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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Heirloom Recipe Competition, 2015

Family Favorites Never Served to Guests (or whatever you like)

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota



Muirhead Farm

A Frank Lloyd Wright Designed Farm Home
4:00 pm


Optional though encouraged: DeKalb Barn Tour

9:00 am until 4:00 pm - estimated 4.5 hours for full tour

August 8, 2015



How Corn Changed Itself and then

Changed Everything Else


By: Cynthia Clampitt


Saturday, March 7th, 2015 at 10 AM

Kendall College School of Culinary Arts




American Midwest Foodways Scholar's Grant


The Impact of American Indian Boarding School Education on

Great Lakes Indigenous Foodways:

A Case Study of the Lac du Flambeau Reservation


By: Amelia V. Katanski

$3000 Recipient of an

American Midwest Foodways Scholar’s Grant

January 31, 2015 at Kendall College School of Culinary Arts




Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance's Tea Party

Estée Lauder

Saleswoman.  Cosmetics Queen.  Millionaire.


February 8, 2015




Learning Tour


You Are What You Eat:

Cookbooks as Ingredients to Shape Identity and Community

Danielle Spalenka, Curator

November 15, 2014


Regional History Center - Northern Illinois University

DeKalb, IL




The Road Joyfully Travelled:

Judging Family Heirloom Recipes at Midwestern State Fairs

Presented by Catherine Lambrecht

Recorded live September 27, 2014 at

Kendall College School for Culinary Art




Heirloom Recipe Competition, 2014

Picnics and Family Reunion Celebrations

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri,

South Dakota, Wisconsin





American Midwest Foodways Scholar's Grant


Grant Recipients Announced





Learning Tour!


The 55th Annual Illinois Mennonite Relief Sale and
Anabaptist Culinary Traditions


March 15-16, 2013  (Podcasts)



Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance's Tea Party



Below Stairs: A Servants Life in Early 20th Century England

February 10, 2013




Road Food: Exploring the Midwest

One Bite at a Time





Kendall College, School of Culinary Arts, Chicago, Illinois


April 27, 28 & 29, 2012



Michael Stern

Keynote speaker Michael Stern of RoadFood.com on, "Will Success Spoil Regional Food?"



Speaker Profiles

Podcast of all presentations

Saturday's Road Food Menu

Sunday Breakfast at Lou Mitchell's

Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art

Maxwell Street Tour




Road Trip!

From Bloomington to Lincoln, IL

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Watermelon Statue in Lincoln, IL

Watermelon Statue in Lincoln, IL (image by Peter Engler)




Come and Get It!  The way we ate, 1830-1980

By Julianne Glatz, Illinois Times, June 9, 2011


Everywhere you go is an adventure, if you keep your mind wide open and look.  This day trip to Central Illinois will reveal character, history and ingenuity in the flat lands.  More information is available here.





Midwest Eats!
Foodways of the Great Depression

Alas this event is now history.  Fortunately our partners at Chicago Public Radio's Chicago Amplified have recorded every presentation at this symposium as well as Maxwell Street's history.  These will be uploaded and available soon.  While this information is not lost to the ages, by not attending you never had a chance to ask a question or taste all the delicious food.  Perhaps next time?



Program Information

Speaker Biographies

Podcast of all presentations

Maxwell St. History and Tour


Wood fire cooking class



8-cent Relief Dinner circa 1938

8-cent Menu at Relief Dinner circa 1938 (Image by Peter Engler)


Crown of Frankfurters

Crown of Frankfurters (image by Catherine Lambrecht) Recipe and assembly instructions




Chicago AmpliedChicago Public Radio

Chicago Public Radio's Chicago Amplified has recorded symposium hosted by the Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance.   These presentations are uploaded and available to listen to


Midwest Eats!  The Foodways of the Great Depression


Beef: From Plains to Plate


Sweets:  How Sweet It Is!


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