Hungarian immigrant Lajos Istvan Szathmáry II Ph.D., better known to gourmets the world over as “Chef Louis” immigrated to the United States with $1.10 cents and five words of English. Educated as a journalist and psychologist in his native Hungary in a much-traveled life, he was an actor, newspaperman, soldier, marriage counselor, spy, prisoner of war, lecturer, author, TV & radio personality, adventurer and chef. A man for all seasonings, he was a food consultant for industry and government, wrote numerous cookbooks, columnist, poet, artist and avid collector. Hear about the career of this iconic celebrity chef and Renaissance man whose larger than life personality left a lasting legacy on the American food scene and who viewed himself modestly as “A Hungarian by birth, American by choice, and Chicagoan by God’s grace.”
Barbara Kuck is the Culinary Historian & Curator for the Chicago Culinary Museum & Chefs Hall of Fame. She worked at “The Bakery” Restaurant from 1971-1989 as an apprentice to her final position as Chef Director at the time the restaurant “retired” in 1989 along with Chef Louis. During the course of her career she has studied abroad both in Europe and Asia and was fortunate to have studied with the who’s who in American cooking. Among her duties, she served as curator of the Szathmáry Family Culinary Collection from 1971-2005. From 1971 until the time of his death in 1996, Barbara collaborated with Chef Louis on a myriad of projects.
Recorded Saturday, May 17, 2008 at Kendall College.