The Dairy Restaurant: An Illustrated Jewish History

Ben Katchor’s keen cartoonist eye for curious connections and attention to detail are highlighted in his latest graphic history. In The Dairy Restaurant, Katchor packs a dense cultural and culinary […]


The Dairy Restaurant: An Illustrated Jewish History

Authors:J. Hoberman , Ben Katchor


Ben Katchor’s keen cartoonist eye for curious connections and attention to detail are highlighted in his latest graphic history. In The Dairy Restaurant, Katchor packs a dense cultural and culinary account into an entertaining read by deftly employing his sly sense of humor, wit, and charcoal palette-drawings. The Dairy Restaurant serves up a loving chronicle of a vanishing cultural fixture and thought-provoking musings that’ll have you longing for a second helping.

Moderated by film critic J. Hoberman.

J. Hoberman

J. Hoberman is a recovering film critic (33 years at The Village Voice) and the author, co-author or editor of 14 books, most recently Make My Day: Movie Culture in the Age of Reagan, published by The New Press and the concluding volume of his “Found Illusions” trilogy. He teaches at Columbia University and writes for Artforum, The New York Review of Books, and The New York Times, among other publications.

Ben Katchor

Ben Katchor, the first cartoonist to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, is the author of, among other books, Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer; The Cardboard Valise; and The Jew of New York. He teaches at Parsons/The New School in New York City. In The Dairy Resturant (Schocken) Katchor retells the history of where we choose to eat. That history starts with the first man who was allowed to enter a walled garden and encouraged by the garden’s owner to enjoy its fruits. Katchor then examines the biblical milk-and-meat taboo, the first vegetarian practices, and the invention of the restaurant. Through text and drawings, he explores the historical confluence of events and ideas leading to the “milekhdike (dairy) personality” and the proliferation of dairy restaurants in America, and he recollects his own experiences in many of these iconic restaurants just before they disappeared. Kirkus Reviews noted its “Colorful anecdotes, trivia, and food lore” and called it “ An informative, nostalgic evocation of a special urban dining experience.”

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