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Chefs "Cooking for Change"

Cooking for Change

Apr 22, 2013 (All day)

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Open to the Public

Photographs by Steve Riskind and text by Doris Friedensohn.

"Cooking for Change" reminds viewers that becoming a proficient cook is no easy business. Steve Riskind's photography and the text by Doris Friedensohn provide a window into the exhilaration and hope, and the frustrations and challenges facing students at the Food Service Training Academy of the Community FoodBank in Hillside, NJ.

Bernstein Gallery, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University

Exhibition dates: April 22 - June 7, 2013

Panel discussion: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm in Bowl 016, Robertson Hall

Contact: Kate Somers 609-497-2441 (art exhibit)
Jesse Jacobs 609-258-0157 (panel discussion)

“Can We Cook Up Jobs: Poverty and Workforce Training” will be the topic of a panel discussion at the Woodrow Wilson School on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. in Bowl 016, Robertson Hall. The discussion is being held in conjunction with an exhibit of photographs in the Bernstein Gallery by Steve Riskind and text by Doris Friedensohn, providing a window into the exhilaration and hope, and the frustrations and challenges facing students at the Food Service Training Academy of the Community FoodBank in Hillside, NJ. A public reception and gallery showing will follow the talk in the Bernstein Gallery.

The exhibit, which is on display in the School’s Bernstein Gallery from April 22 through June 7, 2013, presents Riskind’s black and white photographs focusing on low income people, some of whom are ex-offenders and recovering addicts, who are trying to change their lives by learning to cook professionally. Many of the photographs show students immersed in both their training and in less stressful times; as well as those of the instructors teaching their students about the cooking business. In addition to these “action” photographs, Riskind has also taken formal portraits of the students and staff. His motivation for this approach came out of a desire to allow each person to express him or herself in front of the camera. Riskind says of these large format photos, “Instead of the pressured people we see meeting deadlines in the kitchen I wanted to let them dress up and present themselves as they would like to be seen.”

Friedensohn’s writing ultimately comes from a sense of indignation at how we treat the most disadvantaged among us. The narratives she writes come directly from her own authentic experience working for many years with this population. She is deeply moved by the courage of many of these students to better their lives, and the huge challenges they face in the process. Through her writing one is left cheering them on as if one knows them personally. Friedensohn has the rare talent of being able to show us what is wrong with the entire socioeconomic system by describing the life circumstances of one individual.

The photos and narratives are based on the book, “Cooking for Change, Tales from a Food Service Training Academy” by Doris Friedensohn with photos by Steve Riskind, (Full Court Press, Englewood Cliffs, 2011).

The panel discussion will include:

  • Judy Fan - Ph.D. student, department of psychology, Princeton University;
  • Henry Farber – the Hughes-Rogers Professor of Economics, Princeton University;
  • Doris Friedensohn – author, "Cooking for Change;” professor emerita, women's studies, New Jersey City University; and
  • Stanley Katz -- director, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies and professor of public and international affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School will serve as moderator.

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