6-8 July 2018 at St Catherine’s College, Oxford.


Opening Keynote: Svalbard Global Seed Vault: Noah’s Ark for Seeds in the Arctic, Dr. Åsmund Asdal, Nordic Genetic Resource Center, introduced by David Sutton.

Keynote: The Wild Side of Wheat, Dr. Assaf Distelfeld, Tel Aviv University, introduced by Claudia Roden.

Closing Keynote: Finding Paths Forward, Dr. Stephen Jones, Washington State University, introduced by Naomi Duguid.

Seeds of Civilization, Dr Simon Hiscock, Director Oxford Botanic Garden, introduced by Elisabeth Luard.

The Jane Grigson Memorial Lecture: Conservation in Action, Dr. Elinor Breman, Millennium Seed Bank, Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, introduced by Geraldene Holt.

Recognizing Scholars and Chefs; Engaging Beyond Oxford. Sophie Coe Prize in Food History, Oxford Food Symposium Rising Scholar Presentation, Oxford Food Symposium Student and New Symposiast Presentation Prizes and Young Chefs Awards, and an introduction to Ox Tales: the podcast of the Oxford Food Symposium.


Wiki edit-a-thon, under the guidance of Roberta Wedge.
Oxford Botanic Garden tour: Plants that Changed the World. Led by Dr Simon Hiscock, Director, Oxford Botanic Garden and escorted by Jeremy MacClancy.


Friday welcome reception with nibbles from Olia Hercules and wines from Christoph Graf, Schloß Vaux, Rheingau/Germany.

Friday dinner: Wild East Feast by Olia Hercules.

Rye Borodinsky bread, salo, vodka, pickle.
Sourdough, Georgian mint adjika, curd cheese, peaches.
Fish head broth, millet, dill and garlic lyok.
Herbacious lamb. Wheat berry salad. Fermented pickles, sliced shallots, sunflower oil. Buckwheat ice cream + British cherries.

Hungarian wines from Robert Gilvesy/Badacsony, Zoltán Heimann/Szekszárd, and Balassa/Toka.

Saturday lunch
Caravanserai Flatbreads devised by Naomi Duguid in collaboration with Chef Tim Kelsey and the St Catz staff.

With flatbreads: Shepherd’s cheese; Armenian walnut-bean pate; Persian herbs and beans ash. Coconut milk rice pudding with berries. Served with a selection of Scheurebe wines from Rheinhessen/Germany;
and dessert libation: Daigo no Shizuku from Terada Honke/Japan.

Saturday drinks reception with Gefen Hashalom: Kosher Silvaner from Wirsching/Franken and Kosher Riesling from von Hövel and Nik Weis/Saar, Germany and book signing presenting Reaktion Books authors Helen Saberi, Laura Mason, & Bruce Kraig

Saturday dinner
Biblical Banquet: Seeds of Peace, devised by Chef Moshe Basson, The Eucalyptus /Jerusalem

Jacob and Esau Red Lentil Stew. Fire Roasted Eggplant. Hyssop Pesto. Rich Green Tahini Sauce. Chickpea Salad. Chiga – Vegan Kibbeh Nayeh – Galilee Style. Freekeh Risotto with Almond Milk and String Beans. Fish Siniya baked in Tahini, served with Purslane. Ecalyptus Green Salad. For dessert – Basbusa Semolina Cakes. Ice Cream from Paradise – Muhallebieh style pudding with rose petal jam.

Wines from the Twin Wineries, Germany/Israel

Sunday Lunch
Soup-er Seeded, Abi Aspen Glencross & Sadhbh Moore in collaboration with
David Matchett / Borough Market;

Apiaceae & pedaliaceae soup: Carrot, cumin, coriander & sesame seed soup.
Graminae sourdough – A variety of breads made from rye, spelt, wheat, corn, barley, einkorn.
Amarathaceae jumble – beetroot, rainbow chard, spinach, quinoa, goats cheese.
Brassica and asteraceae  olio.
Polygoneaceae medley – spiced poached rhubarb, sheep’s milk custard, sorrel meringue, toasted buckwheat crumb.

wine from Weingut Bernhard Ott, Wagram, Austria


Straub, CoreyRevisiting the Acorn Eater: the case of the Arkadians in Greek Antiquity.
Maraschi, Andrea – The Seed of Hope: Acorns from Famine Food to Delicacy in European History.
Simonsen, Hanna – Choice of Seeds, Not Only a Practical Matter: The case of Bambara Groundnut in Tanzania.

