VENTURA, Calif. - A new and unique exhibit is on display at the Museum of Ventura County. It’s called “At Table: The Business Of Food and Community.”
While the current climate on immigration has created controversial moments, the exhibit highlights the cultural impacts immigrants have brought to the county through food.
Anna Bermudez who is the Museum of Ventura County curator, says visitors will experience food memories from their childhood. Photos of old iconic local restaurants fill one side of the wall.
“We start of course with the first restaurant that has been continuously operating in Oxnard,” said Bermudez. “That is the Golden Chicken Inn that opened in 1929. It was really meant to feed those 600 residents that were in Oxnard because they were not allowed in other restaurants in the city.”
The exhibit also celebrates the cultural impact of immigration through the love of food.
“It was really important because of what is going on with immigration right now in the country. I thought it was important to really set the tone and really focus on the fact that immigrants really changed how we ate here,” said Bermudez.
“It started out that you had Spanish missionaries coming in, and then Mexican immigrants, the Chinese, and they all influenced the way we eat in Ventura County,” added Bermudez.
The exhibit examines how immigrants have influenced local recipes, dining habits, food-related business, and even menu’s.
“These are menus here from Independence Day back in 1897 at the Arlington Hotel in Santa Barbara,” said Bermudez. “I love looking at what was offered backed then and the prices.”
Denise Singular, the Program Director of the museum, says the exhibit comes at a great time.
“It’s very very important to remind the community about the role that the immigrant populations have had for hundreds of years in contributing to our economy and shaping who we are today as a county,” said Singular.
“At Table: The Business of Food and Community” opened Thursday and will be on display through Nov. 25, 2018, with special events occurring throughout the months, including a panel discussion featuring notable food writers, a farm-to-table dinner event and a book talk by a noted local food author.
For more information on this unique exhibit visit: https://venturamuseum.org/front-page-feature/at-table-the-business-of-food-and-community.