How Trader Joe’s Changed the Way America Eats

Presented by Susie Wyshak

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Discover Trader Joe’s key role in introducing fun and unusual foods into the American diet decades ago, when the company was already encouraging the non-health food store shopper to try “better for you” versions of already-popular foods. Wyshak compares items featured in a 1982 flyer  to how we eat now to show TJ’s importance in creating a nation of adventurous food lovers. Continue reading

Women in the Kitchen: 12 Essential Cookbook Writers Who Defined the Way We Eat

Presented by Anne Willan
Culinary Historian, Author, Cooking Teacher
 
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Women cookbook writers have had an enormous influence on the way we eat today. In her latest book, Women in the Kitchen: Twelve Essential Cookbook Writers Who Defined the Way We Eat, from 1661 to Today, Anne Willan profiles twelve of these women–from Hannah Woolley in the mid-1600s to Fannie Farmer, Edna Lewis, Alice Waters, and her dear friend, Julia Child. From her home in London, via Zoom, Anne will discuss the lives and works of these women, whose landmark books have defined cooking over the past three hundred years. Highlighting their historical contributions and most representative recipes, Anne shows how they created the foundation of the American table. Continue reading

Sweet Greeks: First-Generation Immigrant Confectioners in the Heartland

Presented by Ann Flesor Beck
Author and Candy Maker

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Gus Flesor came to the United States from Greece in 1901. His journey led him to Tuscola, Illinois, where he learned the confectioner’s trade and opened a business that still stands on Main Street. Sweet Greeks sets the story of Gus Flesor’s life as an immigrant in a small town within the larger history of Greek migration to the Midwest. Continue reading

An Invasion of Gastronomic Proportions: My Adventures with Chicago Animals, Human and Otherwise

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Presented by Mike Sula,
Senior Writer, The Chicago Reader

Mike’s favorite stories were about the people on the edges of the city’s food system; the oddballs, the uncelebrated, the immigrants cooking for their own—and especially the people willing to break the law to put food on the table. There was Shirley the Muffin Lady, making the rounds of the bars with baskets full of weed-spiked treats. Continue reading

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

Wednesday July 15, 2020

Book cover of John Ota’s book, The Kitchen

Presented by John Ota,
Author, The Kitchen

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No samples available at this virtual presentation,
though feel free to try this recipe for Matzo Ball Soup.

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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