New York is a city you experience through food! It’s the smell of roasted peanuts on Manhattan’s streets, a happy hour at a West Village oyster bar, the line in front of Chinatown’s best dim sums, the iconic $1 pizza slice, the latest refined creation of a Michelin star chef or the crackling of a grilled hot dog at a Central Park food truck. New York is a culinary melting pot delight. No surprise then that the city got itself a museum of food and drinks.
MOFAD (Museum of Food and Drink) opened three years ago in Williamsburg on the edge of McCarren Park. It is an interactive space dedicated to the history of all the world cuisines present in New York. The museum teaches food-making processes and explores the cultural background of different foods. The current exhibit called “Chow” is dedicated to Chinese-American restaurants and looks back at a 170-year history of Asian cuisine that is now ubiquitous and an integral part of New York’s landscape.
But what we like the most at MOFAD are the different events they organize on a regular basis. Themed dinners or didactic tastings: keep an eye on their calendar! Last month they organized a dinner inspired by the ambitious work of feminist artist Judy Chicago representing 39 historical female figures (from Eleanor of Aquitaine to Georgia O’Keeffe). In August, they are hosting a series of tastings around Bangladesh’s cuisine in collaboration with the UK-born artist (but from Bengali origin) Mohammed Ali. You will be initiated to local flavors through three typical Bangladeshi dishes and will go behind the scenes through video installations where Bangladeshi immigrants share their often difficult integration story. It’s enthralling and delicious.
If you do not fear falling into a food coma, get ready to taste some local culture at MOFAD. There’s no place quite like it.
MOFAD (Museum of food and drink)
62 Bayard street, Brooklyn