Carolin C. Young writes, lectures and produces events that explore the interconnections between food, art and culture in European history. The New York Times described her as, "one of a new breed of food studies scholars who view meals not as ephemeral events but rather as windows onto a culture's most pressing concerns. While food historians have tended to focus on dietary trends and culinary historians have studied recipes, Ms. Young zeros in on a since repast, extracting from it a wealth of social meaning."
She is the author of "Apples of Gold in Settings of Silver: Stories of Dinner as a Work of Art" (Simon & Schuster, 2002), which was a finalist for IACP's literary food writing award. The book narrates the events of twelve banquets from the annals of European history, describing them as events that engaged all five senses and encapsulated the Zeitgeist of their respective epochs. She adapted extracts for a notable series of lectures and historically inspired banquets for the Sotheby's Institute of Art in New York.
After moving to Paris in 2004, Ms. Young developed a series of walking tours and annotated meals that reveal the ancient origins of the French capital's contemporary food ways. These tours gained her recognition by The Wall Street Journal as one of the world's 10 best culinary tour guides and by Travel & Leisure as one of the top 15 guides across all categories.
She is currently writing a book adapted by the most popular of her tours,"The Belly of Paris," which was inspired by French writer Émile Zola's 1873 novel of the same name. She has also recently begun a blog that follows Grimod de la Reynière's seasonal guide to Paris of 1803 through the city's contemporary food markets.
She continues to pursue longstanding research about the myths that surrounds the popularization of the dinner fork. After publishing her initial findings in the essay "The Sexual Politics of Cutlery," in the catalog to the Cooper Hewitt/Smithsonian Institution's 2006 exhibition, Feeding Desire, she won the 2009/2010 Julia Child Grant for Independent Research in Food History to underwrite further research, which will eventually be published in a book.
Since 2007 she has written a regular column for The Magazine Antiques, summarizing art events in Europe. From 2007 to 2010 she served as Chair and Organizer of the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery.
A native New Yorker, Young earned her B.A. at Oberlin College and received a Royal Society of Arts diploma from Christie's Education, London. Her blog is Almanach des Gourmands.
Photo Credit: Anya Firestone, 2011