One County, One Book

Cover art for Taste Makers by Mayukh Sen.

The Ventura County Library is pleased to announce our selection for One County, One Book 2022. This year's title is Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America by Mayukh Sen!

Taste Makers is Sen's debut and was published in November of 2021. In it he explored America’s modern culinary history through the lives of seven pathbreaking chefs and food writers. The W.W. Norton description of the book asks, "Who’s really behind America’s appetite for foods from around the globe? This group biography from an electric new voice in food writing honors seven extraordinary women, all immigrants, who left an indelible mark on the way Americans eat today. Taste Makers stretches from World War II to the present, with absorbing and deeply researched portraits of figures including Mexican-born Elena Zelayeta, a blind chef; Marcella Hazan, the deity of Italian cuisine; and Norma Shirley, a champion of Jamaican dishes."

This year's One County, One Book program is officially sponsored by the Ventura County Library Foundation. Copies of the book will be available to borrow from all Ventura County Library branches. Events will run through the month of October and conclude with a special engagement: an Author Talk featuring Mayukh Sen on Saturday, November 12, 2022.

Registration for the Author Talk with Mayukh Sen is free but required. NOTE: There will also be an additional option to register for a special VIP Reception held prior to the Author Talk and sponsored by the Ventura County Library Foundation. Tickets will be limited and available for $75 for the VIP Reception.

Check out our curated list of companion reads for Taste Makers.

Additional One County, One Book events  include Ventura County Library Taste Makers book discussions and a Faculty and Alumni Panel Discussion presented by California Lutheran University.

Cal Lutheran will present a panel of professors and alumni—Samuel Claussen, PhD; chef Antonio Sessa ’15; and Michaela Reaves, PhD—to talk about the role of food (such as chocolate) in American history and culture. This event will take place in Cal Lutheran’s Lundring Events Center at 7pm on Thursday, October 20, 2022. For more information about the panel, contact Michaela Reaves at or (805) 493-3381.