Culinary Historians of Chicago

Culinary Historians of Chicago

Culinary Historians of Chicago studies the history of food and drink in human cultures. Why we procure, prepare and serve the food we do has cultural, sociological, geographical, financial and political influences. We encourage participation from all walks of life: from academics to home cooks, chefs to grill masters, farmers to heirloom gardeners, food scientists to students. Our programs, and those of our sister organization Chicago Foodways Roundtable, are supported by research, fieldwork and scholarship, though geared to an informed popular audience. We welcome everyone to gather at our table to share food, drink and their life’s culinary experiences. If you would like to contact us, please e-mail us at CulinaryHistorians@gmail.com

Episodes

May 15, 2022 61 min
Feeding Fascists The Politics of Women’s Food Work Diana Garvin, PhD Feeding Fascism explores how women negotiated the politics of Italy’s Fascist regime (1922-1943) in their daily lives and how they fed their families through agricultural and industrial labour. Darvin looks at women’s experiences of Fascism by examining the material world in which they lived in relation to their thoughts, feelings, and actions. Over the past dec...
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The Ten Commandments of Pizza Peter Reinhart In celebration of his newest book, Pizza Quest: Peter Reinhart’s Never-Ending Search for the Perfect Pizza, the award-winning authority returns for his third visit to the Culinary Historians of Chicago. Peter will reveal his “Ten Commandments of Pizza,” and give an overview of the 35 featured pizza recipes inspired by many of the greatest pizza makers in America. (The book features cre...
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Andrew S. Methven Emeritus Professor of Biological Sciences Eastern Illinois University While most people are scouring the woods for morels in the Spring, there is a treasure trove of other fungi that are often overlooked or ignored in our haste to find food for the table. This talk will focus on some of the fungi, including morels and false morels, which are encountered in Midwestern forests in spring and early summer. You will s...
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The Making of a Chicago Master Chef And Chicago’s Food Evolution Presented by Chef Michael Maddox Former Chef/Partner Le Titi de Paris Chef Instructor at College of DePage What shapes a master chef, especially a chef who has been a key ingredient in Chicago’s evolution into a world class culinary destination? Come join us as Chef Michael Maddox dishes on the many culinary influences in his life, from growing up in a farming commu...
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St. Chrys’ Table: Birth of a Community Cookbook Culinary Historians member Libbet Richter will interview team members: Jonathan Boyer, Isabel Carpenter, McLaurin Files, and Janet Russo During the first summer of COVID-19, the Women of St. Chrysostom’s (WOSC), a fellowship group at an Episcopal church on Chicago’s north side, talked about ways to connect and build community. Creating a cookbook was decided to be the ideal pursuit...
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Friendly or Deadly? A View Into the Hidden Lives of Fungi Fungi are all bad, right? Well…not exactly. You might be surprised by how much you benefit from fungi in your everyday life. Learn what those mushrooms in the woods, or even on your pizza, are doing in nature and what those splotches of color you see on trees and rock are. By providing a window into the hidden lives of these fascinating and important organisms, we will high...
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Black Women in the Kitchen Presented by Sephira Bailey Shuttlesworth PhD A note from Scott Warner, President, Culinary Historians of Chicago: This past fall I had the joy of attending the International Association of Culinary Professionals Annual Conference held in Birmingham, Alabama. The conference offered a buffet of glorious foodwriters and speakers, all accessible and sharing. Among the most moving talks I attended was one b...
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Women, Philanthropy, Recipes, and Social Progress: A Reexamination of Primary Resources These presentations were made at the Illinois History Conference at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in October, 2021. Since this is ongoing research, there will be additional information learned after this event. “The Mary Ethel Crofton Cookbook,” circa 1895 and earlier, Nicole Stocker, Museum Educator, Lake County Forest P...
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January 13, 2022 58 min
Historic Chicago Bakeries Come join us as author Jennifer Billock explores the sweet and doughy history of Chicago from pioneering bakers to today’s cake makers. At one time, more than 7,000 bakeries dotted Chicago’s streets. Today stalwarts like Dinkel’s, Roeser’s, Weber’s, Pticek, and Ferrara continue a legacy that shaped Chicago’s food traditions: a poppy seed bun for hotdogs, and paczki and zeppole for the holidays; an atomic ...
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December 9, 2021 58 min
