[Sca-cooks] Brunch with Deb Duchon

King's Taste Productions kingstaste at comcast.net
Mon Mar 5 08:19:45 PST 2007

Greetings Cooks and Herbalists, and pray forgive the multiple postings,

            Yesterday, some members of my household and I were lucky enough
to have brunch with Deb Duchon.  Some of you may recognize her name.  She is
a Nutritional Anthropologist, and makes frequent appearances on Alton
Brown's "Good Eats".  We had attended a lecture of hers on Chocolate at the
Fernbank Museum here in Atlanta last spring, and she contacted me a few
weeks back to invite those of us that were at the lecture to a brunch/focus
group.  She has been teaching in academia, and is trying to capitalize on
her little bit of notoriety from the show and move into other areas.  

            Of course I said yes right away, and also said "now, you must
let us know what we can bring, we are all cooks and food historians, so
telling us not to bring anything will just hurt our feelings".  So she said
"well allright, maybe I should just let you bring everything!" (I don't know
if she was joking, but we did anyway ;).  So we brought a combination of
brunch foods, period sauces and pottery ware (I served my hollandaise out of
a pipkin - don't tell the folks we've been having the emulsion-based sauce
argument with!)  and some experimental dishes such as Aethelwyn's Chili
Truffles and my South Georgia Cake.  She and her partner were very
overwhelmed, not only were we the only ones that had ever brought the whole
meal, no one else had ever brought anything at all!  (What can we say, our
local chapter of Overcaterer's Anonymous will be meeting soon, I guess).  

            So we had a delightful brunch, and spent most of the time
talking about what areas she could expand into.  She is considering various
books and trying to find publishers (she's got a book of 50 popular foods
and the histories behind them mostly written), radio and internet podcasting
along with other avenues.  She is in need of a publisher and/or agent.  She
has developed a website: debduchon.com.  She would love feedback on it, as
it is almost finished with the development process and ready for full public
access.  She would also like to have it linked to various historical food
sites.  I said that I thought several of the people within our sphere would
be happy to link a Nutritional Anthropologist's website to theirs.
Hopefully Huen, Urtatim, Serena, Selene, and others will see this and be
interested.  If you are, please contact Deb's business partner, Cheryl
Rafshoon directly at: rafshoon at bellsouth dot net.  (I've included the
herb lists in on this mailing, much of her work has been in wild edibles and
plants native to immigrants.)   

 She was quite interested in talking to those of us that enjoy digging in
historical texts and cooking obscure foods for fun, and decided our group
was probably a very large market for her sort of work.  She knows she's got
the Good Eats audience, but that is primarily men between the ages of 18 and
34.  Not that there is anything wrong with that demographic, just that it is
only one segment.  We assured her that we had a large fan base within the
SCA as well.  We talked about what areas she might focus on, and certain
words to capitalize on.  I said I thought that 'ethnic' was probably a
better selling word than 'historical' as far as books about foods went.  She
does not want to write a cook book per se (she had one agent that wanted her
to produce a cookbook, and then wanted it to be a diet book), but would like
to include recipes.  I mentioned Elizabeth Schneider's "Unusual Fruits and
Vegetables" as a good example of a food compendium that includes some
recipes, but isn't a 'cook book'.  If you have any ideas about topics you'd
like to see a Nutritional Anthropologist explore, I know she'd be open to
your ideas.  

I've uploaded a picture of us from yesterday to the SCACook's Yahoo Group
Photo Album (this is a separate group created on Yahoo so we can post pics
and files).  Deb has a nice headshot on her website so you can see her there
as well. 

I wanted you all to know that we talked about you a lot yesterday, and your
further input would be appreciated!




P.S. Deb wants to start a local chapter of a Culinary Historians group here.
I am all for this, as I contacted the folks up in New England and got no
where. She said they were hard to get past sometimes.  In any case, this
would not be SCA period-specific, but potentially could be a great group
that could bring in authors and other speakers.  If you are interested in
attending meetings in the Atlanta area (this would be the first chapter in
the southeast, I believe), contact me privately. 

kingstaste at comcast dot net

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