WILLIAM WOYS WEAVER is an internationally known food historian and author of eighteen books including A Quaker Woman’s Cookbook (1982, new edition 2004)—a study of a 19th century domestic book by Elizabeth Ellicott Lea, America Eats (Harper & Row 1989), and The Christmas Cook (Harper-Collins 1990), a 300-year history of the American Christmas. Weaver has been featured on such national programs as “Good Morning America” (with Julia Child) and NPR’s “Fresh Air,” and has appeared in many special food documentaries, including “Terrapin,” which won an Emmy in 1993, and more recently, “Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds.”
Dr. Weaver has been the subject of special articles in Americana, Food and Wine, Food Arts, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, Country Living, and Garden Design. He has served as Visiting Professor of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a consultant for a wide variety of culinary projects, from 17th century foodways at Pennsbury Manor, to guest curator for “The Larder Invaded: Three Centuries of Philadelphia Cuisine” (1986-1987) and “America Eats” (1989) at the Museum of American Folk Art in New York. He is also founding President of the Historic Foodways Society of the Delaware Valley and served as Associate Editor and Art Editor of The Encyclopedia of Food and Culture (Charles Scribners 2003). This encyclopedia received the Dartmouth Medal from the American Library Association, the highest award in the reference book industry.
Pennsylvania Dutch Country Cooking (Abbeville Press 1993) received the Jane Grigson Award (an IACP Cookbook Award) and was also nominated for a James Beard Award. Weaver’s American edition of Food and Drink in Medieval Poland (University of Pennsylvania Press 1999 – originally published in Poland) was funded in part by a grant from the IACP Foundation. His highly acclaimed garden book, Heirloom Vegetable Gardening (Henry Holt 1997, Paperback 1999) was chosen as a main selection for the Rodale/Organic Gardening book club as well as a main selection for the Garden Book Club. It received a Julia Child Cookbook Award (for food reference) as well as the Jane Grigson Award for scholarly excellence. This acknowledged classic has been republished in 2018 with new photos and new material by Sojourn Books of Minneapolis, a division of Quarto, a British publishing house. William Weaver did all of the new photography for this edition. His most recent title The Roughwood Book of Pickling (Rizzoli International) was published in September 2019.
Weaver’s other books include Sauer’s Herbal Cures (Routledge 2001), America’s first herbal (1762-1777), and 100 Vegetables and Where They Came From (Algonquin Press 2000, now in Paperback as Print on Demand). Country Scrapple: An American Tradition (Stackpole Books 2003) forms a trilogy with new revised editions of A Quaker Woman’s Cookbook and Sauerkraut Yankees. The Royal Garden of Pefkou (Moufflon Publications, 2006 Nicosia, Cyprus) initiated Dr. Weaver’s long-standing research on the foods of medieval Cyprus. This was followed in 2010 by Culinary Ephemera: An Illustrated History (University of California Press), which won an IACP Cookbook Award for Culinary History. More recently the University of Pennsylvania Press published As American As Shoofly Pie (2013, Paperback 2018), an analysis of Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine followed by Dutch Treats (St. Lynn’s Press, Pittsburgh 2016), a collection of rare festive baking recipes from the 25-county “Dutch Country” of Pennsylvania. Weaver also did the photography for this book.
Weaver was the 1996 Scholar in Residence for the national IACP conference in Philadelphia, where he has also been involved for many years with “Book and the Cook.” He lives in the 1805 Lamb Tavern, a National Register property in Devon, Pennsylvania. On the grounds of the tavern, Weaver maintains a jardin potager in the style of the 1830s featuring over 5,000 varieties of heirloom vegetables, flowers, and herbs. He is an organic gardener, a life member of Seed Savers Exchange and a member of Arche Noah in Schiltern, Austria.
For 8 years Dr. Weaver served as a Contributing Editor to Gourmet and is now a Contributing Editor to Mother Earth News and The Heirloom Gardener. From 2002 to 2010, he lectured as Adjunct Professor of Food Studies at Drexel University and is presently lecturing on regional American cuisine in connection with a non-profit academic research institute organized under the name The Roughwood Table (www.roughwoodtable.org). Dr. Weaver is also a board member the Experimental Farm Network, a grass-roots organization devoted to alternative methods of seed production. Weaver received his doctorate in food ethnography at University College Dublin, Ireland, the first doctorate awarded by the University in that field of study.