Hot Dog! It’s Hot Doug! A Bunside Chat from Chicago’s Royal Wienie King

Presented by Douglas Sohn
Sausageur Extraordinaire


While the Chicago-style hot dog has gained international fame, no one has put more relish in our town’s wienie history than Douglas Sohn. His encased meat emporium, Hot Doug’s (2001-2014), was arguably THE most celebrated hot dog stand between New York and California, located on Chicago’s northwest side. Food authority Anthony Bourdain declared Hot Doug’s as “one of the thirteen places to eat before you die.” Continue reading

One Smart Cookie Shares Crumbs of History

Presented by Mindy Segal, Cookie guru, Restaurateur, Author

Join us as James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Mindy Segal discusses the evolution of the modern cookie. Mindy will take us from the invention of Toll House chocolate chip cookies in the 1930s, to the innovations happening currently in her kitchen at Hot Chocolate in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. Continue reading

The Not Always Sweet History of Sugar

Presented by Andrew F. Smith, Author/Editor

Sugar has been on our minds for millennia. First cultivated in New Guinea around ten thousand years ago, and extremely expensive until the Industrial Revolution, this addictive sweetener has come to dominate our appetites—whether in candy, desserts, soft drinks, processed food, or even pasta sauces. Continue reading

The Legacy of James Beard

Chicago Hosts 25th Anniversary of James Beard Foundation Awards

Presented by Susan Ungaro, President
James Beard Foundation, New York

With a special introduction by
Steve Dolinsky,
13-time James Beard Award-winning food reporter (ABC 7)


Just who was James Beard and why did he have such a profound impact on America’s culinary scene? Who better to answer this question than Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation, the country’s preeminent culinary organization dedicated to celebrating, nurturing, and honoring America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire.   Continue reading

Bitter: A Taste of the World’s Most Dangerous Flavor

Presented by Jennifer McLagan


*A departure from our regular program format, Culinary Historians will host Food Patriots at 10:00 AM and Bitter will follow at Noon. At approximately 11:30, we will serve a light lunch of soup and bread for those attending in the afternoon. We will start Bitter at approximately noon. Please reserve to allow for enough food and perhaps offer to bring some soup! Continue reading