New York’s first celebrity chef


Ranji Smile introduced New Yorkers to curry in 1899, becoming perhaps the first celebrity chef.

It’s hard to imagine life in NYC without Indian takeout, and if you’ve ever wondered about how curry became such a staple of your Seamless order history, you might want to check out an event at Brooklyn Historical Society on Thursday night called “The Original Celebrity Chef: The King of Curry.” Historic gastronomist Sarah Lohman will be joined by Vivek Bald, an expert on South Asia, to talk about J. Ranji Smile, a charismatic chef who arrived from India in 1899 and subsequently introduced curry to the New York upper class and rose to fame among their ranks (not without some scandal, apparently). Tickets are just $10 and the discussion starts at 7pm.

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