Lara Rabinovitch, PhD (NYU 2012), is a specialist in food culture and immigrant history. She is working on a book about pastrami and 'Little Rumania' in early twentieth century New York City. Listen to her wax poetic about Mexican Pastrami in LA on KCRW's "GOOD FOOD" with Evan Kleiman.
She is also Consulting Producer for "City of Gold," the Sundance/IFC documentary about the Pulitzer prize-winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold, in theaters this past Spring and streaming on Hulu and elsewhere now. Hear Lara talk with Jonathan on the podcast PrinceSt.
Lara currently teaches Jewish history at Occidental College, as well as food culture courses at the Skirball Cultural Center (Grains!). From 2013-2015 she was the Food Editor for GOOD magazine, where, for example, she went soul searching with Roy Choi and reported on the hummus diplomacy of Assaf Granit.
She regularly writes for the Los Angeles Times, for example, about the only organic produce shop in South LA, Inglewood's pre-Rams eats, and Chinese New Year dumplings. She has also written about street food around the world for VICE and Lucky Peach.
She has talked everything bagels with Chrissy Teigen's cookbook co-author and kibitzed about kasha with Mark Bittman for HEEB magazine, interviewed Martha Stewart and Anthony Bourdain for Time Out New York, opined for Tablet magazine on the importance of her correction of the New York Times' Theodore Bikel obit, argued for the acceptance of Canadian seal-hunting in meatpaper, penned South California farmers' markets reports for KCET Los Angeles, and historicized one of Canada's last remaining Jewish dairy restaurants for Edible Toronto.
For her first book, Choosing Yiddish: New Frontiers of Language and Culture (Wayne State Press, 2012), Lara co-edited 25 essays which cover topics such as Yiddish hip hop, a nineteenth century "Hasidic Slasher," Yiddish culture in Israel, Yiddish film melodrama, and historic Jewish newspapers in Buenos Aires, Paris, and New York.
Other academic works of hers explore Gypsy Jews in historic Lower Manhattan and Jewish community cookbooks in postwar America.
She co-founded and edited the McGill University journal CuiZine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures / Revue des cultures culinaires au canada. In 2009, the journal published her interview with Eiran Harris on Montreal smoked meat.
Her research on immigration to the United States also helped launch the award-winning human rights game, "America 2049," produced by Breakthrough TV.
Born in Strasbourg, France, and raised in Montreal and Toronto, Lara now lives in Los Angeles after having lived in New York for nearly a decade.
For Lara's latest, follow her @LaraEats and subscribe to her tinyletter.
[photo by Shauna Nep]