American Food has a History You Wouldn’t Believe!

Presented by Bruce Kraig, PhD
Author, President Emeritus, Culinary Historians of Chicago
CELEBRATING OUR 25TH YEAR—

On New Year’s Day 1836, President Andrew Jackson received a momentous culinary gift, a humongous cheese, 2 feet thick, 11 feet in circumference, and weighing 1400 pounds. It was created in the summer of 1835 by Col. Thomas S. Meacham, a prosperous dairy farmer with lands near Lake Ontario north of Syracuse New York. The mammoth cheese was sent by boat along the Erie Canal on to Washington. It was a public sensation. James Fenimore Cooper wrote of the same area of New York only two generations before as a wilderness that only gradually was being transformed.

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Constructions of Taste in Francisco Martínez Montiño’s 1611 Cookbook

Presented by Carolyn Nadeau, PhD

Drawing from concrete data on the recipes and their primary and secondary ingredients in Montiño’s 1611 court cookbook, Arte de cocina, pastelería, vizcochería y conservería [The art of cooking, pie making, pastry making and preserving], this essay examines concepts of taste as presented in this culinary artifact. Data analysis of close to 5,000 individual references to ingredients allows today’s scholars and gastronomes to gain access to what was being prepared in the royal kitchens and to establish for the first time the culinary scaffolding for what was eaten at court in early seventeenth-century Spain. Continue reading

Whatever Happened to Wheat? How Bread Meets Our Kneads

Presented by Chef Greg Wade
Head Baker, Publican Quality Bread, Chicago

“As a baker, wheat is obviously very important to me,” says nationally acclaimed bread baker Greg Wade. Join us as chef Wade presents us with a veritable bread basket of wheat history, along with the traditional farming techniques for wheat crops, and the types of breads made from different wheat. “Wheat has a fascinating history, from its origins in the Caucuses to modern bread wheat,” chef Wade says. “Wheat has shaped the world’s cultures more than any other crop.”

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International Inspirations— Culinary Lessons Learned From the Road

Presented by Chef Christopher Koetke
Vice President, Strategy and Industry Relations, Kendall College

New meeting location: Weiss Memorial Hospital

For the last 5 years, Chef Koetke has been criss-crossing the globe, visiting 20-25 countries annually. In 12 of these countries, he set up culinary programs or worked with local culinary schools. Additionally, he works on sustainability issues as the Feed the Planet Chairman for World Chefs were he routinely is talking to people around the world. Continue reading

Fooditor.com: Eat Chicago. Drink Chicago. Read Chicago

Michael Gebert, Editor

The world of Chicago food media is rapidly changing. Michael Gebert is a Chicago based writer who has found new opportunities to tell stories of Chicago’s rich culture. He’ll talk about the changing media landscape, how to find opportunities to share your voice within it, and the role of lists and guidebooks, from Michelin to his own, in helping people discover what their local food scene is about. Continue reading