Alexandra Leaf
Book Speaker
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Alexandra Leaf

Fee Range1: $ 4000 - $6000

Author, Culinary Historian


Arts/Culture/MusicAuthorFoodHistoryLifestyleSpouse Programs


New York


Alexandra Leaf

Alexandra LeafAuthor, Culinary Historian

Alexandra Leaf, author, lecturer and culinary historian, is a well-respected figure in New York food circles. From Jacques Pepin to Julia Child and to “Molto” Mario Batali, Thomas Keller, Jacques Torres, Anthony Bourdain and Lidia Bastianich. Alexandra has worked with them all. Drawn to subjects that range from contemporary wedding cake trends to wine and chocolate pairings, Alexandra brings a unique perspective to her work.

Her first portrait of food and art was “The Impressionists’ Table: Recipes and Gastronomy of Nineteenth Century France” (Rizzoli, 1994), which was followed by “The Art of Cuisine,” a collection of recipes and artwork by Toulouse-Lautrec (Henry Holt and co., 1995), for which she wrote the preface. Her interview with Julia Child (over lunch in Julia’s Cambridge kitchen) appears as the introduction to “Memories of My Life,” the memoirs of Auguste Escoffier. She then co-authored the award-winning “Van Gogh’s Table at the Auberge Ravoux” (Artisan, 2001) with former chief curator (Fred Leeman) of the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam.*

Since the publication of her first book, Alexandra has criss-crossed the country  (and the Atlantic) as a guest lecturer at such venues as: The Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, The Art Institute of Chicago, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The San Diego Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Chrysler Museum of Art, The Toledo Museum of Art, the High Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, The Oklahoma City Museum of Art, and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.

She pioneered the teaching of culinary history at The New School University where she has been a guest instructor since 1996. In addition to her work as a writer and lecturer, Alexandra has been associated with such high profile events as Jacques Pepin’s 50th Anniversary Celebration for PBS, the 150th Anniversary Escoffier Symposium at the French Culinary Institute with Julia Child and Jacques Pepin, James Beard Foundation dinners, and New York’s annual chocolate show.

As a consultant for culinary programming to the 92nd St Y, Alexandra has led panel discussions on shopping and eating trends, cookbook culture in America, contemporary restaurant design and restaurant culture, and trends in chocolate-making today

Alexandra is a former chair of the Culinary Historians of New York and she is on the board of The New York Food Museum. She has been featured on radio and television, including NPR and CNN, and in the New York Times, the New York Daily News, the Philadelphia Daily News, the Boston Globe, the New York Observer, New York Newsday, the Chicago Sun Times, Food Arts Magazine, Paris Notes, Food and Wine, Travel and Leisure, Elle, Victoria Magazine, Country Living, Country Home and Gastronomica.

 In 1992, Alexandra was awarded a Soros Foundation teaching fellowship and in 2002, she was cited for her outstanding contribution to the James Beard Foundation. She is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, an association of high-achieving women in the culinary field. Five years ago. Alexandra founded Chocolate Tours of NYC, a boutique-minded culinary walking tours company.

* The French edition of the book was published in 2003. And “Van  Gogh’s Table” is now available in paperback.” The Korean edition was published in 2011.

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