"Food City: Four Centuries of Food Making in New York," by Joy Santlofer, is the never before told account of New York City's rich food history.
Food is such an integral part of New York City today. This book reveals not only how it all began, but how and where it was produced and manufactured, along with insight and stories about the people who made it and consumed it. From the first golden wheat fields of what became Wall Street to the local food makers throughout the city today, Food City provides both a historically sweeping and deeply personal account of New York City’s food industry. This epic and groundbreaking book will surely become an invaluable resource for food historians, chefs, foodies, history buffs, culture mavens, New Yorkers, restauranteurs, food makers and just about everyone who loves food and likes to eat!
My name is Doria and this is my mother, Joy's, book. My mother died suddenly two years ago, just before Food City was completed. She had worked steadily on the book for more than 5 years though it had been her obsession and dream for at least a decade.
ABOUT MY MOTHER
After working for as a researcher in the business sector for over twenty years, my mother decided to enroll in NYU's Food Studies program. She received her MFA in 2005 and immediately began teaching in the department as an adjunct, while contributing articles to journals including a well received piece, "From Hardtack to Sugar Wafers: How the Civil War Created the Industry for Dainty Biscuits" for Food, Culture & Society. In 2008, she contributed to Gastropolis, a book of essays on food and New York City. Her chapter, "Asphalt Terroir," chronicled the waves of immigration in New York City and the importance of culinary traditions in a growing metropolis.
My mother's passion for New York City and food industry was not purely academic and she became a truly involved member of the community. At NYU each semester, she took her students to visit with local food makers, from artisanal makers including Mast Brothers and Brooklyn Brine to large scale manufacturers like the Elmhurst Dairy in Queens. Her involvement with the food community went beyond just class visits, and in 2007 she was a part of a team that received the NYU Sustainability Fund Grant for a proposal called Grow, Cook, Eat, Learn, a program that taught children about self-contained sustainable food systems and urban agriculture through hands-on work in their community gardens.
My mother was completely fascinated by the history of food making in New York and truly engaged with its relevance today.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Food City opens with a little known but enormous food parade in the late 18th century where all of New York’s food manufacturers displayed their wares in celebration of NY becoming a ratified member of the United States. From there, the book is divided into sections on Bread, Sugar, Meat and Drink that detail the rise (and sometimes fall) of each of these industries from colony days through the War for independence, the Civil War, the Depression, the 50s boom years and the 60s and 70s decline to the current artisanal food revival. From the Havemeyers development of a sugar empire to the slaughterhouses that befouled NY’s air; from the airless bakeries that often went up in literal smoke to the heinous slave trade that broke the backs of African slaves while supporting the backbone of many food industries; how the candy industry sweetened the Depression at the expense of underpaid and undervalued women; how “swill” milk cost the lives of many poor children but prepared the way for pasteurization; from cattle and hogs in the streets to cellophane packages of ham in the grocery; from the departure of big sugar, National Baking and Rhinegold to artisanal candy makers like the Mast Brothers, Amy’s Bread and Brooklyn’s Glorious Gin. All of those stories, all of that history—much of it lost or forgotten—is here in Food City.
After years of research, my mother wonderfully sold her book proposal to Norton & Co. She was in the process of editing and restructuring the text when she died and now that process must be taken over by an independent editor. We've been working with a wonderful editor who has beautifully edited the text, while staying true to my mother's vision and voice. Now that the text has been polished, my mother's extensive catalog of images is being organized by a photo editor that we've hired to select and curate the visuals for Food City. And yet a third person will be brought on to compile her sources into an in depth bibliography. And lastly, once this amazing project has been published, it is our greatest hope to have some money leftover for a book party, where we can celebrate its release, as well as my mother's life and work. So, that's what your money will go towards. Aside from the hefty dose of gratitude for each donation, we have some pretty incredible rewards...
Ok, now for the fun part. We are lucky to have some pretty amazing friends and supporters signed on to give donators loads of really cool stuff.
