New York CityA Food Biography



For almost 400 years New York’s culinary influence has been felt in other cities and communities worldwide.

New York City’s first food biography showcases all the vibrancy, innovation, diversity, influence, and taste of this most-celebrated American metropolis. Its cuisine has developed as a lively potluck supper, where discrete culinary traditions have survived, thrived, and interacted. For almost 400 years New York’s culinary influence has been felt in other cities and communities worldwide. New York’s restaurants, such as Delmonico’s, created and sustained haute cuisine in this country. Grocery stores and supermarkets that were launched here became models for national food distribution. More cookbooks have been published in New York than in all other American cities combined. Foreign and “fancy” foods, including hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs, Waldorf salad, and baked Alaska, were introduced to Americans through New York’s colorful street vendors, cooks, and restaurateurs. As Smith shows here, the city’s ever-changing culinary life continues to fascinate and satiate both natives and visitors alike.
Andrew F. Smith teaches food studies and professional food writing at the New School University in New York City. He is the author or editor of twenty-one books, including Eating History: Thirty Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine (2009), and serves as the editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia on Food and Drink in America. He has written and lectured extensively about New York City food history.