Chatham News

Renowned food writer Molly O’Neill to give free public lecture at Chatham University at 7:30 p.m. on April 2

O’Neill will give lecture titled “One Big Table: How food stories bear witness to daily life and create a bridge between culture and agriculture”

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior Public Relations Specialist
March 21, 2012

PITTSBURGH (March 21, 2012)… Chatham University’s Master of Arts in Food Studies program will present a free public lecture by renowned food writer Molly O’Neill at 7:30 p.m. on April 2 in Eddy Theater. Her lecture, “One Big Table: How Food Stories Bear Witness to Daily Life and Create a Bridge Between Culture and Agriculture,” will include food stories she collected during more than 10 years of travel across the country in preparation for writing One Big Table: A Portrait of American Cooking. She will discuss American food writing history and its shifting role and expanding opportunities. In addition, O’Neill will explore the use of oral history in food writing and how immigration has affected the landscape of the American table.  A book signing will follow. Please register online at

With an interest in celebrating and preserving the United States’ food history, O’Neill spent 10 years traveling around America gathering oral histories and recipes from potlucks, church suppers, fishermen, bakers, farmers, artists, truck drivers, hairdressers, gourmet societies, and even a Nobel Prize winner; she interviewed nearly 10,000 people for the book.

O’Neill is the author of three cookbooks, including the best-selling New York Cookbook, A Well-Seasoned Appetite, and The Pleasure of Your Company. She also hosted the PBS series Great Food and was a reporter for ten years with The New York Times and the food columnist for its Sunday magazine.

She won a Julia Child/International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Award and was awarded three James Beard citations for books, journalism, and television, as well as the society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She has twice been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and is the editor of the Library of America’s anthology American Food Writing.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, O’Neill graduated from Denison University and attended La Varenne, a prestigious cooking school in Paris. Mostly True (2007), her memoir of growing up in a Major League Baseball family; critics have called the book “a magical tale of growing up in the middle of the American dream.” Her work has also appeared in publications such publications as The New Yorker, Reader’s Digest, and Life. O’Neill offers virtual food writing courses at Cook ‘n Scribble.

About Chatham’s Master of Arts in Food Studies
The Master of Arts in Food Studies is one of the few graduate food studies programs in the United States and the only one to offer both sustainable agriculture and culinary arts and cuisine within a liberal arts environment. The Master of Arts in Food Studies at Chatham University takes a holistic approach to food systems, from agriculture and food production to cuisines and consumption, providing intellectual and practical experience from field to table. As part of Chatham’s new School of Sustainability and the Environment, the program emphasizes the global and the local in economic, social, and environmental aspects of sustainable food and agriculture.

 About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit


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