Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students (BPATS)

Food Studies Program’s November “Food and the Public” Event Features Panel “Remembering Nach Waxman”

By Andrew F. Smith

On November 15th the Food Studies Program’s second Fall 2021 event “Remembering Nach Waxman” brought together the wife and children of Nach Waxman in conversation with six culinary leaders to discuss Waxman’s life and contributions. Waxman founded the bookstore Kitchen Arts and Letters (KAL) in New York City in 1983, and it quickly became a crossroads for researchers, writers, chefs and home cooks alike. Patrons came in search of what would grow to be nearly 13,000 titles from around the world, from cookbooks to food histories. They also benefited from Nach’s expansive culinary knowledge. Trained as an anthropologist, and a former editor with publishers such as Harper & Row and Crown, Nach had a nimble mind and generous spirit. He introduced people to books and to one another as well: many professional collaborations and lifelong friendships began at KAL. He was also a great home cook, who was famous for his versions of traditional Jewish dishes.

Panelists at the event included: Dan Barber, chef and co-owner of Blue Hill in Manhattan and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and the author of The Third Plate; Laura Shapiro, a culinary historian and author of several books, most recently, What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories; Rien Fertel, who worked at Kitchen Arts & Letters and is the author of four books, including The One True Barbecue; Darra Goldstein, the founding editor of the journal Gastronomica and the author of six award-winning cookbooks, most recently Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore; food journalist and culinary historian Anne Mendelson, who is the author or co-author of several books, including Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages; chef and cookbook author Cindy Pawlcyn, known for her restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Napa Valley; Matt Sartwell, who worked at Penguin before he came to Kitchen Arts and Letters in 1991, and today is the part owner and manager of Kitchen Arts and Letters; and Maron Waxman, Nach Waxman’s wife. The panel was chaired by Food Studies faculty member Andrew F. Smith who has taught food studies courses at The New School since 1996. He is the author or editor of thirty-two books and he serves as the series editor for the “Edible Series” and the “Food Controversies Series” at Reaktion Books in the United Kingdom.

The panel drew nearly 200 attendees from New York, across the United States, and internationally, in celebration of Nach Waxman’s life and work. It was part of the Fall 2021 Food Studies event series “Food and the Public,” curated and introduced by Dr. Kristin Reynolds, Chair of Food Studies within the Bachelor’s Program for Adults and Transfer Students in the Schools of Public Engagement at The New School.

It was presented by the Food Studies Program within the Bachelor’s Program for Adults and Transfer Students (BPATS) at the Schools of Public Engagement (SPE). Co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program, also within BPATS and SPE.  

Video of the event is available here. 

You may find information about ongoing Food Studies programs through the university’s Events Calendar; via Twitter @newschoolbpats; or by contacting

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