Why are foodways important?

Foodways is the study of what people eat and why. Why we procure, prepare and serve the food we do has cultural, sociological, geographical, financial and political influences.



Why is recognition of diverse foodways valuable?

Preserving our past and present for the future by research, documentation and oral histories. It is culinary anthropology on the hoof, paw, root and leaf.



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Speaker Bios

“Stuffed:  A Journey of Midwest Sausage Traditions"

In celebration of the best of the wurst from Cozy dogs to Chicago Style dogs, from the Mother-In-Law Tamale dog to the smoked varieties, it's all going to be uncovered.

September 15, 2007


Peter Engler a specialist in mouse genetics, grew up in Buffalo, land of the wing and the 'weck. He has lived for many years on Chicago's south side where he feasts on local delicacies such as Big Babies, Freddies and Mother in Laws and looks into their histories.

William Lockwood is professor emeritus of anthropology, University of Michigan. His principal interests are foodways, East European society and culture, and ethnicity and interethnic relations. He has conducted research in Bosnia-Hercegovina, among Austrian Croatians, Italian Gypsies, and various US immigrant and ethnic communities. His work includes many articles and books, including European Moslems: Ethnicity and Economy in Western Bosnia.

Barbara Olson earned a degree in addiction counseling while running her own business. Previously, for many years, she managed a successful hot dog business in the Chicago area. A member of the Culinary Historians for at least a dozen years, she is the organization's chef, preparing from books and personal recipes of guest authors and chefs tasty treats to the delight of its members and visitors.

Trudy Knauss Paradis was born in Milwaukee to German immigrant parents.  She was raised in a close-knit Milwaukee neighborhood where residents regularly spoke German.  Very proud of her German heritage, Trudy served as a volunteer at Milwaukee's German Fest for 20 years and as Cultural Exhibition Director for eight years. Recently published book, German Milwaukee:  Its History, Its Recipes is very popular.

Randy Ream is proprietor of Elburn Market, Elburn, Illinois. Living above the meat market, Ream started in his father's business at 6, sweeping floors. After receiving his degree in music from Western Illinois University, he joined the circus, but returned to the market in 1981, adding a smoke house. The sausage artisan has received many awards including National Grand Champion Bratwurst Maker.

Robert Rust is Professor Emeritus of Meat Science, Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University. He is recognized worldwide as an authority on meat processing. At ISU, he was responsible for extension programs in meat science. He has consulted and presented programs on meat processing in over 30 countries and is a member of several professional organizations. Receiving 25 state and national awards, Rust is a Fellow of the American Society of Animal Science and the Institute of Food Technologists.

Leonard Slotkowski Jr. BS, MA Loyola University, Chicago, started working in his father’s business Slotkowski Sausage Co., makers of Chicago's Polish sausages, when he was a teenager. After the business was sold in 1987, Leonard took a job working for ViscoFan/Teepak, a sausage casings manufacturer. “I grew up smelling the aroma of sausages wafting from the smoke ovens that it got into my system and turned out to be the sweet smell of success in my life."

Bob Schwartz is a senior vice president of Vienna Beef, making snappy sausage business his life's work. A frequent voice of the company, he has made numerous presentations on the century old sausage making business and the passion and people within. A graduate of Ohio University, Bob has been a Chicagoan for the past 35 years and has four little granddaughters who know not to put ketchup on their hot dog.

Andy Smith is a freelance writer who teaches culinary history and professional food writing at the New School in Manhattan. He has authored The Tomato in America, The Peanut and coauthor of Real American Food. He is the editor-in-chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia on Food and Drink in America and serves as Chair of The Culinary Trust, the philanthropic arm of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).

Buz Waldmire is an expert on the Cozy Dog, which is a type of corn dog that his dad perfected in the late 1940s. Over the years Buz cooked thousands of batter-dipped hot dogs at the Cozy Dog Drive Inn in Springfield, Illinois, located on Historic Route 66. He presently teaches and still dips the occasional dog.