On Tuesday night I attended the first event in the new Edible Conversations series at New York City’s Roger Smith Hotel, which features authors like Molly O'Neill and food historians like Andrew F. Smith discussing their areas of expertise. I was excited to hear Colleen Taylor Sen speak on the origins of curry, a British colonial creation now prepared in different incarnations the world over. The hotel chef served a curry tasting menu including Norwegian curried herring, an Indian lamb dish similar to a korma, and Japanese pork tonkatsu. Between courses, Sen spoke casually and encouraged the audience to ask questions. No surprise: Speculations on curry’s aphrodisiac properties stimulated the most discussion. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, after all.

Future programs include New York Times columnist Amanda Hesser discussing The Essential New York Times Cookbook, author Kevin R. Kosar exploring the many different types of whiskey, and Laura Weiss discussing ice cream’s global appeal. Recipes for each dish and tickets for upcoming events will soon be available on the hotel’s blog, where future discussions will also be simulcast.