The Old Girl Network

Charity Cookbooks and the Empowerment of Women
Presented by
Janice Bluestein Longone
Curator of American Culinary History,
University of Michigan’s Special Collections Division

The Culinary Historians of Chicago had its first meeting in 1993, and we’re celebrating our 20th anniversary this year with a special lecture:  Before mass media, communication and transit, the first wave of the women’s movement was already active via the most ordinary of objects – the lowly cookbook. “Charity cookbooks,” a legacy of the Civil War, championed many causes: suffrage, education, temperance, prohibition, equal rights, working conditions, welfare, immigration, and legal rights and responsibilities, while benefiting churches, schools, sororities, the homeless, and others in need. The effort required to create, publish and distribute the books created networks of communication, which nurtured fledging political movements that transformed American culture.  Continue reading

The Flavor of Africa

Presented by
Wilbert Jones
Author, food scientist, cooking teacher

Please join Wilbert Jones as he takes you on a culinary journey throughout the earth’s second largest mass of land, Africa. This enormous continent contains 55 countries, where more than 1,500 languages are spoken. Jones will share his knowledge about the ancient Egyptian’s daily diet, national dishes from several countries, traditional use of some unique ingredients as well as cooking techniques, and current food and beverage trends emerging out of Africa. He will also address the lack of African culinary presence in America and offers some solutions to increase visibility. Continue reading

Chocolate With a Taste of Pakistan

East meets West in crossover confections
Presented by
Uzma Sharif, proprietor
Chocolat Uzma Sharif, Chicago

Podcast courtesy of WBEZ’s Chicago Amplified

Uzma Sharif has some sweet tales to tell. Join us as this acclaimed Chicago chocolatier recounts the confectionary influences of her Pakistani heritage, and the history of pastries in South Asian countries. She will also touch on the special ingredients that are used in her culture.

Uzma says she has had a sweet life, surrounded by family and food. Growing up as a first generation Pakistani-American in Chicago and occasionally visiting her family in South Asia, Uzma recalls being greatly influenced by her grandfather, a renowned pastry chef in Pakistan. Continue reading

The Frosting on the (Filipino) Cake

A family carries on their matriarch’s dessert legacy

Presented by
Maribel Anama, Proprietor,
Mrs. A. [email protected] Pickwick, Park Ridge

If Philippine food and culture is a mystery to most of us, then Filipino desserts are a best kept secret.

Join us for a look at some sweet ethnic history as Maribel (Delia) Anama talks about the influence her baking maven mother, Gloria, had on her while she was growing up in the Philippines. It was her mother’s influence that led her to a career in baking, ultimately becoming an entrepreneur, opening her own sweet tooth emporium in Park Ridge.  Continue reading

Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli

Presented by
Ted Merwin, PhD

In Chicago, New York, L.A. and other American cities, the delicatessen was the lifeblood and the linchpin of the Jewish community. The “soul food” and atmosphere it dished up became a quintessential part of American culture for Jews and non-Jews alike.  But as Jews moved into the suburban middle class, the deli lost its bite, giving way to other ethnic restaurants and cuisines. Can the deli be resurrected. Continue reading