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Cooking Up History: Lena Richard’s New Orleans Cook Book: A Groundbreaking Story of Innovation and Resilience

August 5, 2021 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm UTC+0

Guest Chef: Dee Lavigne

Aug. 5; 6:45 p.m.
Virtual demonstration
Tickets available for purchase here:

Lena Richard, a Black chef and entrepreneur in New Orleans, built a culinary career in the segregated South, defying harmful stereotypes of Black women that hindered their participation in the creation and development of American food culture and its economy. She owned and operated catering businesses, eateries, a fine-dining restaurant, a cooking school, and an international frozen-food business. Her 1940 New Orleans Cook Book is the first Creole cookbook written by a Black author in a time when racial stereotypes permeated the food industry. Guest chef and New Orleanian Dee Lavigne prepares a classic Creole dish and recounts Richard’s story, which is currently featured in the case “The Only One in the Room: Women Achievers in Business and the Cost of Success,” in the American History Museum’s exhibition American Enterprise.

This program is hosted in collaboration with the Southern Food and Beverage Museum where Lavigne is the Director of Culinary Programming.


National Museum of American History


national Museum of American History
1300 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC
Washington D.C., 20560 United States
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