Slicing into Chicago’s Pizza History Steve Dolinsky Doesn’t everybody love Pizza? Well, even if you don’t, you might want to tune into our program when award-wining food reporter Steve Dolinsky delivers a luscious serving of pizza history. Here’s what’s on Steve’s menu: - The three waves of pizza in Chicago – Post WWII, 1970s and then the pandemic. - How oven technology helped shape the types of pizza that were made in Chicago. ...
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November 24, 2021 50 min
Thanksgiving: The Great American Holiday Presented by Penelope Bingham Nine out of ten Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving, and most do so around a family table. Food and tradition are the heart and soul of this most-loved, most-observed holiday. Thanksgiving has become the origin myth of America and the expression of deeply held American cultural ideals. As it considers the evolution of Thanksgiving, from the “First Thanksgivi...
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Talk Turkey to Me! A Good Time in the Kitchen Talking Turkey & All the Trimmings Presented by Renee Ferguson “It’s all about an all-American meal—turkey and dressing—and the queen of all things Thanksgiving is cookbook author Renee Ferguson.” Chef Bobby Flay/Food Network Renee Ferguson is a cookbook author and former Butterball turkey cooking expert who has fielded thousands of questions from stressed out people determined t...
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A Tale of Two Food Journalists: ‘Jane Eddington’ of Chicago Tribune, 1910-1930 and Alma Lach of Chicago Sun-Times, 1957-1965 ‘My Dear Miss Eddington’: Reader Letters and Early Twentieth Century Food Media Presented by Emily Martin, University of California, Berkeley Reader letters to early twentieth century women’s print food media were quite common, though few such letters have survived. This paper investigates a collection of r...
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Let’s Eat: Celebrating with Food: Thanksgiving and Korean Chuseok Let’s Eat! Celebrating with Food explores food, culture and history from the American and Korean viewpoints. Learn where people got their ingredients, how technology has changed food preparation, and explore how one ingredient, cabbage, can become very different dishes (sauerkraut and kimchi). We will compare how the harvest holidays of Thanksgiving and Chuseok are ...
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The Pilgrim Kitchen The Harvest Celebration of 1621: Plimoth Patuxet Museum, Plymouth Massachusetts Presented by John Ota As part of the research for his book, The Kitchen, John Ota travelled to Plymouth, Massachusetts where he cooked a meal over an open fire with Pilgrim Foodways historian Kathleen Wall. On the 400th anniversary of the Harvest Feast between the New England colonists and the Wampanoag people, John will share his ...
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The Culture of Mushroomers: What Sparked Your Interest? What sparked your interest in fungi? There are as many different paths to mycology as there are mushrooms on this Earth. Several members have been invited to talk about their paths to kick off the dialogue. Presenters were: Stephanie Kowalyk Greg Mueller Patrick Leacock Nicole Omiotek Catherine Lambrecht Susan Kayser We will try to fit in as many as possible, though we hav...
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First Catch Your Gingerbread! Plus UK Supper Clubs: What Are They? Sam Bilton, Food Historian and Restauranteur Food historian and writer Sam Bilton is encouraging bakers to immerse themselves in the joy of making gingerbread. Gingerbread is a lovely, squidgy treat which has played a part in almost everyone’s childhood. But do you know what gingerbread was made of when it first arrived on our plates? Was it flavoured with honey?...
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October 21, 2021 57 min
How Ingredients Shaped a Chef with Chef Peter Hoffman Come join us as acclaimed New York chef Peter Hoffman, author of the recently published book “What’s Good?: A Memoir in Fourteen Ingredients”,reveals why he combined the story of his career with profiles of the favorite ingredients that he found at his favorite farmers market. Hoffman, founder of iconic Manhattan restaurants Savoy and Back Forty, describes his journey from line...
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Beijing Duck and the Pandemic: The story of Chicago’s iconic Sun Wah BBQ with Kelly Cheng, General Manager Times certainly have been challenging for our nation’s restaurants during these pandemic times. Come join us as Kelly Cheng tells her savory story of her family’s iconic restaurant and its place in Chicago’s culinary history. Kelly will also regale us with the story of Chinese barbecue and the secret of preparing Beijing duck...
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September 15, 2021 65 min
Cicada vs Fungi Matthew Kasson, PhD Chicago area is three years away from our next cicada invasion. Meanwhile, we can prepare to help scientists study cicada fungi! Matt Kasson and his lab at West Virginia University are studying the Massospora fungus that infects cicadas. Kasson will be givin us the full story of how this fungi is distributed and how it affects these cicadas. When you find one, save it (unused ziplock in freeze...
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