I love collaborating with folks near and far. Here are some examples of ways we can work together:
I love building collaborative events with partners in the hospitality industry, event planners, cultural heritage organizations, nonprofits, and more. These include pop ups, interactive cultural heritage experiences, curated exhibitions in tandem with meals, talks, menus/guidance for milestone events, and more.
Workshops, one-on-one guidance (both remote and in person), custom made ferments, and research support. Fermentation is one of our most powerful, and most ancient, food preservation technologies, and unlocks new flavors, health benefits, and cost savings. I would love to help you begin or grow your fermentation practice!
Consulting for Research and Creative Projects
Food is absolutely pivotal to every experience we encounter as humans, both individually and communally. Our cultural traditions, family and community structures, and health (among other things) are all heavily intertwined with food.
I use my interdisciplinary background to create a big-picture understanding of the world you are building or hoping to recreate with your project, offering research-driven feedback that engages my passion for food and its power in supporting storytelling.
This includes (but is not limited to!): work with filmmakers (as a research consultant as well as physically set dressing food/related items), offering research guidance and feedback for museum exhibits and programming, and offering research support to visual artists using food as an element in their work.
I have a doctorate in Library & Information Science, an extensive scholarly publication record, and over a decade of experience researching culinary history, including acquiring, curating, and building educational programs around rare culinary materials.
I love to put my research skills to work for other people’s projects! You can hire me to scour archives and locate materials connected to your area of interest, as well as write up research findings. I am a skilled public speaker and am happy to present at public programs and other events as well.
Menus for Restaurants and Event Planners
Do you need help making a historic menu for your dinner party? Curious what ingredients to include in a dish you want to make for a few friends? Want to learn a new skill, or have a few folks over to learn together? I’m available for hire as a consultant to build your menus, help with planning your gathering, cooking instruction, and more.
I am always eager to collaborate with others who are doing cool work to strengthen our communities, whether that is in Atlanta or elsewhere. If you have an idea for collaborating and are working with community gardens, nonprofits, arts organizations, food justice organizations, libraries, or any other community building organization, I would love to hear from you.
Cookbook and Recipe Collections
I have a decade and a half of experience in libraries and museums. My PhD is in Library & Information Science, and I have worked in a range of capacities from director-level work as a rare books curator to creating finding aids, designing outreach, and reference and instruction with rare books and archives. I have taught graduate courses in Library & Information Science since 2011, and continue to teach and stay current in the field.
Much of my work focuses on historic materials and (you guessed it) food. I offer the following services in this area: Rare book collection appraisals, guidance on collecting in a certain area (subject, time period, etc.), assessments of archival collections, and preservation advice.
I also offer preservation advice, collection organization, and guidance on interpreting recipes for family recipe and cookbook collections.
Your Personal Food History
I love helping people learn more about their own food heritage, and can offer reading lists, recipes, and other assistance as applicable to help you discover the foods that would have been eaten by your ancestors in America and around the world.
I work hard to point people in the direction of resources written by experts within the cultures you’re connecting with, and to refer clients to those experts whenever needed.
This service includes extensive research into both food and its cultural contexts, along with recipes and food preparation guidance to help clients prepare foods similar to those their ancestors would have eaten.
Ready to connect? Have an idea for another way we can work together? I’m all ears: let’s talk!
About Julia, Root’s founder
I’m a writer, food historian, PhD, fermenter, artist, teacher, curator, researcher, world traveler, and of course, an avid cook.
I’ve purposefully sought out a lot of experiences, and built up some diverse skill sets, so that I can use all of them to tackle big problems creatively and collaboratively.
Building my community, whether it’s my neighborhood, my city, the fermentation community, or within an academic discipline, is my central focus no matter what. I am always looking for ways to facilitate learning, get people involved in something they care about, and to spark excitement and curiosity.
My dedication to community and curiosity shows up across all my work, as a scholar, artist, business owner, and a teacher.
I love teaching, and feel incredibly fortunate to regularly work with amazing and inspiring students and colleagues. I teach classes at several universities for undergraduates and graduate students. My focus is on dynamic, collaborative classrooms that prepare students to think deeply and critically, while also thinking contextually.
I use this same dynamic and interactive approach in my community classes and events. As a food historian, my work is rooted in the belief that food is a powerful tool for human connection and memory. This appears in my research, my teaching (both academic instruction and skills workshops), and in my latest art projects.
My artistic training is in calligraphy, book art, and 2D illustration, painting, and mixed media art. I consider my work an organic, growing thing, and as such new media and new themes often get folded in. You can see some of my work here.
I earned my doctorate in Information Studies from Florida State University in 2015. Most of my research focuses on how we engage with change in various contexts, and my work cuts across several disciplinary areas in the Humanities and Social Sciences. This includes theory testing and theory building, which you can learn more about at this link.
Since then, I have shifted my work to be more topical rather than geographic: My latest book, Our Fermented Lives, covers the global history of fermentation.
You can see all my experience, and publications, on my CV.
Like the rest of my work, my food history work is part theory and part practice, and involves getting in the kitchen or getting out in the community and learning (or trying to teach others) how to make a historic dish, just as often as it involves sitting with research materials and watching the story of that dish unfold.
I’m excited to share the richness and connectivity that food has brought to my life with you, and would love to hear about your favorite food experiences. Drop me a line and let’s chat!