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

June 11, 2024 70 mins
How Publishing Legend Judith Jones Shaped Culture in America Sarah B. Franklin Come join us as food historian and author Sara Franklin gives insight into Judith Jones, the visionary behind some of the most important authors of the 20th century, including Julia Child, Anne Frank, John Updike and Sylvia Plath. This iconic editor finally gets her due in Ms. Franklin’s newly released book, The Editor. Ms. Franklin recounts that when...
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From Bean to Bar – Exploring the Complex World of Chocolate Presented by Adam Centamore Chocolate is one of the world’s most beloved foods, and it’s no surprise why. Few treats can rival the sweet, rich flavors of a well-made bar of chocolate. When it comes to the history, creation and production of cacao, however, most people are far less familiar with those details. It’s time to see what makes this global favorite tick! Spend an...
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Ignite The Conversation: A Exploration Into Chicago-style BBQ Dominique Leach (Lexington Betty Smokehouse) – Brian Jupiter (Frontier/Ina Mae Tavern)- Daniel Hammond (Smoky Soul BBQ)- Ron Conner (U Want Dat Smoke BBQ) Media Speakers: Journalist Monica Eng of AXIOS Chicago and co-author of Made in Chicago: Stories Behind 30 Great Hometown Bites & James Beard Award-winning food writer/video producer Mike Gebert of Fooditor Moderato...
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A History of the World in 10 Dinners: 2,000 Years, 100 Recipes Victoria Flexner and Jay Reifel In 2014, food historians Victoria Flexner and Jay Reifel cooked up a NYC supper club called Edible History, a pairing of fine dining and intellectual stimulation. Now they’ve spun their experience into a recently published book, A History of the World in 10 Dinners: 2,000 Years, 100 Recipes (Rizzoli). Come join us as the authors share h...
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November 10, 2023 74 mins
The Delmonico Way Max Tucci From Scott Warner, President, Culinary Historians of Chicago I just couldn’t pass it up. When I attended the International Association of Culinary Professionals Conference in New York this past September, one limited-seating event had me signing up immediately: an historic dinner in the board room at Delmonico’s, hosted by third generation partner and global brand officer, Max Tucci. Max regaled us wi...
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October 17, 2023 51 mins
Feeding the Art Deco Spirit Presented by Teri Edelstein, PhD Cover image: Café, bars, restaurants, Cover Félix Jobbé-Duval Café, bars, restaurants, Cover Félix Jobbé-Duval Paris: Librairie de la Construction moderne, 1930 A central aspect of the culture and lifestyle of the 1920s and 30s was the creation and consumption of food. You could exist in an Art Deco world where everything from the soup to the nuts was inflected with thi...
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October 5, 2023 100 mins
What’s behind Italy’s ingredients? Presented by Viola Buitoni Come join us as Viola Buitoni (yes, she’s a member of that illustrious pasta-manufacturing family) shares the history and geography of Italy’s most iconic ingredients, and gives tips on how we can incorporate their vibrant flavors and techniques into our kitchens. (Think balsamic vinegar, flakes of parmigiano reggiano, fresh ricotta and creamy grains of risotto.) As a n...
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Identification of Mushrooms: More than the sum of their parts Presented by Patrick Leacock, PhD This presentation covers visible mushroom features found with caps, gills, stems, and veils. These features are used to key out and identify wild mushrooms. We can combine these features to learn the "stature types" of gilled mushrooms, such as amanita, pluteus, tricholoma, mycena, etc. Patrick is a mycologist documenting the mushrooms...
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September 21, 2023 66 mins
Madison's Magical Market Presented by Terese Allen, Culinary Historian and writer Come join us as one of Wisconsin’s most celebrated culinary historians and food writers, Terese Allen, takes us on a delicious journey into our nation’s largest produce-only farmers’ market, The Dane County Farmers’ Market. Held in Madison’s vast Capitol Square, this more than half-century old market has helped area agriculture flourish, and dramat...
