67 episodes

Culinary Historians of Chicago studies the history of food and drink in human cultures. Why we procure, prepare and serve the food we do has cultural, sociological, geographical, financial and political influences. We encourage participation from all walks of life: from academics to home cooks, chefs to grill masters, farmers to heirloom gardeners, food scientists to students. Our programs, and those of our sister organization Chicago Foodways Roundtable, are supported by research, fieldwork and scholarship, though geared to an informed popular audience. We welcome everyone to gather at our table to share food, drink and their life’s culinary experiences.

If you would like to contact us, please e-mail us at CulinaryHistorians@gmail.com

Culinary Historians of Chicago CulinaryHistory

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0, 1 Rating

Culinary Historians of Chicago studies the history of food and drink in human cultures. Why we procure, prepare and serve the food we do has cultural, sociological, geographical, financial and political influences. We encourage participation from all walks of life: from academics to home cooks, chefs to grill masters, farmers to heirloom gardeners, food scientists to students. Our programs, and those of our sister organization Chicago Foodways Roundtable, are supported by research, fieldwork and scholarship, though geared to an informed popular audience. We welcome everyone to gather at our table to share food, drink and their life’s culinary experiences.

If you would like to contact us, please e-mail us at CulinaryHistorians@gmail.com

    A Path to Knowing All the Mushrooms of Illinois

    A Path to Knowing All the Mushrooms of Illinois

    A Path to Knowing
    All the Mushrooms of Illinois

    with Stephen Russell

    Stephen will discuss his efforts to create a statewide biodiversity survey of macrofungi from Indiana and how these efforts can be applied to neighbors in Illinois. Primary topics will include integrating citizen scientists, online forays, specimen collection, and how anyone in Illinois can get important specimens DNA sequenced for free.

    Stephen Russell is a mycologist from Indiana working on a biodiversity survey of all of the macrofungi (mushrooms) that occur in the state. He founded The Hoosier Mushroom Society in 2009 and is currently the President of the organization. His initial interest in mushrooms began with cultivation, which led to writing a book titled The Essential Guide to Cultivating Mushrooms (Storey Publishing, 2014). Stephen’s current project is a citizen science and DNA based exploration of local fungal biodiversity, which has now generated thousands of new DNA-sequenced collections of fungal fruitbodies from across the state. Stephen is currently a Ph.D. candidate in mycology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He also holds a Masters of Public Affairs (MPA) and a Masters of Environmental Science (MS) from Indiana University and an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Communications from Purdue University. When not working with fungi, Stephen works as the CTO for a private equity firm.

    Visit Mycoflora's website at https://mycoflora.org/

    Recorded via Zoom on August 3, 2020.

    IllinoisMyco.com

    • 1 hr 19 min
    The Rule of Rum

    The Rule of Rum

    The Rule of Rum

    Presented by Cynthia Clampitt

    Food historian Cynthia Clampitt shares the reason rum arose where it did and when it did, as well as how pirates got involved and who really said “yo, ho, ho” (not the pirates), but also explains how rum was involved in uniting the 13 Colonies, why it was one of the issues that led to the American Revolution, how it also led to a revolt in its next home after the Caribbean: Australia, and how it affected culture and history around the world after that.

    Speaker Bio: Cynthia Clampitt is a writer, geographer, and food historian. She has written textbooks for every major educational publisher in the U.S., including the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and National Geographic Learning. She is the author of Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland and Pigs, Pork, and Heartland Hogs: Wild Boar to Baconfest, as well as of the award-winning travel narrative, Waltzing Australia—and it was in Australia that she first became aware of the international impact of the rum trade. Clampitt is a member of the Culinary Historians of Chicago, the Society of Women Geographers, the Society of Midland Authors, the Agricultural History Society, and the Association of Food Journalist.

    www.worldplate.com
    www.CulinaryHistorians.com

    Recorded on June 18, 2020 via Zoom.

