Events — 14 November 2012
Our Global Kitchen Preview Reception at the American Museum of Natural History

Blog: Our Global Kitchen Preview Reception

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Just a stone’s throw from the picturesque Central Park West entrance sits one of the city’s great treasures that still humbles this writer. It’s the American Museum of Natural History, home to some of the greatest artifacts and thought provoking traveling exhibitions seen anywhere in the western world. The museum’s newest exhibition is extremely timely in the way that it pairs with how many of us New Yorkers dine. Entited “Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture,” the tour takes visitors on a journey from farm to table through growing, transporting, preserving, cooking, tasting, and celebrating. Our team was fortunate to attend the exclusive preview cocktail reception on Tuesday evening, and we have some mouth watering details on why you need to be first in line when it opens to the public on November 17th!

It doesn’t matter how old you think you are, because the second you enter the museum’s grand entrance you will instantly be whisked back to childhood memories of venturing to the landmark on a field trip. It’s just that special of a place to our city. On this night, the gigantic and ornate space which even includes two hulking skeletons had been transformed into a reception for the “Our Global Kitchen” opening. We drank delicious red wines with notes of minerals and white wines that were crisp and fruity. As we moved through the room we were quite impressed by a sign we saw on the bar indicating that the exhibition’s exclusive corporate sponsor J.P. Morgan, had in fact donated all of the food that would have been served to guests to very worthy charities. I couldn’t think of a better way to give back to others in need, especially during the difficult time that our citymates are going through. After taking in another glass of vino, it was time to take take the trip to the third floor and discover what this much talked about exhibition was all about.

The “Global Kitchen” space includes a plethora of different pieces that are both interesting and interactive at once. From timely Earth changing events to brain food topics that explore the popular chile pepper craze with a three dimensional rendering of the Scoville scale, there’s simply no shortage of interesting topics on display. One of the rather serious sections that guests must take note of is a dome model that displays how the world will have to be fed when the planet’s population hits staggeringly large numbers in the year 2050. The dome features various levels describing the way farming and the agricultural world will forever change in the future. Be sure to take some time here, because you may be living it one day. On a lighter note yet still no less enlightening, just steps away museum guests will be able to gaze toward a spot on recreation of a historic market place one would find in a sprawling Aztec marketplace. Various examples of the exact food that were sold are all shown, and described in vibrant detail. I hope you have a lot of time, because you’ll be gawking at this for quite awhile to take it all in!

Two of the exhibition’s most surprising an highly entertaining portions sat almost next to each other. First off “The Kitchen Experience” presented by Whole Foods takes guests inside a real working kitchen. In the middle of a museum you ask? Yes, right smack in the center. While we were there the staff showed us how apples were pressed using a traditional hand crank tool, before participating in a test of our senses, where we pinched our noses and ate a jelly bean trying to guess its flavor. Just a few feet away was a space devoted to meals eaten throughout history by some of the world’s greatest empires. This portion of the tour allows guests to get right up to the displays to see the food layout, descriptions, and at some parts even sit down on the other side of a table like you’re breaking bread with them.

Our words and pictures can only do so much to describe how outstanding and important this exhibition truly is. We would like to applaud the innovative American Museum of Natural History team and J.P. Morgan for their efforts in compiling such a fun exhibit. “Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture” opens to the public on November 17th and will run until August 11, 2013. But hey, why delay go on opening day! Head over to the Museum’s website for more details. Remember, this is your planet. The foods you purchase and consume had to come from somewhere and you seriously need to learn where, and make correct eating choices. It’s not an easy process, I know. But if we do it together we can make a difference.

- Jay Rubin

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(1) Reader Comment

  1. Your coverage of the exhibition is as unique as its writer, well done