One County, One Book

At 2 p.m. on November 12, in the Grand Salon at CSUCI, Ventura County Library’s annual One County, One Book author event will feature New Yorker Mayukh Sen’s nonfiction book Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food In America. Taste Makers was named a best book in 2021 by NPR, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and Food Network. Sen, a James Beard journalism award winner and NYU adjunct professor, will be interviewed on stage about the women who changed the way America eats and grocery shops.

The women featured in Taste Makers were pioneers in restaurant ownership, radio, television and publishing. They came from China, Mexico, France, Italy, India, Iran and the Caribbean. They were dreamers, revolutionaries and marginalized by ethnicity, gender and language. One was blind, one was a giant of a woman at 6’2” and another part of a diaspora fleeing political upheaval. Publishers shunned them, apprehensive about reader disinterest in foreign flavors, and worse, foreign influences. These Taste Makers were not only influencers and revolutionaries in the food world, but also pioneers for women entering the hallowed halls of male-dominated professional kitchens. A few men bucked that tradition, including Craig Claiborne and James Beard, who wrote in newspaper columns and books about these women. Their support encouraged others to follow.

Major sponsors of the event include Premier America Credit Union, Ventura Community College District, the Ventura County Star and Conejo Valley Lifestyle. Major support has been provided by CSUCI and the County Library system. Following the interview, Sen will sign copies of his book, available for purchase.