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Chicago's Live Poultry Shops, FoodCultura - University of Chicago, Fall, 2019

    Chicago's Live Poultry Shops, FoodCultura - University of Chicago, Fall, 2019

    Chicago's Live Poultry Shops, FoodCultura - University of Chicago, Fall, 2019

    Paige Resnick exploring Chicago’s live poultry shops and the many issues associated with selecting and preparing one’s own chicken.

    There was a technical error in audio recording affecting its quality. It is posted to maintain the historical record of this event.

    The collaboration included Foodcultura: The Art and Anthropology of Cuisine, a team-taught course offered during the autumn of 2019 at the University of Chicago. The students, individually or in groups, proposed projects using approaches of anthropology and/or art and carried out extensive fieldwork using the city’s diverse alimentary and gustatory resources. Their final presentations took place during a marathon session in December at UChicago’s Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry.

    On January 25 four students presented their work to Chicago Foodways Roundtable. Three presentations centered on the theme of sugar: Yoon-Jee Choi’s analysis of cakes from Roeser’s Bakery through the eyes of a Bauhaus historian; Alana Ferguson’s musings on cotton candy as an art form; and Eli Bec’s discussion of ofrendas prepared for Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead altars) and her own personal ofrenda. Maisie Watson and Daniel Simantob explored the intersection of public and private dining experiences at Sinhá, a Brazilian home-restaurant in Chicago and in their own apartment.

    Part 2 of A Taste of FoodCultura, on February 15, will feature Paige Resnick exploring Chicago’s live poultry shops and the many issues associated with selecting and preparing one’s own chicken. Liz Rice will present her work comparing food choices in South Shore and Albany Park, two very different Chicago neighborhoods. Finally, although the student group responsible is unable to attend, we will show The Camera Eats First, a slide presentation commenting on today’s Instagram culture.

    Recorded at Bethany Retirement Community on February 15, 2020

    • 40 min
    Comparative Food Choices, FoodCultura - University of Chicago, Fall, 2019

    Comparative Food Choices, FoodCultura - University of Chicago, Fall, 2019

    Comparative Food Choices, FoodCultura - University of Chicago, Fall, 2019

    Cleo Schoeplein and Liz Rice present their work comparing food choices in South Shore and Albany Park, two very different Chicago neighborhoods.

    There was a technical error in audio recording affecting its quality. It is posted to maintain the historical record of this event.

    The collaboration included Foodcultura: The Art and Anthropology of Cuisine, a team-taught course offered during the autumn of 2019 at the University of Chicago. The students, individually or in groups, proposed projects using approaches of anthropology and/or art and carried out extensive fieldwork using the city’s diverse alimentary and gustatory resources. Their final presentations took place during a marathon session in December at UChicago’s Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry.

    On January 25 four students presented their work to Chicago Foodways Roundtable. Three presentations centered on the theme of sugar: Yoon-Jee Choi’s analysis of cakes from Roeser’s Bakery through the eyes of a Bauhaus historian; Alana Ferguson’s musings on cotton candy as an art form; and Eli Bec’s discussion of ofrendas prepared for Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead altars) and her own personal ofrenda. Maisie Watson and Daniel Simantob explored the intersection of public and private dining experiences at Sinhá, a Brazilian home-restaurant in Chicago and in their own apartment.

    Part 2 of A Taste of FoodCultura, on February 15, will feature Paige Resnick exploring Chicago’s live poultry shops and the many issues associated with selecting and preparing one’s own chicken. Liz Rice will present her work comparing food choices in South Shore and Albany Park, two very different Chicago neighborhoods. Finally, although the student group responsible is unable to attend, we will show The Camera Eats First, a slide presentation commenting on today’s Instagram culture.

