chef cooking demonstration

“What’s the Story? And Where Does Lulu Fit In? Shaping a Screenplay about Richard Olney and His Kitchen”

In 1951, the young Richard Olney dropped out of the University of Iowa and moved to Paris to pursue a career as a painter. But his bohemian encounters with novelist James Baldwin and the sensuality of French cuisine transformed his life forever. Over the course of the next 40 years, Olney’s way with words—coupled with a precise palate attuned to the subtle pleasures of the French culinary world—made its mark. For even though he was an American, Olney wrote, cooked and stubbornly charmed his way to become the most highly respected food and wine writer in France. Although he could be an outrageous dinner guest, his work as a cookbook author, educator and wine connoisseur, nevertheless, had a major, enduring influence on gastronomical thought and practicum in France and the U.S.

In an upcoming Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities lecture, John Orlock—playwright, screenwriter and professor in Case Western Reserve University’s Department of English—will share the challenges of distilling Olney’s sprawling bon vivant life as a cook, author and artist into an engaging, coherent narrative for the screen.

Titled “What’s the Story? And where does Lulu fit in? Shaping a Screenplay about Richard Olney and His Kitchen,” Orlock’s presentation will be held Tuesday, Nov. 16, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Clark Hall, Room 206.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the reception has been cancelled.

Registration requested; complete the registration form.

This lecture also will be live-streamed at