The Archivist and the Chef

Archivist of the United States David Ferriero and Chef Jose Andres model their new aprons!

Our new exhibit “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” opens on June 10 and has over 100 original records about food.

But what if you could do more than just look at the records? What if you could taste them—and taste history?

Chef Jose Andres—the 2011 Outstanding Chef at the James Beard Foundation Awards, host and executive producer of PBS series Made in Spain, and owner of several restaurants—had some good ideas of how he might cook up history.

This morning at a press event at the National Archives, the Archivist and Chef Andres announced a special partnership between the Foundation for the National Archives and ThinkFoodGroup inspired by “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?”

On July 4, Chef Andres will open a pop-up restaurant called America Eats Tavern, which will be a culinary destination and an extension of the National Archives exhibit. The name comes from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) writers project of the 1930s.

What will American history taste like? Count on native ingredients and long-forgotten dishes and inspiration from generations of immigrants. Burgoo and Oysters Rockefeller are on the menu!

Chef Andres is also the Chief Culinary Advisor to the exhibit and wrote the introduction to the new recipe book Eating with Uncle Sam: Recipes and Historical Bites from the National Archives. He will also be speaking at the National Archives on June 10 about the history of American food and cooking.

And if you won’t be in the DC area this summer, you can still join in the discussion about food, records, and history!

We’ll be tweeting @archivesnews #UncleSamCooks and there will be a special Tumblr blog (stay tuned!). And don’t forget to join us here at Pieces of History for “What’s Cooking Wednesdays” with guest posts, challenges,  and links to food-related records at our locations around the country!

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