Sandra Oliver is a pioneering food historian beginning her work in 1971 at Mystic Seaport Museum, where she developed a fireplace cooking program in an 1830s house. After moving to Maine in 1988, Sandy wrote, Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Foods at Sea and Ashore in the 19th Century published in 1995. She is also the author of The Food of Colonial and Federal America published in fall of 2005, and Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie which she co-authored with Kathleen Curtin. The recipes from Saltwater Foodways have been compiled in a paperback book entitled The Saltwater Foodways Companion Cookbook.
Besides food history work, Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column ‘Taste Buds’ appearing each weekend in the Bangor Daily News. Her work regularly appears in Down East magazine, Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working Waterfront. She authored Maine Home Cooking: 175 Recipes from Down East Kitchens collected from her BDN column. A recent project is Cooking Maine Style, a compilation of recipes from Marjorie Standish for Down East Books.
She often speaks to historical organizations and food professional groups around the country, organizes historical dinners, and conducts classes and workshops in food history, and in sustainable gardening and cooking. Sandy lives on Islesboro, an island in Penobscot where she gardens, preserves, cooks and teaches sustainable lifeways.