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Award-Winning Culinary Author Talks About 'Food Memory' for SNC


September 29, 2003

[ Molly O'Neill Photo ] DELAWARE, OHIO -- Molly O'Neill, writer for The New Yorker and former food columnist for The New York Times, will lecture as part of the Sagan National Colloquium public affairs series at Ohio Wesleyan University on Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in OWU's Hamilton-Williams Campus Center Benes Room. O'Neill will address "The Power of Food Memory," which relates to this year's Colloquium theme on "Food: A Harvest of History, Culture, Politics, and Science."

After graduating from Denison University in 1975, O'Neill went on to earn a culinary graduate degree from La Varenne in Paris and became a professional chef for ten years in some of Boston's most popular restaurants. O'Neill has been writing since 1980 and her work has appeared in all of the major food magazines and she hosted Great Food, a weekly television series co-produced by the BBC and Public Television, for two years.

Her New York Cookbook (1991) won the Julia Child/International Association of Culinary Professionals Award and the James Beard Award and her A Well-Seasoned Appetite (1995) also won the James Beard Award. In 1998 she received the Bon Appétit "America's Food Hall of Fame" Award and in 1999 she received the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award.

In The Pleasure of Your Company (1997), her most recent book, O'Neill includes a cast of fictional characters to present 150 of her unique recipes and advice on cooking for company. To call O'Neill a food writer is to limit her achievement. She is a writer of cultural anthropology, intent on finding the delicate and complex connections between what we eat and who we are. "Who else," writes Ellen Hopkins of O'Neill, "transforms the seemingly ho-hum subject of food into farce, sociological treatise and bona fide tragedy?"

The Sagan National Colloquium is in its 18th year at Ohio Wesleyan. All lectures are free and open to the public. More information is available at snc.owu.edu or 740-368-3995.