The Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance, building off the success of its inaugural event last fall, invited media, academics, members of the food and foodservice industry, students and food enthusiasts to come together for a day-long event, entitled: “Sweets: A Journey Through Midwestern Dessert Traditions,” a program about the history of sweets in the Midwest, including important dessert traditions that began in small towns and big cities here in the Midwest.
Starting off the afternoon, was Michael Gebert, freelance writer with Pfeffernusse, presenting "Pluma Moos: Mennonite Food Traditions in a Kansas Family"; Judy Bart Kancigor, author of Cooking Jewish, speaking on "Jewish desserts: From Poverty to Plenty"; and Donna Pierce, Chicago Tribune Kitchen Director presenting "Sweet Ride up the the Rails", covering black migration, Pullman conductors, and desserts that followed the rail lines.
Michael Gebert is a freelance writer on food and media subjects and for advertising, having written for publications such as the Reader and for practically every ad agency on this earth. He was a principle strategic and visionary leader in the creation and growth of LTHForum.com, the nationally recognized and widely read Chicago-based culinary discussion site, and he shot and edited the documentary Gorilla Gourmet: Maxwell Street Mexican.
Judy Bart Kancigor writes for the Orange County Register and Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Judy is a popular teacher of Jewish cooking and family life. She self-published her first cookbook, Melting Pot Memories, just for her family and went on to sell 11,000 copies. Workman Publishing published her new book, Cooking Jewish. Judy's father is the late singer Jan Bart, a celebrated East Coast cantor. Judy lives with her husband, Barry, in Fullerton, California.
Donna Pierce is a national award-winning food journalist and test kitchen director for the Chicago Tribune, who grew up with deep roots in Mobile, Alabama, where her family lived for five generations before her family moved to Missouri. Pierce lived in San Francisco and Los Angeles before returning to Missouri where she was an adjunct assistant professor for the University of Missouri Journalism School, contributing food editor for Upscale Magazine and food editor for the Columbia Daily Tribune. She joined the Chicago Tribune in 2002. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, the James Beard Society, the Association of Food Journalists and Les Dames d'Escoffier.
Recorded Saturday, April 05, 2008 at Kendall College.