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Much ado about masalas—a deep dive into Indian Cuisine Come join us as a maven of masala, Nandita Godbole, explores India’s complex and delicious regional cuisines through its culinary backbone – its masalas (which, by the way, are a vast number of spice mixtures ground into a paste or powder for use in Indian cooking). Nandita will be dishing out a buffet of savory information on the micro cuisines of India, giving us a healthy ...
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Paul Prud'homme, Dinner with the President You all probably know of Alex Prud’homme as co-author of Julia Child’s best selling memoir, My Life in France. Come join us as Alex takes us into the White House to talk about his latest book, Dinner with the President. Alex will serve us a capsulated history of American food and politics, from the grim meals eaten by George Washington and his starving troops at Valley Forge, to Donald Tr...
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Flora, Fauna and Foodways with Archivist Nancy Webster Researching the early 20th century images of local flora and fauna by Jesse Lowe Smith and E. E. Parratt led to further investigation. Twenty-first century publications including Andreas Viestad’s Dinner in Rome a History of the world in one Meal and Arbres et arbustes sauvages des trottoirs toulousains (Wild trees and plants and shrubs of the sidewalks of Toulouse) by Boris P...
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Live from Rome: A Slice of Rice - Italian Style Valentina Masotti (with Viola Buitoni) Our illustrious speaker, Valentina Masotti, rice sommelier, comes to us from her home in Rome, Italy, where she will serve up a cornucopia of delectable rice history, teach us about the different classifications of rice, and demonstrate how to properly prepare risotto. Here’s what’s on our rice guru’s menu: - What kind of rice is cultivated in ...
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Colombian Exchange Hit World Like Culinary Comet Presented by Bill St. John What we call the Colombian Exchange was that vast interchange of foodstuffs (and peoples, non-edible plants, technology, cultures, diseases and various animals) between the New World and the Old World that began in 1492 A.D. when Columbus “reunited” those two hemispheres. Come join us as culinary historian Bill St. John serves us the story of the Exchan...
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May 2, 2023 55 mins
Fieldwork: A Forager’s Memoir Presented by Iliana Regan As Regan explores the ancient landscape of Michigan’s boreal forest, her stories of the land, its creatures, and its dazzling profusion of plant and vegetable life are interspersed with efforts to make a home and a business of an inn that’s suddenly, as of their first full season there in 2020, empty of guests due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She discovers where the wild blueber...
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Made in Chicago: Stories Behind 30 Great Hometown Bites Presented by Monica Eng and David Hammond Chicago food shows its true depth in classic dishes conceived in the kitchens of immigrant innovators, neighborhood entrepreneurs, and mom-and-pop visionaries. Monica Eng and David Hammond draw on decades of exploring the city’s food landscape to serve up thirty can’t-miss eats found in all corners of Chicago. From Mild Sauce to the...
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What you probably didn’t know about Indian food Presented by Colleen Sen What ‘ethnic food” is universally popular among Indians? Who is known as India’s Julia Child? What Italian restaurateur opened a restaurant called “the Maxim’s of the East?” How are lichens used in Indian cuisine? How do Indian Jews celebrate Purim? Chicago-based Indian food authority and author Colleen Sen will answer these and many more questions when she...
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The Multiple Heritages of Irish Soda Bread Presented by Lucy Long, PhD Soda bread, a quick bread using baking soda as the primary rising agent, is closely associated in the U.S. with Ireland. Its history and meanings, however, are much more complicated—and tasty—than the sweet loaf with raisins that is usually found around St Patrick’s Day in March. This talk discusses the various forms this bread takes in Northern Ireland, the R...
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Advances in science and community science are positively impacting fungal conservation Presented by Greg Mueller, PhD Greg will discuss how advances in science and community science are positively impacting fungal conservation. This presentation is for all audiences, and no prior knowledge of mycology or biology will be needed to thoroughly enjoy it. Gregory M. Mueller, Ph.D. is Negaunee Chief Scientist and Vice President of Scie...
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History of American Pies and Illinois is Well Represented Presented by Catherine Lambrecht Pies are as American as pizza is American: we took a great idea, adapted it to our needs and ran with it. Our ancestors used what they had available locally and made the most from it. You might be thinking that pies are just for dessert, but for our American ancestors, they were often considered survival food. Sometimes, they ate pie for bre...
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