First up, for $25 donations, we have cool Food City tote bags designed by the talented art director, Alison Matheny. Inside of each, you'll receive a printed page of special recipes from my mother's recipe book plus an original recipe from the co-owners of dell'anima and L'Artusi, Chef Gabe Thompson and Joe Campanale (also a graduate of NYU's Food Studies program!). For decades my mother collected recipes from her family, friends and, of course, the NYTimes. There were certain things she made over and over again that I'll never forget and I'm excited to share some of my favorites. Almost more than cooking, however, my mother loved restaurants! dell'anima was among her favorites and we're so excited to have them create a recipe for this campaign.
Next up, for $30, Bon Appétit subscriptions! Because who doesn't want to know about the hottest new restaurants and the season's best recipes?
It's always ice cream season in our book. What better way to have an endless summer than with a sundae at Van Leeuwen Ice Cream. With five stores and three trunks in NYC, ice cream is never far away. Donate some dollars ($40 to be exact) and get a gift card for any sundae your heart desires.
At $50 we have something extra special. THE BOOK! A hard copy of Food City itself. When my mother first began her work on this book, she wrote about a moment she had at the library and the story she told always stayed with me. Read her words below. With each copy of the book, I'll press a flower within the pages for you discover as you read.
"A transformative moment came in the Rare Book Room at the New York Public Library. There, as I leafed through the crumbling pages of the account book of a local nineteenth century merchant, I came across a precarious though perfectly pressed bunch of flowers. Was I the first person to look at this ledger since it had been stored in an attic or storeroom over a hundred years ago? Finding the flowers made clear that the manufacturers and their workers whom I was studying were real human beings, not just names in a directory or newspaper article" - Joy Santlofer
Holy Pickles! At the $75 donation slot we have a special meal at Pickle Shack (value of $50 for the meal), from the owners of Brooklyn Brine. They have delicious menu items like grilled cheese sandwiches, tofu bahn mi, and, of course, pickle platters galore.
From the partners at Den Hospitality, the newly opened Garret East is one of those places you sit down and never want to leave. With loads of cool art on the walls, a fireplace in the back and $50 to spend, there's really no reason to.
We love our $85 reward because not only is Mission Chinese one of our favorites, but because cutting the line- any line- is so sweet. For inspiration, see below image of their insane rice.
Your name in lights! Well, in print. Donate $100 and get a copy of Food City upon publication along with a printed acknowledgment in the book. We appreciate you and we want the world to know! ***All donations of $100 or more will receive printed thanks in the book, as well.
A Diner Journal subscription for a donation of $120! The quarterly magazine is filled with original art, literature and recipes and published by Brooklyn restaurateur Andrew Tarlow of Diner, Marlow & Sons, and Roman’s, Reynard and butcher shop Marlow & Daughters. The gorgeous Diner Journal is produced by a group of people from the restaurant community, with the brilliant Anna Dunn as editor in chief. When she's not writing books and running DJ, you can find Anna behind the bar at Roman's. Ad-free and three hole-punched since 2006, this amazing journal has a cult following and you'll instantly see why.
Never has $125 tasted so good! We are filling a Food City tote with goods from two amazing products from NYC makers featured in the book - a savory jar of Brooklyn Brine's NY Deli Style pickles and a sweet Brooklyn Bar from Mast Brothers chocolate.
The Food City bundle- BOOK, TOTE, TEE- for $150! Inside a Food City tote will be a hardcover copy of the book AND a custom Food City t-shirt from beloved New York-based brand, Barking Irons. Based on the folklore of old New York and 19th century iconography, these special tees are printed on some of the softest cotton around. Represent Food City everyday!
This will surely be a fun $200! Cocktail lessons with Nino Cirabisi at Bonnie Vee is most certainly going to be fun. Not only is Bonnie Vee our favorite bar, but Nino will teach you cocktails, tell you stories and send you off with a copy of the gorgeous book he worked on, Twenty Dinners.
This is the healthiest $200 you could spend. Cook Nice is Chef Sam Talbot's motto and after a guided walk through the Union Square Greenmarket with him you'll go home to do exactly that. Leave with a tote full of fresh produce and a simple recipe customized by Talbot on how to use your goods to make the world's most delicious, and nutritious, dinner.