    Recorded at Bethany Retirement Community on February 15, 2020

    • 39 min
    16,000 years of Global Potato History

    16,000 years of Global Potato History

    16,000 years of Global Potato History

    Presented by Raghavan Iyer
    Author, Teacher

    Our speaker, Raghavan Iyer, is the author of “Smashed, Mashed, Boiled, and Baked–and Fried, Too!: A Celebration of Potatoes in 75 Irresistible Recipes.” And he’s going to have one heck of a spudworthy program for us. Here’s his tater-tot preview:

    “The fourth largest crop in the world, next to wheat, rice, and maize, this member of the nightshade family Solanaceae (which includes eggplant, peppers, and the tomato), with the botanical name Solanum tuberosum, is rooted in the Andean civilization that cultivated it around 10,000 CE. But it wasn’t until the Inca civilization (around 1500 CE) that the potato’s true agricultural impact was unleashed. Their intricate and sophisticated agricultural planning and tools, along with the ability of the potato to survive severe shifts in climate within short time periods, made this is a winsome partnership. Now it is an essential ingredient in billions of kitchens in over 100 countries across the globe

    No other crop in the world has had such an impact on every aspect of life, as we know it. It seems I’m being overly dramatic, but don’t just take my word for it. The history of the potato speaks for itself as you trace its social, economical, political, and societal implications in every nook and corner of the globe across all continents. I will be discussing the significance of this tuber through a timeline dating back 16,000 years and bringing it into the 21st century. I have culled information from various sources, crafting the story of the potato to experience the depth of its influences over the years.”

    Biography: Named by Epicurious.com as one of the top 100 influencers ever for home cooks in 2017 (alongside names like Julia Child and James Beard), Raghavan Iyer is the author of six critically acclaimed books, and has three James Beard Awards (one win and two finalists), one Emmy, and two IACP (formerly the Julia Child Awards) awards for cooking teacher of the year and a cookbook award. A past president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Raghavan is a spokesperson for many international clients and is a consultant for innumerable restaurants across the country. He has been featured numerous times in the New York Times and is a frequent guest on Public Radio’s The Splendid Table. He leads culinary tours yearly to the Indian subcontinent. His website is www.raghavaniyer.com

    Recorded May 27, 2020 via Zoom

    https://culinaryhistorians.org/16000-years-of-global-potato-history/

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Day of the Dead - Día de Muertos, FoodCultura - University of Chicago, Fall, 2019

    Day of the Dead - Día de Muertos, FoodCultura - University of Chicago, Fall, 2019

    Día de Muertos - Day of the Dead, FoodCultura, Fall, 2019

    Eli Bec’s discussion of ofrendas prepared for Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead altars) and her own personal ofrenda

    The collaboration included Foodcultura: The Art and Anthropology of Cuisine, a team-taught course offered during the autumn of 2019 at the University of Chicago. The students, individually or in groups, proposed projects using approaches of anthropology and/or art and carried out extensive fieldwork using the city’s diverse alimentary and gustatory resources. Their final presentations took place during a marathon session in December at UChicago’s Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry.

    On January 25 four students presented their work to Chicago Foodways Roundtable. Three presentations centered on the theme of sugar: Yoon-Jee Choi’s analysis of cakes from Roeser’s Bakery through the eyes of a Bauhaus historian; Alana Ferguson’s musings on cotton candy as an art form; and Eli Bec’s discussion of ofrendas prepared for Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead altars) and her own personal ofrenda. Maisie Watson and Daniel Simantob explored the intersection of public and private dining experiences at Sinhá, a Brazilian home-restaurant in Chicago and in their own apartment.

    Part 2 of A Taste of FoodCultura, on February 15, will feature Paige Resnick exploring Chicago’s live poultry shops and the many issues associated with selecting and preparing one’s own chicken. Liz Rice will present her work comparing food choices in South Shore and Albany Park, two very different Chicago neighborhoods. Finally, although the student group responsible is unable to attend, we will show The Camera Eats First, a slide presentation commenting on today’s Instagram culture.

    Recorded at Bethany Retirement Community on January 25, 2020

    www.CulinaryHistorians.org

    • 25 min

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