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Comfort Foods & Curry Cravings

  • Pacific Food & Beverage Museum 731 South Pacific Avenue San Pedro, CA, 90731 United States (map)

A Gallery Talk, Demo, and Book Signing Featuring Nandita Godbole

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Join fiction and cookbook author Nandita Godbole for a demo of classic Indian comfort foods and a colorful presentation highlighting the complexity, diversity, and nuances of a feisty culture and its bold cuisine. Then seize the opportunity to purchase a personally inscribed copy of Not for You: Family Narratives of Denial and Comfort Foods.

ADMISSION IS FREE WITH RSVP

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

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Nandita Godbole is a fiction and cookbook author. She loves writing about two of the aspects of Indian culture that make it unique: its people and its food. Through her several titles, she highlights the complexity, diversity, and nuances of a feisty culture and its bold cuisine.

When she is not writing, she hosts private dining events, teaches, and speaks about Indian food. Nandita is the little red hen, a one-woman publishing house born into a family of chefs and foodies. She loves to make, drink, and share cha (not chai tea latte) and cooks many kinds of sauce-based dishes, called curries (plural, not singular). She paints, writes poetry, and watches over a thriving weed garden. Her social media handle is “currycravings” and her hashtag is "nocurrypowder." She dares you to ask her why.

Nandita grew up in Mumbai, India, and divides her time between Atlanta and Los Angeles.

ABOUT NOT FOR YOU

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Family life and special people inspire simple and enduring comfort foods, and this relationship is reflected in Nandita’s latest food-fiction, Not For You: Family Narratives of Denial & Comfort Foods, Book One & Book Two. This multi-generational book, spanning 150 years, draws inspiration from the author's family lore around food. Its unusual title reflects on the recurring life stories of eight women and their rebellion against the status quo, sometimes through acts of quiet resistance, other times through their redefining of comfort foods. It traces their battles with intolerance, prejudice, and social discrimination. Readers travel through different regions of India and follow a contemporary character to America, into their homes, exploring multi-dimensional life lessons as they unfold, and the pivotal place of comfort food in all these journeys.

Readers will rejoice and grieve alongside the vibrant characters. They will appreciate the role of simple meals as a measure of comfort, as food defines a sense of home and belonging. Nandita proceeds to offer readers a fantastic opportunity by inviting them to recreate these easy and rustic comfort meals in their own homes. The narratives blur the line between fact and fiction.

Not for You is hybrid of two popular genres: historical fiction and ethnic cuisine, and presents an avant-garde narrative style of storytelling, making for an immersive literary experience. The title was featured twice on NBC Asian America (2018, 2016) and Book One of the two-part novel is currently nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year Award (Literary Fiction category). Finally, the book features more than 70 traditional recipes.

Not for You sets the stage for many intense and cathartic discussions.
The evolution of sexism, feminism, and identity of the Indian woman over the last 150 years.
The incremental and distorted metamorphosis of social and ethnic discrimination.
The influence of increasingly liberal lifestyles, migration, and immigration on place-attachment, the definition of home, and, therefore, its food.
Nandita also discusses the role of "ordinary comfort food" and its place in today’s world of sleek, hyper-stylized culinary offerings that walk the line between patronizing rustic and ethnic cuisines and paying true homage to a culinary heritage.