Thought leaders in the dynamic world of food journalism will discuss the evolution of their profession next Wednesday at a lunchtime forum called The Changing Story of American Home Cooking. Sponsored by the Vineyard Gazette and Cook the Vineyard, the forum will feature Dawn Davis, editor in chief of Bon Appetit magazine, Sam Sifton, food editor for the New York Times and Jessica B. Harris, a culinary historian and author. Susie Middleton, editor of, will moderate.

The event, to be held in a tent on the grounds of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, begins at noon on August 11. Tickets include a box lunch and a toast to Dr. Harris to celebrate her James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award. Selected books from the panelists will be available for sale.

What Americans cook and eat has long been influenced by food writers, editors and publishers. For years, the landscape was dominated by kitchen-sink cookbooks, magazines and newspaper sections that tended to reflect the selective experiences and tastes of those in charge.

Today, food editors and publishers are actively seeking more diverse voices and different types of cuisine in an effort to more fully represent the wide range of native, regional, immigrant and imported culinary traditions.

The panel will explore how various cooking techniques, ingredients and recipe choices tell one as opposed to another and address issues surrounding the origins and authenticity of what we call American food.

Dawn Davis was named editor in chief of Bon Appetit and its online outlets including Epicurious last summer following a distinguished career in book publishing. She was a vice president at Simon & Schuster, where she founded the imprint 37 Ink where to showcase the work of black authors. An avid home cook, she is the author of the book If You Can Stand the Heat: Tales from Chefs and Restaurateurs.

Sam Sifton is an assistant managing editor of The New York Times, overseeing the culture and lifestyle sections, and the founding editor of New York Times Cooking. He has been The Times’s food editor, national editor, restaurant critic and culture editor, and a columnist for The New York Times Magazine. He is the author, most recently, of See You on Sunday: A Cookbook for Family and Friends, and New York Times Cooking No-Recipe Recipes.

Featured in the recent Netflix series High on the Hog, Jessica B. Harris is a leading authority on the foodways of the African Diaspora. She is the author, editor, or translator of 18 books including 12 cookbooks. She taught for five decades at Queens College/CUNY, New York, and is currently leading the Culinary Institute of America’s new African Diaspora Foodways initiative. In 2019, her food-related works were inducted into the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame, and she received the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award for 2020.

Ms. Middleton is special projects editor for the Vineyard Gazette Media Group and founding editor of its popular newsletter and website, Cook the Vineyard. She is the former chief editor of Fine Cooking magazine, the author of four cookbooks and a one-time farmer on Martha’s Vineyard.

The event is part of the Vineyard Gazette’s 175th anniversary celebration. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to