Your NPR news source

Culinary Historians Of Chicago

Sherri Brooks Vinton delivers a workshop on how to find, cook and preserve local, seasonal, farm friendly food.
Author Terese Allen shares the stories behind--and recipes for--such varied foodways as cream puffs, Hmong egg rolls and the Friday night fish fry. From Ojibwe wild rice to arugula pesto pasta, she tracks the amazing cornucopia of what Wisconsinites have gathered, grown, produced, cooked, and eaten.
Join mycologist and FUNGI Magazine editor Britt Bunyard for an exciting talk on the most up-to-date discoveries and uses of Chaga. Inonotus obliquus--chaga--is currently the “it” fungus. It has been used in Russian folk medicine since at least the 16th century. Topics include: Harvesting chaga responsibly, the sex life of the fungus, and proper identification and avoiding poisonous look-alikes. Britt’s visit will be a very special treat for mycophiles who don’t already know Bunyard’s unique perspective and big personality.
Poison expert Dr. Jerrold Leikin reveals the history and nature of agroterrorism, or how the human food supply has been used as a weapon to launch a multitude of toxins.
World renowned and much-loved mycologist and forager, Gary Lincoff did not write a mushroom book... He wrote THE mushroom book, The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms.
Art
Head of Reader Services at the University of Chicago Library’s Special Collections Research Center, Julia Gardner, leads a guided tour of the collections European and American cookbooks and domestic manuals from court chefs of the 15th century to cooking icons of the 20th century.
Kara Newman discusses her book, The Secret Financial Life of Food, which explains the ups and downs of the commodities market – in Chicago and elsewhere - that influence what we eat and what we pay for food.
Art
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.
Wilbert Jones takes you on a culinary journey throughout the earth’s second largest mass of land, Africa. 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.
Martha Bayne explores the social role of soup and its history as a tool for both building community and fostering social justice. She launched Soup & Bread, a free community meal and hunger-relief fundraiser, at the Chicago bar The Hideout in 2009.
Uzma Sharif has some sweet tales to tell. Listen in 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.
Literary dramatist Leslie Goddard takes us “downstairs” to experience life below stairs in the stately homes of early 20th-century England. Goddard portrays British domestic servant Margaret Powell, whose 1968 book Below Stairs was among the inspirations for the popular television series Downtown Abbey and directly inspired the 1970s series Upstairs, Downstairs.
Everyone seems to like a taste of something Indian, but they’re often intimidated by what they believe it entails: long hours in front of the stove and a gazillion spices.
Delia Anama offers a look at the Philippine baking industry of years ago, its evolution, and what Filipino desserts and delicacies are like
In Chicago, New York, L.A., and other American cities, the delicatessen was the lifeblood and the linchpin of the Jewish community. 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?
In the last decade Spain has earned a reputation as a star of the culinary world, but this honor is not due to paella or tortilla but to molecular gastronomy.
Andy Smith, one of our nation’s most eminent food historians, has so much information to dish out he’s going to give us a two-subject lecture based on his latest books: American Tuna—the Rise and Fall of an Improbable Food and Drinking History: 15 Turning Points in the Making of an American Beverages.
This fast-paced workshop covers the basics: query letters, writing articles for newspapers and magazines, food book and cookbook proposals, ebooks, recipe writing, restaurant reviewing, and blogging.