In the News


Julie Mason interviewed me on SiriusXM radio about our 9th Annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend (November 3–4, 2023). You can listen to the clip from October 25, 2023 here.

I spoke with Priya Krishna about the history of early food television for her interactive New York Times piece, “How Cooking Videos Took Over the World,” August 7, 2023.

In February, I spoke with WIlder Davies for his Epicurious piece on the resurgence of vintage recipes: “Weird Vintage Recipes Found a Second Life Online–And They’re Thriving,” February 24, 2023.

I also shared my research on Lena Richard with Brooklyn Joyner who wrote a piece in the Gambit featuring Richard’s story, “Creole Cameo: Lena Richard was New Orleans’ first TV cooking star in 1949,” February 22, 2023.

I spoke with the Wikimedia Foundation about the Smithsonian Food History Team’s efforts to increase the representation of Black Women’s histories on Wikipedia. Wikimedia’s article is titled, “The Smithsonian’s quest to expand the history of Black women in food and drink on Wikipedia,” February 14, 2023.

In January, I interviewed with Riche Holmes Grant who wrote an article for Better Homes & Gardens celebrating trailblazing women in the food industry, “Four Incredible Black Women Who Changed America’s Food History,” January 24, 2023.


In December, I collaborated with the Smithsonian Sidedoor podcast team to highlight the history of figgy pudding through historical research, baking, and singing in their holiday episode, “A Very Merry Sidedoor,” December 14, 2022.

In November, I also intervieweed with Gabriel Pietrorazio about the history and methods of Cooking Up History for his piece in Civil Eats, “This Mother-Daughter Team is Sharing Food Traditions from the Ho-Chunk Nation,” November 22, 2022.

I also spoke with Megan Zhang for her Saveur article on Americans’ love of cereal, “These Gooey Cereal Bars Are a One-Way Ticket to ’90s Nostalgia,” November 2, 2022.

In September, I spoke with Danielle Wiener-Bronner for her CNN Business article, “How America turned into a nation of snackers,” September 3, 2022.

In August, I interviewed with Nick Rutchfield for the podcast, Preservecast, where I spoke about my role as the historian of the American Food History Project: “A Delicious History of Food With Dr. Ashley Rose Young,” August 1, 2022.

In May, I spoke with writer Kayla Stewart for her Bittman Project article on Chef Lena Richard, “The Black Creole Chef Who Paved the Way for Food TV,” May 19, 2022.

In January, I spoke on the Food Truck Ventures’ podcast, Truck Tales, for the episode, “Why Are Local Officials So Tough On Food Trucks?,” January 26, 2022.


In December, the Southern Foodways Alliance podcast Gravy, featured an interview with me in their episode, “New Orleans Street Vendors: Then and Now,” December 8, 2021.

I also hosted and moderated a panel at the Heinz History Center in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, about my family’s gourmet grocery food business. The event, “Remembering the McGinnis Sisters: Food and Family Stories,” featured my aunts, cousin, and me exploring our family history and sharing some of the business history materials that are now part of the McGinnis Sisters Special Food Stores Records at the Heinz History Center. Of great interest to the broader Pittsburgh community, several local publications wrote up the event, interviewing curator Leslie Przybylek and me:

In September, I was a guest speaker on the Unsung History podcast episode, “Chef Lena Richard.” You can listen to the podcast here.

In July, the Gambit published an interview with Cooking Up History guest chef Dee Lavigne and mentioned that we were going to co-host the public program, “Lena Richard’s New Orleans Cook Book: A Groundbreaking Story of Innovation and Resilience,” on the summer of 2021. You can see the Gambit article, “Chef Dee Lavigne co-hosts Smithsonian program on New Orleans chef Lena Richard,” here.

In June, Caroline Klibanoff wrote about the significance of history museum in an article titled, “History Museums are Vibrant Civic Spaces,” for the American Historical Association. In that piece, Klibanoff cites a program I participated in, “When You Can’t Put a Turkey on the Table: The Past & Present of Food Justice in America,” as an example of the ways in which history museums are actively contributing to civic engagement. You can read the article here.

