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November 3 – What’s at Stake? How We Eat Now

The Champlain Institute-College of the Atlantic

Friday, August 21 at 2:00 pm

Speaking in Maine returns to The College of the Atlantic’s Champlain Institute which is holding its sessions in a virtual environment. This year the Champlain Institute is exploring the future of US diplomacy, climate change policy, income inequality, national security, the Second Amendment, the Supreme Court, coronavirus, and other issues that will be critical national topics leading up to the presidential elections in November.

The effect of the coronavirus pandemic has been nothing less than catastrophic for the independent restaurants that make up two-thirds of the American dining landscape, from dockside lobster shacks to fine dining emporia, and those effects have cascaded down on farmers and fishermen, on laundry services, and wine wholesalers. At the same time, millions of Americans have spent months honing home-cooking skills while under quarantine or lockdown, sometimes under severe conditions of food insecurity. What happens now? Sam Sifton, an assistant managing editor of The New York Times, returns to the Champlain Institute to survey the damage and talk with Frances Stead Sellers, senior writer at the Washington Post’s America desk, about the future of food in the United States.

Introduced by: Ted Widmer

Sam Sifton:
Sam Sifton is an assistant managing editor of The New York Times, overseeing the culture and lifestyle sections, the founding editor of NYT Cooking, and a columnist for The New York Times Magazine. He has also served as the national editor, the restaurant critic, and culture editor. Sifton is the author of See You on Sunday: A Cookbook for Family and Friends (2020) and Thanksgiving: How to Cook It Well: A Cookbook (2012).

Sifton graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with an AB in History and Literature in 1988. He began his journalism career as assistant editor for American Heritage Magazine in 1988. From 1990 to 1994, he taught social studies in the New York City public school system. Sifton held a number of positions at the weekly New York Press during his tenure there from 1990 to 1998, including restaurant critic, contributing editor, senior editor, media critic and managing editor. Sifton was a founding editor of Talk (magazine) in 1998.

Frances Stead Sellers:
Frances Stead Sellers is a senior writer at the Washington Post. She covered the 2016 presidential campaign, writing about the leading candidates and key figures in the Trump administration, and was a member of the team that produced the 2016 best seller Trump Revealed: The Definitive Biography of the 45th President.

Sellers has been a senior editor in charge of several sections of the Post, including the signature daily section Style, which focuses on political profiles, personalities, arts, and ideas.

Sellers holds a BA in Modern Languages from Oxford University and an MA in Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a sought-after commentator on American politics and culture for US and British radio and TV.

Ted Widmer:
Ted Widmer is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and distinguished lecturer at the Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York. Widmer served as a speechwriter and senior advisor to former President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001, and as a senior advisor to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from 2012 to 2013. He was formerly the director of The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress and the director of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.

Widmer’s books include Lincoln on the Verge (2020), Martin Van Buren (2005); Campaigns: A Century of Presidential Races (with Alan Brinkley, 2001); and Young America: The Flowering of Democracy in New York City (1999). Widmer is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, The New York Observer, Politico, The Boston Globe, and The American Scholar.

Source:  College of the Atlantic – Champlain Institute

Music by Our Alarm Clock