I love speaking about food history and fermentation with groups large and small! Here are some of my specialties:


Hands on demonstrations, leading workshops, or just guiding you through an in-depth discovery of process. I work with seasoned and brand new cooks to make fermentation accessible and fun.

Food History

The history of fermentation

Curious about the history of brewing? What about sauerkraut and kimchi? My presentations are fun and interactive (and sometimes include things to taste!)

Appalachian history

I give an account of Appalachian culinary history, with an emphasis on the movement of peoples to and from the region and on the preservation of food.

Afternoon tea

Based on my recent book Afternoon Tea: A History, I give an engaging overview of how the meal came about, and how it spread around the world. My presentations are honest and forthright, including the good (a built-in break to relax and build community) and the difficult (English colonial expansion and tea) in thought-provoking but approachable ways.

And more!

From Early Modern food to Medieval wine to the history of the tomato to ancient Roman fish sauce, I can cover a lot of ground. I have a background as a book historian as well, and am always happy to tie that in to talks.


Looking for more than a presentation? I work with you to provide the experience you’re looking for, whether a meal, a demonstration, or even an arts and crafts program.


These can include hands-on learning activities, demonstrations, creative projects (like making and using historic inks), or whatever else our imaginations can dream up!

I have experience crafting museum programming and exhibits, and over a decade of teaching experience. I also have extensive hands-on experience making everything from natural inks to teaching fermentation classes. My current programming focuses on food and food-adjacent work (like using food waste in visual art), but I am always happy to discuss programs in my other areas of professional expertise as well (book history, for example).
I would love to design a program to make your class or event extra special!


I can help create special meals for events big and small. I handcraft meals for groups up to twelve people, and can provide recipes and instructions to caterers for larger groups.
I recreate historic dishes (particularly early-mid Twentieth century and Early Modern English, but work in many other areas as well) for events, as well as offering modern interpretations of historic dishes.
I also design menus built around custom fermented foods, made just for you using the flavor profiles you outline. These include a range of creative flavors, from seasoning powders to vinegars to sweets, using a variety of fermentation techniques.


Beyond Food

I maintain a professional presence in cultural heritage fields through service, teaching, and research.
I enjoy speaking on my areas of specialization (theory, rare books and archives, history of the book, services to underserved communities), and can offer either research-focused or practice-focused discussions (or both) that offer a depth of knowledge and implementable ideas.

I also speak on nontraditional career paths for academics, with an emphasis on graduate students and professional organizations. In these talks, I discuss my own path and use it to highlight different ideas for branching out and exploring possibilities, with an emphasis on offering skills and ideas and facilitating discussion with attendees about their own careers.

Ready to book? Want to learn more? Please email julia at root-kitchens dot com or use my contact form and let’s get started!

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