Library’s annual culinary conference will explore the zero waste food movement

Omaha Public Library (OPL) invites you to learn about the zero waste food movement at the ninth annual Read It & Eat Culinary Conference on Saturday, Nov. 2, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at W. Dale Clark Main Library, 215 S. 15th St., 4th Floor. Parking at Omaha Park One (15th & Douglas streets) will be validated for culinary conference attendees. This event is free and open to the public.

Participants will have the opportunity to connect with other Omaha foodies and learn more about important food trends. They can also buy, trade and win cookbooks, and are encouraged to bring one from home for the cookbook exchange. Cookbooks are a great addition to any kitchen’s collection and make fantastic holiday gifts! Participants should be prepared to indulge in a variety of samples. Those in attendance can also feast their eyes on a collection of historic Omaha restaurant menus that will be on display, courtesy of Metropolitan Community College – Institute for the Culinary Arts.

Menu of Events

11 a.m. – Greeting from Lois Friedman, an Omaha native and community volunteer. Friedman helped to launch Omaha Meals on Wheels, hosted a food-themed radio talk show, taught cooking classes, reviewed cookbooks for various publications, and conducted guest cookbook lectures.

11:15 a.m. – Panel discussion: “Food rescue to food recipient,” featuring representatives from Community Produce Rescue, Saving Grace, and Table Grace Café.

11:45 a.m.-noon – Break: time to eat!

Noon – Cooking demonstration with Matt Weber from Table Grace Café.

12:45 p.m. – Panel discussion: “Zero waste education, programs and resources” with representatives from Blossom & Wood, Exist Green, Hillside Solutions, and No More Empty Pots.

1:15 p.m. – “Cooking with Scraps” author Lindsay-Jean Hard will discuss her book which addresses how delicious and surprising the often-discarded parts of food can be. 

2 p.m. – Cooking demonstrations featuring recipes from “Cooking with Scraps” by representatives from Metropolitan Community College – Institute for the Culinary Arts and No More Empty Pots.

Special thanks to Omaha Public Library Foundation for helping to make the Read It & Eat Culinary Conference possible, and to the Friends of Omaha Public Library for their in-kind donations. Visit for information about additional programs offered at Omaha Public Library’s 12 metro locations.