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SPOTLIGHT: Museum of Food and Drink
The idea for the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) was first conceived in 2012 when executive director Peter Kim, a full-time lawyer and part-time culinary school student joined Dave Arnold, the culinary innovator and founder of MOFAD, to create a museum whose mission would be to change the way people think about food. To do this, emphasis would be put on sensory engagement, allowing visitors to not only see and touch but also smell and taste the exhibits. The end result, an interactive experience and an in-depth look at topics related to food history, culture, and production such as "How did the search for spices drive the age of exploration?" and "What is the socioeconomic role of street food in cities?" will be incorporated into the museum.
Their first temporary public exhibit "BOOM! The Puffing Gun and the Rise of Cereal," was the result of a Kickstarter campaign launched in 2013 which raised the funds to help make the 3,200-pound machine come to life in NYC. Visitors learned the puffing gun's key role of the breakfast cereal industry during the first half of the 20th century and even sampled the freshly made puffs.
Puffing Gun in action!
The goal is to see MOFAD realized as a large scale museum institution, an ambitious undertaking that is moving forward with the opening of their own brick-and-mortar location this October in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Moving from NPC to their new location, the MOFAD Lab, a 5,000-square-foot space, enables them to host these exhibits. Its debut exhibit opening October 28, "Flavor: Making It and Faking It," is a multi-sensory history on the little-known $25 billion flavor industry. MOFAD Lab is the next step towards a larger 30,000 square-foot permanent space that would hold at least three shows and a restaurant.
Rendering of future cereal exhibit
More information regarding MOFAD's upcoming exhibits and public programs around the city can be found on their website.You can also join the discussion and hear top experts and advocates debate current food issues at MOFAD Roundtable.
The Neighborhood Preservation Center has been pleased to have incubated and served as the base for the Museum of Food and Drink from May 2012 through August 2015. For more information about our office program, please visit our website.