Some Sweet Talk: Discover how the Midwest refined the nation’s sweet tooth through a delicious mix of immigrant traditions and American ingenuity. 

Presented by
Chef Jenny Lewis
Educator and author of
“Midwest Sweet Baking History/
Delectable Classics Around Lake Michigan”
and Chef Heidi Heidecker
Assistant professor/pastry chef instructor,
Kendall College of Culinary Arts

Podcast courtesy of WBEZ’s Chicago Amplified

Join us as Chefs Jenny Lewis and Heidi Heidecker dish out a sweet history of the Lake Michigan states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan. Learn about Chicago’s dessert presence during the Columbian Exposition (where the brownie was born) and get the real skinny on industry giants like Kraft and Nabisco. Savor the stories of Whoopie Pies and Red Star Yeast, and discover how tainted food products propelled Chicago to become the Nation’s first city to pass food protection laws.

Bios— in their own words:

Chef Jenny Lewis
“As an educator, CCE (Certified Culinary Educator – American Culinary Federation) I continually create new classes. I continually scour books appropriate for my classes, and for my personal interests as well. I enrolled in an in-depth training seminar for Chicago’s historical Prairie Avenue homes, and it was here that I developed an interest in the middle states history. As a fifth-generation Chicagoan, I am honored to tell the stories of immigrant’s baking traditions combined with rich company histories, and the lore of contemporary and historical recipes.”

Chef Heidi Heideker
“Since childhood, I have been a part of Chicago’s ethnic bakery tradition. My family owned and lived above Gladstone Park Bakery, which was known for it’s unusual cake creations. Later, I owned Alliance Bakery in Chicago for nearly a decade. My bakery was listed in the U.S. edition of Culinaria, and was voted Wicker Park’s “Best Retailer of the Year-2000.” I am currently working on a book about ethnic celebration breads.”

Program hosted at Chicago History Museum.