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!

Bitter is a taste that has been overlooked and even avoided by many. While other cultures embrace and delight in balancing flavours with an element of bitter, we often think of it as a negative taste. But, as our palates become more adventurous and educated we seek out new taste experiences and so bitter is becoming more popular.

We embrace it in coffee, beer and dark chocolate; yet detest it in Brussels sprouts. Why does this taste, so crucial for good cooking and essential to our health, have such a split personality? Join Jennifer for a discussion of the fascinating history and science behind bitter and discover why bitter is the most interesting and challenging taste.

Australian by birth, Jennifer has more than three decades of experience in the food world as a chef, caterer, food stylist and writer. Author of the widely acclaimed Bones (2005), Fat (2008), Odd Bits (2011), and Bitter (2014), she has won numerous awards from the Beard Foundation, IACP and Gourmand International. Fat was the James Beard Cookbook of the Year is in German Fett (2012). Jennifer is also published in French Les Os – dix façons de les préparer (2014). Jennifer’s work has appeared in Gourmet, Fine Cooking, Food & Drink, and Canada’s Globe & Mail. She has presented at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, the Slow Food University in Italy, the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, the Toronto Terroir Symposium, Saveur Stratford, Ontario, Dartmouth Food Festival, U.K, and the Epicurean Classic in Michigan. For more information visit

Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 12:00 PM*
Kendall College, School of Culinary Arts
900 N. North Branch Street, Chicago
(West of Halsted Street, North of Chicago Avenue)
Free Parking in the student lot across the street
Cost: $3. Free to Kendall students and faculty with ID.

This program is hosted by the Chicago Foodways Roundtable. To reserve, please e-mail: [email protected].