16,000 years of Global Potato History

Join us on April 18, 2020CANCELLED

Presented by Raghavan Iyer
Author, Teacher

Our speaker, Raghavan Iyer, is the author of “Smashed, Mashed, Boiled, and Baked–and Fried, Too!: A Celebration of Potatoes in 75 Irresistible Recipes.” And he’s going to have one heck of a spudworthy program for us. Here’s his tater-tot preview:

 “The fourth largest crop in the world, next to wheat, rice, and maize, this member of the nightshade family Solanaceae (which includes eggplant, peppers, and the tomato), with the botanical name Solanum tuberosum, is rooted in the Andean civilization that cultivated it around 10,000 CE.  But it wasn’t until the Inca civilization (around 1500 CE) that the potato’s true agricultural impact was unleashed. Their intricate and sophisticated agricultural planning and tools, along with the ability of the potato to survive severe shifts in climate within short time periods, made this is a winsome partnership. Now it is an essential ingredient in billions of kitchens in over 100 countries across the globe

No other crop in the world has had such an impact on every aspect of life, as we know it. It seems I’m being overly dramatic, but don’t just take my word for it. The history of the potato speaks for itself as you trace its social, economical, political, and societal implications in every nook and corner of the globe across all continents. I will be discussing the significance of this tuber through a timeline dating back 16,000 years and bringing it into the 21st century. I have culled information from various sources, crafting the story of the potato to experience the depth of its influences over the years.”

Biography: Named by Epicurious.com as one of the top 100 influencers ever for home cooks in 2017 (alongside names like Julia Child and James Beard), Raghavan Iyer is the author of six critically acclaimed books, and has three James Beard Awards (one win and two finalists), one Emmy, and two IACP (formerly the Julia Child Awards) awards for cooking teacher of the year and a cookbook award. A past president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Raghavan is a spokesperson for many international clients and is a consultant for innumerable restaurants across the country. He has been featured numerous times in the New York Times and is a frequent guest on Public Radio’s The Splendid Table. He leads culinary tours yearly to the Indian subcontinent. His website is www.raghavaniyer.com

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Saturday, April 18, 2020
10 a.m. to noon
At Bethany Retirement Community

Auditorium, main floor
4950 N. Ashland Ave. (West of Clark St., North of Lawrence Ave.), Chicago


FREE PARKING on street and in Bethany’s lot.

 PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Both CTA BUS #81, Lawrence, and #22 Clark, stop nearby.

Cost of the lecture program is $5, $3 for students and no charge for CHC members or Bethany residents and staff. To reserve, please e-mail your reservation: [email protected]