Kierans, Eilis – Pomodori Puri: Fruits of Empowerment in Deledda’s The Church of Solitude.
Bregazzi, Adrian – Seeds in the Story of the Paradise of Pleasure and the Myth of the So-Called Mediterranean Diet.
Buccini, Anthony – Neapolitan Pastiera: The Religious Significance of Wheatberries and Socio-Culinary Complexity in Southern Italy.

Cang, Voltaire – The Sesame Seed and ‘Japaneseness’.
Chappell, Mary Margaret – From Peasant Food to Posh Ingredient: A History of Buckwheat in Brittany.
Das, Mukta – Seeding the Future: Curry, Sausages and Tea in Hong Kong and Macau.

Melchior, Myriam, Marcella Sulis, and Carolina Sulis – Sacralized Grains in the Americas . . . Maize in Religious Rituals.
Parfentie, Raluca – Growing and Eating God: Tracking the Mental Image of Wheat in Traditional Romanian Communities.
Sutton, David Amaranth – Food of the Gods, or Seed of the Devil?

Wong, Katie Hoi Ki – The Potential of Cultivating Rice (Oryza Sativa) in Canada
Christen, Renata – Field Selection in Plant Breeding: Different Ways of Knowing Seed. Castro, Bel – How Coffee Killed A Town: Investigating the Rise And Fall Of Coffee In Lipa, Batangas.

Van Niekerk, Jaci and Rachel Wynberg – The Centrality of Traditional Seed in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Yenal, Zafer – Karakilçik Bugdayi and Its Promise for a Better Food World
Shields, David – Replenishing the Seeds that Made Southern Cookery.

Thomas, Kate – Seed-Time: Sex, Politics and Sustainable Dining at the Fin-de-Siècle. Bach, Volker – Eating Life Force: The Meaning of Seeds in the German Alternative Food Movement.
Mojescik, Katharina – Illegal seeds: Nowadays Taste Doesn´t Matter.

Soto Laveaga, Gabriela – Traveling Seeds: How Mexican Wheat Hybrids Became the Seeds that Feed the World.
Mian, Sandra – European Immigrants‘ Vegetable Gardens: Food and Memory in Early 20th Century Brazilian Coffee Plantationsy’
Hoover, Elizabeth and Sean Sherman – ‘The answers to our ancestors’ prayers:’ Seeding a Movement for Health and Culture.

Hertzmann, Peter – The Long and Simple History of the Dibble and Its Cousins.
Ross, Andrew – Toil, Misery, Sieves, and Geometry: A Brief (Personal) History of Flour Milling Over the Last 105,000 Years.
Rubel, Jeffrey – In a Sense, Imperfect: Seedlessness and the American Quest for Convenience in Fruit.

Thick, Malcolm – The English Quest for Novelty: Kitchen Garden Seeds from Abroad from the Sixteenth to the Early Eighteenth Centuries
Riley, Gillian – Seeds in Art.

Fisher, Len – Preparing Seeds for Palatability: Chicken Guts and Chefs’ Tools.
Sokolov, Ray – Zoochory: Animals Spread Seeds in a Dung Deal.

Weingarten, Susan – Mustard in the Talmudic Literature.
Goldberg, B.Z. and Ronit Vered – A Land of Wheat: In Search of the Lost Grain of Israel/Palestine.
Gaul, Anny – Fenugreek in Modern North Africa: Seed of a Forgotten History.

Maharaj, Joshna – Planting the Seeds of Good Food Citizenry.
Andaluz, Isaura – Reclaiming Diversity of Taste.
Sampeck, Kathryn – Chocolate and Vanilla: Seeds of Taste.

Bråtå, Hans Olav – The Naked Barley ‘Thorebygg’ in Traditional Farmhouse Ale Brewing in Norway.
Boyle, Susan – Curious Coriander: The Long History of Coriander Seed as an Adjunct in Beer.
Asher, David – On the Culture of Cheese.


The Jewels of Life: A Seed Atelier with designer Gönül Paksoy and photographer Lalehan Uysal.
Film Seeds: Commons or Corporate Property?
Informal chats with Barbara Ketcham Wheaton about The Sifter.