Museum exhibit explores cultural diversity of food in Ventura County

The Aikira Family “At Table” sharing a love of food.

How history, culture and immigration shape our dining habits, menus and food traditions

The Museum of Ventura County will host an opening reception, 5:30 to 8 p.m., Aug. 30, for “At Table: The Business of Food and Community,” an exhibit that explores and celebrates the cultural impact of immigration through a shared love of food.

Each wave of immigration brings with it recipes passed down through generations, methods of preparation and styles of presentation that add a rich ethnic diversity to Ventura County’s local food traditions and eating experiences. “At Table: The Business of Food and Community” takes a look at how the influx of immigrants into the region has influenced local recipes, menus and dining habits, as well as food-related businesses and restaurants.

“Not only did immigrants bring their long-standing family recipes with them and share them, but as they arrived they learned to adapt their recipes to use whatever meat, fruit and vegetables were available to them. This exhibit explores adaptation on both sides of the immigration experience,” said Anna Bermudez, Museum of Ventura County curator.

From the museum’s archives, “At Table” pays homage to iconic local restaurants that no longer exist such as The Colonial House and The Lobster Trap in Oxnard, and The King and I and Merle’s in Ventura and examines locally-sourced foods and food movements currently taking place throughout the region.

Tickets for the August 30 opening reception are $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers with tickets available at the door. The opening is in conjunction with the Ventura Chamber’s TASTE event which includes free admission to the Museum opening. TASTE tickets are available by calling 805-643-7222 or visiting Museum members purchasing tickets for TASTE can use promo code Museum18 to receive the chamber member discount.

“At Table: The Business of Food and Community” will be on display through Nov. 25 with special events occurring throughout the months, including a panel discussion featuring notable food writers, a farm-to-table dinner event and a book talk by a noted local food author. Dates and details will be made available at

Located at 100 East Main Street, the Museum of Ventura County is open Tuesday – Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. For more information, visit or call 805-653-0323.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email