Food, Food Artisans

Activist and Author Gary Nabhan Comes to Zingerman’s Roadhouse

The Spice Odyssey: A Special Dinner With Gary Paul Nabhan

spices-from-afar-with-hat (1)Gary Nabhan takes us on a vivid and far-ranging journey across time and space in this fascinating look at the relationship between the spice trade and culinary imperialism. Drawing on his own family’s history as spice traders, as well as travel narratives, historical accounts, and his expertise as an ethnobotanist, he will share the critical roles that Semitic peoples and desert floras had in setting the stage for globalized spice trade.

Mr. Nabhan is an internationally renowned nature writer and ethnobotanist,  food and farming activist, and works to preserve the connections between biodiversity and cultural diversity. He was a pioneer in the local food movement and seed-saving community as co-founder of Native Seeds/SEARCH, and was among the earliest researchers to promote the use of native foods in preventing diabetes.

Gary currently serves as the W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Arizona Southwest Center, where he works to ensure a continuing nutritious, sustainable and climate-resilient food supply in the Southwest. Using his farm in Patagonia, Arizona as a base to experiment with orchard keeping, forging for local wild foods, and creating a habitat for pollinating species in the region, he was worked to create “a radical center” for collaborative conservation among farmers, ranchers, indigenous peoples and environmentalists in the West. Gary is also engaged with several food justice and farming alliances, including Sabores Sin Fronteras, Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance, Wild Farm Alliance, Renewing America’s Food Traditions, and the Borderlands Habitat Restoration Initiative.

As an Arab-American essayist and poet, he is author or editor of twenty-four books, many of which have been translated into multiple languages. He has been honored with a MacArthur “genius” award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Southwest Book Award, the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing, the Vavilov Medal, and several honorary degrees and lifetime achievement awards.

Please join us on Tuesday, June 3, 7pm, as Gary visits the Roadhouse for a very special dinner. Gary and Chef Alex Young have created a menu that emphasizes local, traditional, and sustainable ingredients. After dinner, Gary will discuss the importance of biodiversity and sustainable practices in growing and maintaining a bountiful, nutritious food supply.He earned a BA in Environmental Biology in 1974 from Prescott College in Arizona, and has since made the state his home. He went on to get both an M.S. in Plant Sciences (Horticulture), and a Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary Arid Lands Resource Sciences from the University of Arizona.

His book The Spice Odyssey is available for purchase.

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