Hollywood East Cafe’s Janet Yu to Speak at Smithsonian Seminar: Food for the Body and Soul: Advocating for Community through Culinary Traditions

by MCS Staff

A previous version of this article contained a typo in Janet You’d name that had since been corrected.

Chef Janet Yu, owner of Hollywood East Cafe in Wheaton will speak at Food for the Body and Soul: Advocating for Community through Culinary Traditions. This free series through Zoom requires registration and is a collaboration among two Smithsonian museums and Smithsonian Associates offers fresh insights into American culture, past and present, through the lens of food. Each program is hosted by Smithsonian moderators and features a guest chef who prepares a recipe and explores the history and tradition behind its ingredients, culinary techniques, and community meaning. The chefs also shed light on their personal stories and their activism and advocacy in and around the Washington area.

Chef Janet Yu, owner of Hollywood East Café in Wheaton, Maryland, will share stories and prepares recipes from her home kitchen that draw upon her family’s heritage from Taishan, a village in the Guangdong Province of China. Yu talks about her work preserving and sharing Chinese food culture in the Greater Washington, D.C., area and how doing so is a vital form of advocacy. She also discusses her role as a mentor and the ways mentorship can maintain cultural bonds and identities as well as empower a new generation of chefs, cooks, and food entrepreneurs.

This spring series of virtual cooking demonstrations and conversations features women chefs in the greater Washington, D.C., area. The programs highlight their work to achieve food justice and community empowerment. Drawing from the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum’s new exhibition, Food for the People: Eating and Activism in Greater Washington, the focus is on women’s roles as changemakers and community leaders in the past—and during recent challenges.



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