Cathy Kaufman (Chair), aka, dictator-for-life, has been chair of CHNY since 2003. She was Associate Editor of Savoring Gotham (OUP 2015) and a Senior Editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America (OUP 2004), and writes for many publications. She teaches Food Studies at The New School and is the author of Cooking in Ancient Civilizations; she loves foie gras, but to atone for her gluttony, can be found in Chinatown twice a week, practicing tai chi.
Holley Atkinson (Vice Chair) attended her first CHNY program in 2004 and offhandedly asked a board member at the time if there was truly no way to pay for an event ticket online. She soon found herself registering the group for Brown Paper Tickets as well as taking on maintenance of its website, and it wasn’t long before she joined the Program Committee and shortly thereafter the Board, where she now serves as Vice Chair. Along the way she launched and built up our Facebook, Twitter, and now Instagram followings. By day Holley is a digital media strategist and local food system activist. Her interests include farm-to-table anything and progressive politics.
Carolyn Vaughan (Programming Co-Chair) has been cochair of the Program Committee since the dawn of time [or, since 2007]. Hers is is a familiar name, and perhaps face, to CHNY members as keeper of the program registration lists. In her spare time, she is a freelance writer and editor, specializing in art books and exhibition catalogues, and she recently wrote the text for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2015 art book/engagement calendar, Art of the Table. She has a serious sweet tooth and her primary culinary interest is making and eating baked goods.
Tanah Spencer (Treasurer) was born in San Diego and made her way to the New York culinary scene by way of a degree in Slavic Studies at Columbia University. She discovered CHNY in 2012 through a fantastic lecture on the wonderful world of mushroom hunting. She has worked as a line cook at Franny’s and other Brooklyn food start-ups. When she is not scratching her head about combining her interests in food and law, Tanah is exploring work as a postpartum doula and researching how to feed the hungry mothers of Manhattan and Brooklyn. She is currently bolstering her kosher recipe arsenal and looking for suggestions.
Donna Gelb (Public Relations), a food writer and recipe developer, has been an active member of CHNY since 2003 and served on the board since 2008. A native New Yorker, her interest in food began as a teenager growing up in Spain, Switzerland, and England. Back in New York she trained at Peter Kump’s, which led to regular stints of recipe testing for The New York Times Magazine, and a column in The New York Daily News. She has collaborated with Francis Mallmann and Peter Kaminsky on two books: the award-winning Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way (Artisan 2009) and Mallmann on Fire (Artisan 2014).
Charity Robey (Programming Co-Chair) has served as “a laboring oar” on the CHNY Program Committee since 2010, providing culinary, organizational, and janitorial services as required. She is a feature writer, and columnist for the Shelter Island Reporter where she writes Island Profile, interviews with notable Shelter Island people, and Off the Fork, a column on home-cooking. Her interests include culinary history, sourdough bread, agricultural practices, fish, and shell fishing.
Linda Pelaccio (Scholar’s Grant) has been a CHNY member since 1993, and served for several years as Program Chair. She helped bring the TV Food Network to life as one of the early writers and producers. Linda is now the host of a weekly radio podcast, ‘A Taste of the Past,’ on Heritage Radio Network. She was a contributing writer to the former website and cookbook series, MinuteMeals, and is a contributing writer to Savoring Gotham. She splits her time between NYC and Old Chatham, NY where her vegetable gardens reign.
Julia Mucci (Membership Liaison)came into this world as her mother was preparing food for the Feast of the Seven Fishes. She has felt a primal link to Italian-American foodways ever since. Julia holds an MS from Syracuse University and is a former public-radio broadcaster. She is now a librarian and archivist, with a Masters in Library Science. Julia is also a long-standing volunteer with the Astoria CSA, where she leads the CSA Culinary History Book Group, now in its fourth year.
Renée Marton (Culinary Coordinator) spent the first chapter of her culinary life as a chef in NYC French restaurants, including Restaurant Florent. The second chapter involved the acquisition of an MA in Food Studies from NYU, and a return to writing about food history and gastronomy. She has written widely on foodways, and commercial food industries. Her fist book, Rice: a global history, was published by Reaktion Books in 2014. She also teaches at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York.
Ari Ariel (Editor, NYFoodStory) teaches at the University of Iowa. He has a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern studies from Columbia University and a diploma in Classical Culinary Arts from the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center). His interests include migration, ethnic and national identity, and culinary history and foodways.
Karen Berman (Editor, Member News) is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in food. She is the author of five cookbooks, including Friday Night Bites: Kick Off the Weekend with Recipes and Crafts for the Whole Family (Running Press, 2009) and an illustrated history, North American Indians: Traditions and Ceremonies (World Publications, 1998). She has worked in various editorial capacities on more than 50 other books. A prolific writer, she has contributed articles to publications such as The New York Times and Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and to websites such as BookTrib.com. She currently serves as senior content editor at TheWeiserKitchen.com. An honors graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Karen holds a certificate in cuisine from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Her ongoing culinary studies have taken her as far afield as the Thai House Cooking School in Thonburi, Thailand. In her previous position as a newspaper reporter and editor, she twice won the National Press Club Award for Consumer Journalism.