In May, I spoke about the history of root beer and the origins of its flavor on American Public Media’s podcast, Brains On!, which is a science show for kids and curious adults. You can listen to the clip about root beer starting at 34:33.

On February, I interviewed for a Black History Month segment on Fox 5 Washington D.C. featuring the history of New Orleans chef Lena Richard. You can watch the 6-minute clip where I speak about Richard’s story here.

In January, Britannica named me as one of the “20 Under 40: Young Shapers of the Future” in the category of Academia and Ideas for my research and public outreach about food history. I was listed alongside change-makers like Ibram X Kendi, Matt Yglesias, Malala Yousafzai, and Marie Kondo. You can read the full article here.


I spoke with Marc Silver about the history of Sylvester Graham and the evolution of the graham cracker for his piece in the Star Tribune detailing his pandemic baking journey. You can read the article, and some of my thoughts on Graham and the graham cracker, here.

In November, I appeared as the guest speaker on Giant Food’s Nutrition Made Easy podcast. During the episode, I spoke about the complicated history of much-beloved holiday foods. You can listen to the podcast here.

Also in November, CNBC’s The News with Shepard Smith released a video where I spoke about the history of Thanksgiving culinary traditions. The video was accompanied by an article titled, “Why do we eat turkey on Thanksgiving?” You can see the video and article here.

Experience Magazine shared my research on New Orleans’ historic food markets in the article, “The secret ingredients of comfort food? Struggle.,” which was published in November 2020. You can read the article here.

In September, I interviewed with Forbes Magazine about the historic presence of gender inequality in food industries. The article, “Find a Recipe for a More Equitable Food and Restaurant Industry,” can be found here.

On September 25, 2020, I participated on a panel, “Nueva Orleans se parece a Barranquilla,” organized by the U.S. Embassy of Colombia for the Sabor Barranquilla Festival. The panel explored West African influences in the Caribbean and throughout Americas, and also engaged conversations around food justice and racial justice, past and present. The conversation was in both Spanish and English, and can be seen via this Facebook link starting at minute 39:25. EFE Argo covered the talk in an article entitled, La cocina afroamericana, una expresión contra el racismo en Estados Unidos, which you can read here.

Also in September, I was on the Meant to Be Eaten podcast for a special episode featuring the dispatches I submitted to Gastronomica: The Journal of Food Studies about COVID-19’s impact on food industries in March and April of 2020. On the podcast, I spoke about my published essay, “A COVID-19 Relief Kitchen Created by an Unexpected Advocate” as well as an unpublished one, “Dispatch from the Northeast: One Grocery Store Employee’s Experience on the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Pandemic.” You can listen to the podcast here.

In August, I joined Capri Cavaro on her podcast, Eat Your Heartland Out, to share Smithsonian research in Lincoln, Nebraska and discuss Asian culinary influences on the foodways of the Midwest. You can listed to the podcast here.

On June 12, 2020, Smithsonian Magazine published an article featuring my archival and oral history research on Chef Lena Richard. You can read that article, “Meet Mama Lena, the Celebrity Chef Who Broke Barriers in the Jim Crow South” here.

In the spring of 2020, I co-produced an episode, “America’s Unknown Celebrity Chef,” on the Smithsonian’s Sidedoor podcast. The episode featured my research about Chef Lena Richard (1892-1950) who was the first Black woman to author a Creole cookbook and one of the first African Americans on television (c. 1949). You can listen to that podcast, which launched June 10, here.

On May 4, 2020, I spoke with the hosts of What The Func?! podcast, Clayton Farris and Laura Schein, about the history of “food as medicine” during past pandemics including the 1918 flu. You can hear more by tuning into the podcast, “What’s For Dinner,” here.

In April 2020, the Atlantic interviewed me about the history of food trends and technologies during pandemics and other times of significant upheaval in the piece, “In 1950, Americans Had Aspic. Now We Have Dalgona Coffee.”

COVID-19 impacted the Smithsonian Food History Team’s efforts to collaborate with local university professors to speak to history students about our curatorial practices and story telling initiatives at the museum. Professor Lawrence Poos of the Catholic University of America wrote about the adaptations he made in light of COVID-19 including using podcasts and articles written by me and my colleagues to take his Global Food History course online. You can read the article about his engagement with our team during COVID-19 here.

