Each wave of immigration brings with it recipes passed down through generations, methods of preparation and styles of presentation that add a rich ethnic diversity to Ventura County’s local food traditions and eating experiences. “At Table: The Business of Food and Community” takes a look at how the influx of immigrants into the region has influenced local recipes, menus and dining habits, as well as food-related businesses and restaurants.
“Not only did immigrants bring their long-standing family recipes with them and share them, but as they arrived they learned to adapt their recipes to use whatever meat, fruit and vegetables were available to them. This exhibit explores adaptation on both sides of the immigration experience,” said Anna Bermudez, Museum of Ventura County curator.
“At Table: The Business of Food and Community” will feature three complementary exhibits: Rise Up! Bakeries and Panaderias in Ventura County is a historical look at the bakery business in Ventura County including the local Mexican panaderias that are popping up everywhere; You Ate What? features food-inspired art from the museum collection and local artists; and The Kitchen Table explores the kitchen table as a gathering place for family—where vivid memories are made of conversations, discussions and decisions. This exhibit consists of entries selected from an artist and community invitational to design a place-setting reminiscent of one they remember from growing up that tells a unique story from the past.
From the museum’s archives, “At Table” pays homage to iconic local restaurants that no longer exist such as The Colonial House and The Lobster Trap in Oxnard, and The King and I and Merle’s in Ventura and examines locally-sourced foods and food movements currently taking place throughout the region.
“At Table: The Business of Food and Community” will be on display through Nov. 25 with special events occurring throughout the months, including a panel discussion featuring notable food writers, a farm-to-table dinner event and a book talk by a noted local food author.