Do you remember your grandmother's cooking?

Your kids won't, unless you do something about it. 

Many of us are among the first in our families to have to choose: either find ways to keep our family's culture alive for future generations, or let it recede into the past as we keep barreling toward the future.

My mission is to inspire you to keep the culinary traditions of generations past relevant in the present.  

Food helps us tell our stories. It highlights important events, evokes memories, and helps us create new ones. It's the glue that connects us to our families, our communities, our traditions, and our past. 

By remembering, reviving, and reinterpreting the flavors and recipes we inherit from our ancestors, we honor their legacy, preserve our heritage, and find new ways of passing it down.

 

FOOD IS POLITICAL  Read about my approach to the politics of food here >>

 

Hi, I'm Emily Halpern. 

I'm a coach, consultant, cook, and creative with a life-long passion for exploring how heritage, culture, and memory effect identity and belonging. I think of heritage and culture as tools that can help us reflect upon, reinterpret, and reclaim our stories, and that can help us relate to the stories of others. That's why I started this blog.

As a kid, I ate things no one else did: steak tartare, puffy omelets slathered with jam, heart-attack inducing casseroles of eggs, potatoes, and bubbly sour cream, raspberry pudding with milk.

Over lunches of German cold-cuts and hearty Hungarian dinners, my immigrant grandparents told wistful stories about wonderful dark bread, tiny shops that sold only strudel, and cafes with sweets so special, they sounded too good to be true.

Both sets of my grandparents were Jewish refugees who escaped Europe on the eve of World War II. They arrived in New York in the nick of time, but the relatives they left behind perished in the Holocaust, along with all the stories and knowledge about the their families' history. Wanting to forget their painful pasts, my grandparents hardly ever spoke of life before immigration, and the language of their childhoods never again passed their lips. Only their food remained.

These days, food is the only link I have left to my heritage, and it's in food that I find the strongest connection to my roots. And, after over a decade of studying how food conveys stories and identity through generations, I know that's pretty common.

I created The RePast Recipes Project to explore the ways food helps us remember who we are, where we come from, and what we have in common with one another. If you'd like to learn more about my work, you can read more about me at www.emilyrhalpern.com,  check out my articles about heritage, memory, and identity, or have a look at my CV.

I'd love to work with you. 

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EMILY HALPERN is a coach, consultant, cook, and creative who is dedicated to helping people understand the roles that culture, heritage, and memory play in shaping our personal and public narratives, our communities, and our organizations. Her connection to her own family’s history, her curiosity about other cultures, and her enduring interest in food’s capacity to house our memories and convey the stories of who we are have been the running themes throughout her career. Through her work, Emily uses history, culture, and heritage to facilitate conversations about identity and belonging, and she strives to create meaning, preserve tradition, and foster empathy and connection.

Emily holds an MA in Cultural Memory from the University of London as well as one in Food Culture and Communications from The University of Gastronomic Sciences. She is a CTI Certified coach, a graduate of Barnard College of Columbia University, and of the French Culinary Institute (now the ICC). Emily's diverse professional experience includes working as assistant to Alice Waters, cooking at Chez Panisse, writing for Food & Wine and Saveur, working as marketing manager for Di Palo's of Little Italy and consulting on projects for various culinary and cultural institutions like The Astor CenterThe Essex Street Market, and The Museum at Eldridge Street, among others. She honed her skills as a facilitator and professional storyteller working as a costumed interpreter and educator at The Lower East Side Tenement Museum. A passionate creative and inveterate polymath, Emily is also a classical soprano, and has performed as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic. A native New Yorker, she lives in Brooklyn.