On March 18, 2020, I met up with my longtime mentor, Liz Williams, of the National Food and Beverage Foundation to speak with her on her podcast, Tip of the Tongue. During the conversation, we reminisced about my time at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans and also spoke about my most recent research projects. You can find the podcast episode here.

On March 12, 2020, I spoke with Todd Schulkin, host of the podcast Inside Julia’s Kitchen. During the episode, I speak about my work as the Historian of the American Food History Project at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and I also share my favorite “Julia Moment.” You can listen to the podcast episode here.

On February 18, 2020, Eater featured an interview with me under their Young Guns series (a series which also featured culinary taste-makers like chefs Samin Nosrat and Edouardo Jordan). The article, “How I Got My Job: Researching the History of American Food at the Smithsonian” can be found here.

Image courtesy of


In November 2019, we had several news media outlets cover our fifth annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend. Our annual theme was “Power Through Food.” Leading up to the weekend, I appeared on the podcasts Foodie and the Beast as well as Industry Night with host Nycci Nellis, the latter of which you can listen to here. Cindy Lange-Kubick of the Lincoln Journal star interviewed our team and quoted me in her article about two Lincoln-based food entrepreneurs who spoke at Food History Weekend. You can read her article, “Two Lincoln food entrepreneurs at the Smithsonian sharing their dream” here.

Cooking with Chefs Iman and Aisha of the Mera Kitchen Collective at the National Museum of American History. Image courtesy of the National Museum of American History.

Also in November, Duke University faculty Edward Balleisen and Maria Wisdom published an article, “Rethinking Graduate Education in the Humanities,” in The Magazine of Higher Learning. The article features my career path, which led to the Smithsonian, and was featured on Duke University’s Interdisciplinary Studies blog here.

In October, the BBC’s Bryan Lufkin interviewed me about the history of globalized fast food. He quoted me in his article entitled, “The bizarre rise of fast food fused with snack foods,” which you can find here.

On March 13, 2019, WTOP’s Rachel Nania published an article about an upcoming “Cooking Up History” demonstration with Chef Carla Hall and her interpretation of soul food. In the piece, Nania features quotes from both Hall and me. You can read the article here.

On January 30, 2019, Swiss Ambassador Martin Dahinden invited me to participate in the Meridian Global Leadership Council salon series on culinary diplomacy. During that panel, I was able to share how the “Cooking Up History” program at the National Museum of American History is a platform of culinary diplomacy. In that program, we create a space for guest chefs to share their experiences with our museum visitors. Meridian International wrote an article about the event, which you can find here.


In December, Linda Pelaccio, host of Taste of the Past, invited me to speak about my manuscript research on New Orleans’ historic food culture and economy on her radio show. You can listen to that podcast here.

During the 2018 Food History Weekend Roundtables, the Julia Child Foundation met with panel participants after their talks to re-cap key themes from their discussions. As the moderator for the panel “Selling Regions,” I had the opportunity to speak about the role of power in shaping narratives about American regions and American regional foodways. You can listen to my comments starting at 41:40 of the “Voices from Food History Weekend” episode on the Inside Julia’s Kitchen podcast. You can find the recording here.

Cooking with Chef Aaron Sanchez at the National Museum of American History. Image courtesy of the National Museum of American History.

In October, the Smithsonian Food History Team and I appeared on several radio programs to promote 2018 Food History Weekend. One of the programs, Industry Night with Foodie and the Beast, provided me an opportunity to speak about my work at the National Museum of American History, including my role as host and program developer of “Cooking Up History,” our monthly cooking demonstration series. Additionally, I was able to talk about the lineup of chefs, scholars, and food practitioners we recruited for Food History Weekend. You can hear the full interview here and see a write-up about the interview here. I was also featured on the Capital Culture podcast, where I spoke about our exciting programming for 2018 Food History Weekend. You can listen to the podcast, “Episode 105: Gerard Butler on His New Movie, Marine Corps Marathon Takes Over DC, Plus Food History Weekend” here.

Cooking with Chef Maneet Chauhan at the National Museum of American History. Image courtesy of the National Museum of American History.

