It’s been a busy year for Betty Fussell. A brief re-cap:
* In April, Betty wrote about her first deer hunt for the Lives page of The New York Times Magazine. At age 82, in the foothills of the Swan Mountains in Montana, Betty shot, killed and ate the heart of a young doe. Titled “Earning Her Food: Granny Gets Her Gun and Goes Hunting for the First Time,” the piece drew both praise (“Go, Granny, go!”) and criticism (“Shame on you, Granny”) from Times readers.
* In the March issue of Saveur magazine, spotlighting food in L.A., Betty joined a notorious gang of four, including MFK Fisher, Marion Cunningham and Julia Child. The women were featured under the caption, “Home Grown in L.A: Los Angeles and the Surrounding Region Have Produced Some of Our Most Influential Cooks.” Born in Riverside, Betty is the youngest of these notables by five years.
* In the 10th anniversary issue of Gastronomica (Jan/Feb 2010), Betty was one of 10 distinguished food voices asked to “speak out about food culture today.” Noting the shift from real food to food porn, she writes, “We don’t watch sexy Rachael or Bobby on the boob tube because we’re hungry for food.”
Book readings, panels and lectures so far in 2010 have taken Betty from Boston to Kentucky:
* In Boston she helped Boston University celebrate the 20th anniversary of its Culinary Arts Program with a lecture on American beef. Betty was invited as part of BU’s “MLA in Gastronomy Lecture Series in Food Studies.”
* In Kentucky she was a featured speaker with Gary Nabhan at the annual conference of the American Grassfed Association, held at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. She also led a panel with Nabhan and John van Willingen that put “Meat on the Table: Past, Present and Local.”
* Back home in Manhattan, she joined Monica Bhide, Kathleen Flinn and Mimi Sheraton for a panel at the Roger Smith Food Writers’ Conference on food memoir, “Turning Your Life and Food into a Best Seller.”
* At the Astor Center in Manhattan, she joined Slow Food U’s panel on “Green Beef,” run by Michael Crupain of TheDairyShow.com. After previewing his show on the subject of grass-fed beef from pasture to plate (watch for it this summer), Michael led a lively discussion among audience and panel members: Dan Gibson, owner of Grazing Angus Acres, Jake Dickson of Dickson’s Farmstand Meats in the Chelsea Market and Josephine Proul, executive chef of Local 111 restaurant in Philmont, N.Y.
* Later this spring, Betty’s pursuit of food paths will take her on a culinary trip to Mexico City, Queretaro, Guanajuato and Morelia, led by the grande dame of Mexican cuisine, Patricia Quintana.
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