Upcoming Programs at a Glance


Our events are typically at Bethany Retirement Community (directions and parking) on Saturday mornings from 10:00 am until noon. Occasionally, our event time varies or we meet at a different location. These variances will be highlighted below, though please read the full event notice for details. You can always join our email list to get this in your mailbox.

Culinary Historians of Chicago:
  • March 14, 2020: John Ota, The Kitchen  CANCELLED
  • April 18, 2020: Raghavan Iyer, Potatoes CANCELLED
Chicago Foodways Roundtable: 
  • April 5, 2020 @ 2:00 PM: When Potato Fields were Prisons: Unfree Farm Labor in McHenry County During World War II, with Samuel Klee – Please contact [email protected] for a link to the Zoom presentation 
  • May 2, 2020: Food Rationing in the United Kingdom during World War II
  • October 16-17, 2020: TBA

Find Culinary Historians of Chicago and Chicago Foodways Roundtable on Twitter or Facebook.

Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance:
  • September TBA, 2020: Heirloom Apple Tour – postponed from 2019.

Find Greater Midwest Foodways on Twitter, Facebook or our website.

When Potato Fields were Prisons: Unfree Farm Labor in McHenry County during World War II

Join us on Sunday, April 5, 2020

German prisoners of war stationed at Fort Sheridan, ILL. raise their own vegetables on a four-acre tract of land at the fort where they have own camp including auto repair garage, and facilities for cabinetmaking, painting, electrical repairs and general labor. June 1, 1944 (Signal Corps photo)

Presented Samuel Klee, Ph.D. candidate
(Program in conjunction with the Highland Park Historical Society)

During World War II, some farmers in Marengo, Illinois negotiated with a large food corporation and federal agencies to make local farm fields into restricted, prison-like spaces. When the Curtiss Candy Company brought Japanese-Americans from the Tule Lake Internment Camp in California to cultivate and pick potatoes in 1943, the Marengo community struggled with the federal government and the candy company to eliminate the outsiders’ presence.

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The Most Loved Room In The House: The Evolution of the American Kitchen

Join us on March 14, 2020Cancelled

Book cover of John Ota’s book, The Kitchen

Presented by John Ota,
Author, The Kitchen

Our meeting location has gone into voluntary lock down to avoid any issues.

This meeting is cancelled for March 13, and hopefully will be revisited sometime in the future.

John Ota was a man on a mission–to put together the perfect kitchen. He and his wife had been making do with a room that was frankly no great advertisement for John’s architectural expertise. It just about did the job.

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Chicago’s evolving restaurant scene: How can the cherished small guy survive?

Presented by Master Chef Michael Lachowicz
Owner, George Trois, Aboyer, Silencieux, in Winnetka

Remember when you could get a great meal at an independently owned restaurant where the chef was often the owner, dishing out their unique culinary perspective? Well, as large restaurant groups continue to take over our dining scene, more independents are finding it difficult to compete. Continue reading

A Taste of FoodCultura, Part 2

Presented by Students in
Foodcultura: The Art and Anthropology of Cuisine,
University of Chicago, Autumn 2019

In November we were treated to Maggi Galaxy, a presentation by Stephan Palmié, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago and Antoni Miralda, Barcelona-based artist and founder of FoodCultura. The artist and anthropologist are collaborating on a Chicago-focused project exploring the intersection between food, art, and other forms of cultural exchange. 

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