In September, Eric Ferreri featured my Duke Versatile Humanist Internship with the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in a Duke TODAY article entitled, “Oh, The Places You Could Go – With a Ph.D.” You can read about my internship and my position as the Historian of the American Food History Project in the article here.

In August, I was interviewed about the Smithsonian’s American Food History Project on the podcast: Dr. Scoff and the Prof. You can listen to Ep. 6 of their podcast here.

Also in August, the Today Show profiled “Cooking Up History,” mentioning me by name, and the National Museum of American History’s celebration of what would be Julia Child’s 106th birthday. Read the article here.

In March of 2018, Duke University also recognized my efforts to find a fulfilling career beyond the traditional academic track. Read more here.

The Chronicle of Higher Education featured my career path to the Smithsonian in an article entitled, “Rebranding the Ph.D.,” which can be found here. The article discusses my internship experience at the Smithsonian, made possible by the Versatile Humanists project at Duke University, which eventually led into a position as the historian of the American Food History Project.

For Women’s History Month, Chris Brusatte of Taylor Studios, Inc. interviewed me for their blog series “Experts in the Field,” which highlights the careers of museum professionals. My interview, “Lessons from Dr. Ashley Rose Young,” can be found here.

In February, Rachel Nania of Washington D.C.’s WTOP interviewed me about the 2018 “Cooking Up History” series at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. The piece, which elaborates on our annual theme of “regions,” can be found here.

The Duke History Department announced my position as the Historian of the American Food History Project at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History on the department’s website. You can see the announcement, “Ashley Rose Young Joins Smithsonian as Historian of American Food History Project,” here.


In October, Duke Magazine featured my work with the American Food History Project at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. The article, “Ph.Ds are Defining Success in a New Way,” can be found here.

Sandra Gutierrez, a writer and cook specializing in Latin American cuisines, came to the National Museum of American History to prepare, live on stage, dishes that represented an emergent Southern-Latino cuisine in the US South. As the host of “Cooking Up History,” I worked closely with Sandra as we chose recipes, identified key historical themes, and then, on the day of the event, prepared the dishes together in front of a live audience. Sandra wrote about her experiences, mentioning our collaboration in this article published in the Oxford American: “A Day at the Mall.”

NPR’s The Salt featured the work of my colleagues and I at the Rubenstein Library in this article: “At Duke University, A Bizarre Tour Through American History and Palates.” The story features my research and experimentation with reviving historic Creole gumbo recipes housed in the Rubenstein’s archives.

In September, I received an honorable mention in the Honey & Wax Book Collecting Contest. My collection, closely tied to my academic research, features historic Creole cookbooks as well as works of literature and ephemera that feature New Orleans’ local food culture and economy. You can find my collection mentioned in an article by the Paris Review, Six Young Women with Prize-Winning Book Collections.”

The Smithsonian Office of Fellowships & Internships featured my graduate intern fellowship with the Smithsonian Food History Project in this blog post, “What’s Cooking With Smithsonian Fellows.” The article features images and content from my role as host of “Cooking Up History,” a monthly program at the museum where a guest chef prepares, live onstage, several dishes that speak to themes in American history.

In the fall, I served as a Bass Fellow through Duke University’s Center for Instructional Technology (CIT). Over the course of the semester, I developed innovative digital pedagogy that enabled me to pair an analysis of U.S. history with sound studies. Welcoming me to the CIT team, Sophia Stone wrote up a blog post about my involvement at the Center.

In August, I hosted a program at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History as part of the “Cooking Up History” series. The title of this event was “Julia Child’s Kitchen Classroom,” which explored Julia’s critical role in introducing American audiences to a diverse body of professional chefs, many of them women and minorities. CNN and NTD filmed the program, interviewing me and our guest chef, Lynne Just. CNN produced a video clip, “Celebrating the Life of Julia Child.” NTD created a video clip and a news article, which you can find here and here.

Ashley Rose Young and Chef Lynne Just of Sur La Table. Image courtesy of the National Museum of American History.

In the summer of 2017, I was a Graduate Intern Fellow at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. My internship was sponsored by the Versatile Humanists Program at Duke and was featured on their blog: “8 Ph.D. Students Receive Internships Through Versatile Humanists at Duke.”

