RYE: Bread, Whiskey, and Jewish History

February 29, 2024 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
RYE: Bread, Whiskey, and Jewish History
New York Distilling Company, 573 Johnson Avenue
  • Jewish Learning
  • Food

Join The Neighborhood, The Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History, and New York Distilling Company for an evening in celebration of rye in all its forms! Rye bread, rye whiskey, and a discussion of the unique (Jewish) history of this grain are all on the menu as we gather in this Bushwick distillery.

We will learn and taste our way through rye’s intimate relationship to Eastern European Jewish gastronomic traditions, and the evolution of rye over time, including its contemporary revival!

In addition to tasting rye bread from Black Rooster Food and a tasting flight of whiskey from New York Distilling Company, we will hear a conversation between food historian Andrew Coe, author of A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression, rye expert Avery Robinson of Black Rooster Food, and Jewish historian Sarah Litvin of the Reher Center, moderated by Amy Halloran, author of The New Bread Basket . We will also hear from renowned spirits expert and NYDC Founder Allen Katz.

The event is curated by The Reher Center and organized in collaboration with NYDC as part of The Neighborhood’s contemporary Jewish Food programs.

This is a 21+ event.

About the speakers:

ANDREW COE is a writer and independent scholar specializing in culinary history. He and his wife, Jane Ziegelman, are co-authors of A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression, which won a James Beard award. His ground-breaking Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States was a finalist for a James Beard award and named one of the best food books of the year by the Financial Times. He’s currently writing a history of American bread.

AMY HALLORAN writes about baking and flour. Her book, The New Bread Basket, profiled people reviving regional grain production, including Maine Grains, Farmer Ground Flour and The Bread Lab. Her newsletter, Dear Bread, is a weekly note to fans of bread, and the connective tissue of baking. She is working on a book about the traditions of doubting bread in America.

DR. SARAH LITVIN is the Interim Director of Programs and Education at the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History, where she previously served as founding Executive Director from 2018-2023. She has worked as a curator and educator for the New-York Historical Society, the National Museum of American Jewish History, and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. She completed her PhD in U.S. women’s history in 2019 at the Graduate Center, CUNY with a dissertation focused on how girls and women used the parlor piano as a tool to pursue their ambitions at the turn of the twentieth century.

AVERY ROBINSON operates Black Rooster Food, a 100% rye sourdough bread company that follows traditional Latvian recipes and techniques. A culinary historian who has written over 100 pages on kugel, Avery has baked challah for 300+ on an open fire and worked in bakeries in Tel Aviv and NYC. Avery is a co-founder of Rye Revival, a nonprofit promoting rye as a climate change mitigation strategy.

ALLEN KATZ is the co-founder of New York Distilling Company. He is one the nation’s leading experts on distilled spirits and cocktails and is at the forefront of industry training in New York and around the country. He is renowned for his public and professional seminars on topics of America’s food and cocktail heritage and was previously the host of The Cocktail Hour for Martha Stewart SiriusXM Radio. He has a disproportionate passion for rye whiskey.