Cherry Bombe, we love you. With stories and photographs about women, food, and women in food, this is truly one of our all time favorite magazines. With cover stories on Christina Tosi, Ruth Reichl and Karlie Kloss, Cherry Bombe is hot on the lips of everyone in the food industry and beyond. What a treat, for a donation of $250, to receive a set of back issues (Issues 2, 3, 4, 5 will be included) along with a two-year subscription!
There is nothing we'd rather gather than the entire library of this gorgeous, fulfilling magazine. Gather Journal has inspired us with each passing issue and now you can have issues 3-7 at your constant disposal. For a donation of $250, you will receive the five back issues (three, four, five, six and seven) plus a two-year subscription. Oh, and did we mention that it all comes in their rad limited edition tie dye tote? Pretty sweet. "When we gather, you are always welcome," is their motto. To that, we say "Thanks!!!"
What a feast this will be! For a donation of $300, prepare to be surprised by the exquisite menu selection and intimate teaching style of Renee Marton, teacher at ICE and author of Rice: A Global History. This cooking class will be a true food lover's delight!
For $300 a night of pasta pleasure can be yours! Lucky us, we've been guests for a few of Colu Henry's divine dinners and we'll be the first to tell you that this lady's pasta game is strong. Her first book, Back Pocket Pasta, will be published Spring 2017, but a lucky few can experience pasta gold over a full year early (and with the heavenly chef herself in the kitchen!). Come, sit, eat pasta, and learn what to put in your back pocket.
Oh sweet, sweet Milk Bar, how we love thee. Instead of just buying those addictive cookies and truffles, learn how to make them! For a $300 donation, there is no better way to spend an afternoon than with your hands full of sugar in Milk Bar's Brooklyn Commissary kitchen. Come and Bake the Book!
Our $400 reward is very special. The Beatrice Inn, est. 1924, is something of a New York classic. The burnished wood paneled walls and leather banquettes have provided an elegant and intimate backdrop for many a famous face. In its newest, and most exciting incarnation, chef Angie Mar and her now-famous 45 day dry aged burger have turned Beatrice into something of a meat lover's paradise. Mar has offered to create for us a custom, meat-centric menu for one extremely lucky pair. Not only is your dinner included, but also a lifetime of bragging rights that this in-demand chef has crafted a menu specifically for you.
A Chelsea classic since 1999, The Red Cat is one of our favorite New York restaurants. Thanks to Jimmy Bradley's relaxed approach to dining and the menu's standout market-driven dishes, dinner at The Red Cat is always something special. For $450, you get dinner for four and a guaranteed good time.
We are not alone in thinking that Taylor Peden and Jen Munkvold are the best food photographers out there. The Peden + Munk photo team shoot from Bon Appetit, Conde Nast Traveler, The New York Times Magazine and Travel + Leisure, just to name a few. Now, for a $500 donation to our campaign, a print can be yours to have and to hang thanks to the talented duo.
Get your portrait done by artist Jonathan Santlofer! Santlofer will draw you (or a lucky person of your choosing) from an emailed photograph and he'll send you back the original drawing to frame and put up on Instagram. We know that $500 is steal for an original pencil portrait, but we want to spread the wealth. Send the man a selfie and let's get him to work.
Oh are we excited about this one! Artists Jane Kent and Jonathan Santlofer reprinted two images of food machinery from the 1900s (shown below) and asked a group of incredible visual artists to work on top of them to create an original, one of a kind work of art for the $1000 donation slot. This is an amazing chance to collect a piece of original art and we are so grateful to this wonderful community of artists who are contributing work! The pieces are all 8 1/2 x 11 inches.
First up, is James Siena, whose self-imposed rule-driven, yet intensely vibrant and personal hand-drawn abstractions have made him one of his generations best known and widely admired artists. He is represented by NY's Pace Gallery. Here, Siena transforms the old image with pen and ink generating a latticework of drawn letters, symbols and patterns. One can almost feel the artist’s hand on the page, creating a code that seems immediately accessible yet mysterious and beautiful.
