In Our Summer 2017 Issue
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Growing up, the kitchen and dining table were the center of activity in our house. If we weren't preparing meals, eating, or doing dishes, we sat at the table playing cards (a lot of cards) talking and laughing. I learned about family history over holiday meals and worldly events when guests came to dinner.
When Chautauqua Institution announced last year the theme for this season's ﬁnal week, At the Table: Our Changing Relationship with Food, I knew that it would be the inspiration for this summer's issue. And, I hadn't even committed to starting the magazine yet.
Coincidentally–or by some cosmic plan–the organizers of Chautauqua's lecture series scheduled Marion Nestle to speak in the Amphitheater on August 24th. The Paulette Goddard professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University, Marion Nestle also penned an article for Edible Communities in celebration of their 15 years of publishing. Her article, "Where to From Here? The local food movement 15 years later" is a perfect ﬁt with Chautauqua's Week Nine theme.
As the dynamic, creative process of planning and writing this issue progressed, Our WNY Table became a collection of stories not only about our changing relationship with food, but also our changing attitudes toward gathering around the table. We have moved from formal traditions and large family meals to meeting with friends informally. We have set aside calorie-laden, time-consuming feasts for lighter fare that requires less time to prepare and presents the opportunity to make better use of local resources–what's available at markets and what we can grow on our own. And, while we often relate to our family's culinary heritage, we adapt to changing lifestyles and dietary needs.
This issue is about the symbolic regional table we share. It is big and wide and embraces guests who bring diverse customs and traditions from all over the world. Along with our individual place at the table we possess a common connection to this place called Western New York, situated next to two Great Lakes that in one way or another also inﬂuence the foods we grow, prepare and consume.
I am enamored with signs and symbols and Our WNY Table is full of both metaphors and stories. I hope you enjoy it, and that these stories inspire a new appreciation for your own table and those who gather around it.
Stephanie Schuckers Burdo, Publisher & Editor