and this event helps community members to see that the library is a supportive place for intellectual conversation and diverse exploration.”

The exhibit shares the rich heritage of Latin American culture. The collection of books and recipes located at the library’s entrance takes viewers through the anthropological, economical and historical progression of Nuevo Latino cuisine.

“Davis is known to be an agricultural and viticulture school,” Appel said. “This includes food. Particularly Latin food has become important in our lives. Most of the research done at this school is interdisciplinary, and by taking this exhibit and bringing it outside the library, we are giving community members the opportunity to understand this discipline in particular.”

The event will explore the history and roots of cuisine as well as feature four guest speakers. Among the speakers are Ken Albala, history professor at the University of Pacific, Steve Sando, owner of Rancho Gordo, Leopoldo López Gil, owner of Pica Pica and Clare Hasler, executive director of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food.

The various speakers will present topics on sustainability, texture, taste, culture, history, roots and more.

“Latin food has a huge global impact,” Albala said. “Its influence on the historical events and its migration from Europe to America is important to our culture today. Eating is just about the only thing everyone does. Everyone makes conscious choices about it and should know its roots.”

Sando has first-hand experience on sustainability. Working with indigenous populations in Mexico, he grows heirloom products to preserve his stock, Appel said.

Randolph Siverson, acting university librarian, said that the library is looking to focus on the diversity of Nuevo Latino cuisine and how it crossed the border.

“The event and the exhibit showcase and explore a history that people normally wouldn’t get exposed to. The library is thrilled to be the one providing this information to the community,” he said.

Registration for the event ends today. For more information on how to sign up, as well as the speakers of the event visit lib.ucdavis.edu/ul/events/nuevo-latino-cuisine/

RACHEL LEVY can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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