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

Food Patriots

What are Americans doing to change the way they eat and buy food and teach the next generation of consumers?

Presented by Filmmakers Jeff and Jennifer Spitz, and their son, Sam

Join us as filmmakers Jeff Spitz and Jennifer Amdur Spitz showcase their documentary, “Food Patriots,” which details the journey of a Midwestern mother whose son nearly died from a foodborne superbug, and the army of American Food Patriots who teach her that even one person has the power to make a difference. Continue reading

“Chicago Has Something to Beef About”

Cutting Remarks from A Woman Butcher

Join us as Kari Underly, a third-generation master butcher, and author of the “The Art of Beef Cutting,” as she talks about:

. The rich history of the Chicago stockyards and the influence and importance of our city to the world of meat processing;
. The evolution of the trade, where it started and where it’s going;
. The changing face of the butcher, including the role of women in the meat business;
. The trend to whole animal butchery and the challenges it brings to both merchants and consumers. Continue reading