Kick off Zora! Fest on Saturday with a dinner inspired by dishes mentioned in her work


If you’ve lived in Orlando for long, you’ve probably heard of Zora Neale Hurston, the Harlem Renaissance writer who grew up in Eatonville and later immortalized it in her stories. In her ethnographic masterwork Mules and Men, Hurston collected and preserved not just the folk tales but also the folkways and traditions of early 20th-century African-Americans – including the way they cooked and ate. Frederick Douglass Opie, a food historian and professor at Babson College, analyzed Hurston’s work through a food lens in his 2015 book Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food: Recipes, Remedies and Simple Pleasures. Now he hosts this buffet dinner, a kickoff event for Eatonville’s annual Zora Festival (see more on page 10). Enjoy an authentic Florida feast and a lecture from Dr. Opie, as well as a copy of the book and a commemorative Zora Neale Hurston poster. 

6-8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23 | Holy Trinity Reception Center, 1217 Trinity Woods Lane, Maitland | | $75