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Tales of the Ghetto


The Berkeley Hillside Club Fireside Talk Monday, June 5, 2017 7:30 pm Free & Open to Members and Friends

"Tales of the Ghetto: A Berkeley obsession with over-roasted coffee, goaty cheese, under-aged vegetables, stinky garlic, fatty pastrami and much, much more."

Writer and artist, L. John Harris, aka “Mr. Garlic” and “The Foodoodler,” will present in pictures and words the history of Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto from his own unique perspective as a former Cheese Board employee, first night waiter at Chez Panisse, garlic guru, cookbook publisher, deli maven and Francophile flâneur. Using his cartoon images and memorabilia from his 50 years working in and around North Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto, Harris will present his witty insights into Berkeley's, and his own, revolutionary obsession with food. Bio L. John Harris is the author of several food books, including The Book of Garlic (1974) and Foodoodles: From the Museum of Culinary History (2010) which features 90 of his cartoons. Starting out as an art student and part-time Cheese Board employee in the late 60s, Harris went on to write his Book of Garlic and preside over an international fan club, Lovers of the Stinking Rose through the 1970s. He was a member of the Swallow Café Collective at the U.C. Berkeley Art Museum in the early 1970s. In the 8os his publishing company, Aris Books, produced 40 cookbooks. His passion for pastrami led to his film, Divine Food, 100 Years in the Kosher Delicatessen Trade. As a freelance food journalist, Harris became a contributing writer for the online food journal, Zester Daily, where he produced stories related to his life in the gourmet ghetto, American food trends and Parisian café culture. Harris has hosted panel discussions on the “Legends of the Gourmet Ghetto” and has given talks about Berkeley’s food revolution to various Bay Area organizations. His food cartoons have appeared in numerous magazines and are collected in his food memoir, Foodoodles, which was voted “Best cartoon memoir” by the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association in 2010. Harris is finishing a new book, The Girl in Red: A Year in the Life of a Painting From Paris, and lives in Berkeley and Paris.


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