In the early summer of 2017, I was featured in a Duke Forward video that followed me through a “typical day” at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library where I interned for two years. The video highlights my passion for cooking, and how I use the library’s rich resources to explore the complexities of culinary history.

In February , the Duke Graduate School wrote a profile about my personal and academic interests in food and how they influenced my photography exhibit, “To Market, to Market! Urban Street Food Culture Around the Globe.” The article is titled, “History Students Offers Up Food For Thought.” During the interview, I spoke about everything from my grandfather’s street food stand to my travels seeking out food markets abroad. At one point during the interview, I demonstrated several historic street food vendor cries. The soundbites of me singing them are incorporated into the article and demonstrate my longstanding passion for music.


In May, the Rubenstein Library conducted an interview with me about my background and interests in history and library and information science. Katrina Martin, who conducted the interview, posted the article here: “Meet the Staff: Reference Intern Ashley Rose Young.”


In the fall of 2015, Bryan Roth at Duke Today magazine wrote a piece about the Rubenstein Test Kitchen blog, of which I am a contributing author. The blog features historic recipes from the cookbook collections at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. For the article, he interviewed me about my goals for the project and my desire to reach broad audiences through my posts. I do so by providing background information on the significance of a dish in American history and chatting about my experiences making the dish in a modern kitchen. Roth’s article is titled, “From the Archives: Foodies Go Historical for the Holidays.”

In the summer of 2015, Hanna Rasking of the Post and Courier wrote a blog post about the panel I participated on at the Southern Association for Women Historians’ Tenth Southern Conference on Women’s History. Her piece, “Visiting historians take up issues of women and food,” provides a wonderful overview of our panel, “Pure Creole: Women of Color in the Making of New Orleans Food,” as well as the work of participating scholars’ papers.

In the Winter of 2015, Bill Daley of the Chicago Tribune wrote a fascinating piece on Lena Richard, New Orleans-food icon. He drew upon the research of culinary professionals and scholars, including myself, to build a compelling snap-shot of her incredible accomplishments. The article is titled, “Lena Richard carved culinary path for African-Americans.”


In September of 2014, I was invited to speak at the Smithsonian Institute’s FOOD in the Garden Foodways and Waterways: 1814-2014 held at the National Museum of American History. The video of that discussion about New Orleans’ dynamic food culture and historic food markets is available here.

Presenting at the Food in the Garden Series. Image courtesy of the National Museum of American History.

Presenting at the Food in the Garden Series.


In mid-September 2013, I presented an academic paper on Lena Richard at the “Women, Work, and Food Conference” hosted by the Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA) at the University of Mississippi. In anticipation of the event, the SFA posted an article, “Director’s Cut: Women, Work, and Food, a Graduate Student Symposium,” which features my paper. Additionally, you can find a recap of the event and my paper, “From Red Beans and Rice to Oysters Rockefeller: Rethinking Racial Boundaries in New Orleans’ Mid-Twentieth Century Restaurant Culture.” Last but not least, the SFA put together a podcast called Okraclass featuring the papers presented at the conference.

On February 21, 2013, I competed in the “Battle of the Books” competition as part of Duke’s Andrew T. Nadell Book Collectors Competition. My collection, “New Orleans’ Nourishing Networks: Foodways and Municipal Markets in the Nineteenth Century Global South” won first prize in the graduate student division. A local Durham newspaper featured the “Battle of the Books,” including my collection, in “Going by the Book,” The Herald Sun, February 22, 2013. I am also featured in the event’s video (Andrew T. Nadell Book Collectors Competition Video). My success at Duke made me eligible to compete in the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, where I won second prize. The Antiquarian Book Sellers’ Association announced the winners through this blog post. In addition, Duke Libraries followed up with a very kind write-up on my collection, which can be found here. Last, but not least, Fine Books magazine featured my collection through their website, which can be found here.


In the fall of 2012, I was featured in Duke’s daily newspaper, “Duke Student Explore Global Food Connections,” Duke Chronicle, November 2, 2012

The Lena Richard: Pioneer in Food TV Exhibit received some press coverage in New Orleans: “Lena Richard, local television cooking star, to be celebrated,” The Times Picayune, March 18, 2012