Joan Nathan, author of 11 cookbooks and noted food historian, will speak Tuesday, July 11, at 6 p.m. at Adas Yoshuron Synagogue, 50 Willow St. Her talk will be followed by a tasting of foods from her newest cookbook, “King Solomon’s Table.”

The event is free and open to the public; books will be available for purchase. Reservations are requested at or 594-4523.

“King Solomon’s Table,” released in April, looks at Jewish food from countries all over the world. According to Nathan, King Solomon is reputed to have sent emissaries and traders to all corners of the ancient world. They returned with spices and edibles that Solomon’s cooks used to prepare food for his table.

Nathan’s book goes to places around the world where Jews have adapted their customs and the foods they brought with them in their travels to their new homes, blending in new local ingredients. As she does in so many of her books, Nathan tells the reader/cook the story of each recipe; how it was developed; and where it comes from. She will tell some of these stories in her talk; and will consider the role of food in the cultures of the people she visited and with whom she talked and ate.

Nathan’s earlier books have won a series of awards, among them two James Beard Awards and two IACP awards for Best Cookbook of the Year. She was the host of the nationally syndicated PBS television series “Jewish Cooking in America with Joan Nathan”; and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, Tablet magazine and other publications.

Nathan received an honorary doctorate from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Culture in Chicago and was Guest Curator of Food Culture USA for the 2005 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The tastings after her talk at Adas Yoshuron will include dishes from the Far East, Middle East, Europe and the Americas, prepared by members of the Food in Jewish Culture group at the synagogue.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or