We will be listing new pieces by artists throughout the campaign so keep checking back!!! Go ahead and collect them all.
Our second artist is Kira Nam Greene! The Korean born artist known for her beautifully patterned paintings and drawings of food, luxury items and popular imagery, here creates a tour de force using gouache, colored pencil, ink and more. Her aptly titled “Flamingo Bar” gives one the feeling that the old cracker machine has literally spawned this lush world of flowers and flamingos. What a beauty this piece is!
We have so much amazing new art to add! Our first two pieces sold out in 36 hours! This is an amazing chance to collect art at an incredible value (and donate to Food City, of course!)
Next up: David Storey is a multi-award winning artist, admired and respected among his peers and the art world cognoscenti. His quirky take on imagery blends modernism, from Picasso to Gorky to everyday objects. Below, Storey takes the old print and replicates it in part, giving it a brand new life and creating a truly beautiful ink drawing.
Jane Kent is one of the most renowned and respected printmaker artists working today. Not only did she work with Jonathan Santlofer on the prints for this Food City artist series, she did TWO original pieces for the project, "For Joy 1" and "For Joy 2." Her collaborative printed art books with writers like Richard Ford and Susan Orlean are sought after collectors items, and her printed paintings, like the two works she did here, are known for the idiosyncratic way she blends the craft of printmaking with bravura paint handling. The prints are $1000 each or $1600 for both - such a special deal for these incredible pieces. But, if one sells on its own the deal is over, so snatch them both up quickly!
Susan Crile is a well known and highly respected artist with work in such major collections as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Washington D.C.’s Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden. Known for a variety of different artwork, one thing remains consistent: Crile is a great colorist! Here, she reinvents the 19th century cracker machine prints into something contemporary, and dazzling to the eye. The prints are $1000 each or $1600 for both - such a special deal for these incredible pieces. But, if one sells on its own the deal is over, so snatch them both up quickly!
Benjamin Edmiston is a Brooklyn-based artist who’s abstract paintings bring a studied intentionally to the raw aesthetic and casual spirit of collage. Edmiston received his BFA from Tyler School of Art in 2003 and his MFA from Brooklyn College in 2012. His work has been published in ‘“The Age of Collage: Contemporary College in Modern Art’ and New American Paintings, #104. In his pieces for us, Edmiston has reinvented the 19th cracker machine with graphic areas of ink. The prints are $1000 each or $1600 for both - such a special deal for these incredible pieces. But, if one sells on its own the deal is over, so snatch them both up quickly!
Brenda Goodman is a true artist’s artist. A well known and acclaimed painter with such awards as the American Academy of Arts & Letters, 2 New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships, her work included in the Carnegie Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Detroit Institute of the Arts, among many other important collections. Below, she obviously has fun remaking the old print with colored pencils and marker into something fresh, colorful and painterly.
This really is a foodie's dream come true and we are so grateful to be able to offer such an experience! For a donation of $1500, receive dinner for four at one of our ultimate favorite Williamsburg restaurants, Diner, which opened on New Year’s Eve 1999 in a Kullman car from the twenties on a corner underneath the Williamsburg Bridge. I know, we had you at dinner for four, but there's more. Owner, Andrew Tarlow and Diner Journal Editor-in-Chief, Anna Dunn, will join you and your group for pre-dinner drinks. Anna, who not only edits Diner Journal, but bartends at Tarlow's Fort Green restaurant, Roman's, will create cocktails for you and your party inspired by Food City. Over drinks, the pair will join you for an intimate chat. What a special, unforgettable night this will be!
The We will be adding more wonderful rewards over the next 30 days so please check back! We are so thankful to have all of your invaluable support and incredibly excited to be able to share "Food City: Four Centuries of Food Making in New York" with you all in spring 2016!
Video by Drew Reilly.
Thank you all for making this possible!
Risks and challenges
"Food City: Four Centuries of Food Making in New York" will be published in the spring, but in order to finish it we need to raise money to cover the costs involved with editing, additional research, photo rights and the bibliography. We are confident that with all of this budget in place Food City will be released before this coming summer!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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