I'm Hélène Jawhara Piñer. I'm a PhD in History, Medieval History and the History of Food.
I have been awarded by the Broome & Allen Fellowship from the American Sephardi Federation in 2018, and by the David Gitlitz Emerging Scholar prize from the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies in October 2021, both dedicated to recognizing academic accomplishments and service on behalf of the Sephardic community, as well as encouraging continued excellence in the field of Sephardi Studies and Crypto-Judaic Studies.
As a research associate of the Research Center CESR of Tours (UMR7323 of the CNRS) and of the CoReMa program research, my research interests are the medieval culinary history of Spain through inter and multiculturalism with a special focus on the Jewish culinary heritage written in Arabic.
My conference presentations include “Reflections on the Jewish heritage according to the Kitāb al-ṭabīẖ” (Association Diwan: Casa de Velázquez of Madrid, 2015); “Jewish cuisine in old cookbooks of the Iberian Peninsula”, “Jews and Muslims at the Table: Between coexistence and differentiation: state of affairs and reﬂections on the culinary practices of Jews and Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula and in Sicily from the 12th to the 15th century”, “Between similarities and differentiations: Eggplant among Jews and Muslims practices in the Iberian Peninsula from the 12th to the 15th centuries” (International Conferences at the IEHCA of Tours on Food&History and Food&Studies, 2016, 2017, 2018); and “The hidden Jewish culinary heritage of the Iberian Peninsula through a manuscript of the 13th century. Examples of the provenance of some recipes in Venezuelan and Colombian cuisine” (Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies, 2017).
In 2018, I gave talks and lectures both at Bar Ilan University (Israel) about «El patrimonio culinario judío de la Península Ibérica a través de un manuscrito del siglo XIII. Ejemplos de la pervivencia de recetas en la cocina de los sefardíes de España y de Marruecos » (in collaboration with the Salti Institute and the CSIC), and for the International Congress organized by the CTHS in Paris, talking about « Évolutions et transmission du patrimoine culinaire de l'Espagne à travers les réceptaires anciens : le cas de la cuisine juive ».
In July 2019, I attended the 1st Congress of Jewish Studies in Strasbourg (France) with a proposal entitled «L’aubergine et les Juifs, à travers les livres de cuisine anciens de la Péninsule Ibérique écrits en arabe du XIIeau XVe siècle ».
My articles are published in various international revues like Meldar of the University Pablo de Olavide (Sevilla, Spain), Ladinar of the University of Bar-Ilan (Tel-Aviv, Israel), eHumanista of the University of California (Santa Barbara, USA), Cerae of the University of Western Australia (Australia).
My recipes have appeared in the Sephardi World Weekly, Tablet Magazine, The Forward, and S&P Central’s Newsletter, Moment Magazine, etc.
I attended «The Great Big Jewish Food Fest" (May 2020) as a presenter for a historical-cooking demonstration. I also done historical cooking classes for ContraCosta Midrasha, and The Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh.
I spearhead the culinary live shows “Sephardic Culinary History with chef Hélène Jawhara Piñer”, 13 sessions promoted by the American Sephardi Federation & The Center of Jewish History.
I am the author of two books. They are published with Academic Studies Press/ Cherry Orchard Books [Spring and Fall 2021]: Sephardi: Cooking the History. Recipes of the Jews of Spain and the Diaspora from the 13th Century to Today is the first one.
The second one in an academic book entitled Jews, Food and Spain. It will be available for Spring 2022.