Earlier this year, Andrea Broomfield had to put an idea for a new book - about the dining service on British cruise ships - on the back burner, as it were, to take up a fresh topic: the food history of Kansas City, Missouri.
For Broomfield, professor of English at Johnson County Community College, it meant shifting her historical focus from the Victorian era in Great Britain (she is the author of the 2007 book, Food & Cooking in Victorian England: A History) to the more raucous life along the Missouri River in the mid-19th century, when early residents of the town of Kansas were helping western pioneers load up their wagons with provisions for the trek along the Santa Fe Trail or any of the other routes headed west.
Broomfield has signed a contract for a new book, Kansas City: A Food Biography, to be published in 2015 by AltaMira Press. She will give a preview of her research at 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 29 in the Hudson Auditorium of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, on the campus of Johnson County Community College; a 6:30 p.m. reception for Broomfield in the atrium of the Regnier Center will precede the event. Reservations are not necessary for the lecture.
"Kansas City began as a provisional outpost for travelers heading further west on the Santa Fe Trail and other wagon routes," Broomfield says. "That role in culinary history had a big impact on the people who had moved here to live."
Broomfield's 50-minute lecture on October 29 will touch on some of the areas she will illuminate in her book, including home cooks of the era, the cookbook tradition, local restaurants, and signature dishes from Kansas City dining establishments.
The October 29 lecture will be preceded by another event, a historical culinary walking tour of the 18th and Vine District on Friday, October 25; for the tour, JCCC vans will depart the college at 2:30 p.m. October 25 to take participants to the iconic 18th and Vine District from 3 to 5 p.m. Broomfield will lead the tour. For more information on the walking tour, contact Tom Grady, faculty development coordinator, at 913-469-8500, ext. 3370.