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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Call for Presentations


Road Food: Exploring the Midwest

One Bite at a Time


April 27, 28 & 29, 2012
Kendall College, Chicago, Illinois





Speaker Profiles

Saturday's Road Food Menu

Sunday Breakfast at Lou Mitchell's

Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art

Maxwell Street Tour


Online Reservations



Call for Presentations:


Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance celebrates preserves and promotes the diverse food cultures of the American Midwest from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains. Our fifth symposium examines culture and food on the road. This symposium includes lectures, audience participation, food samplings, silent auction, book signings and tours. We seek presentations based on research, fieldwork, scholarship and professional experience, though geared to an informed popular audience.


Proposals should fall into broad categories such as diners, cafes, roadhouses, truck stops, near the beach, fishing taverns, lunch wagons, railroad dining, campfire cuisine, motorcyclists’ hangouts and supper clubs. Presentations should offer histories of these places and what happened to them over time. What was on the bill of fare, the cooking techniques, from barbecue to grilling by short order cooks to moms making and selling apple pies. These topics are not rigid, Greater Midwest Foodways welcomes any interesting presentation related to road food in the Midwest. Allow our audience of academics, food enthusiasts, media, history buffs, culinary educators, students and anyone else who dreams about being on the road – back then or right now.

1. Old and New: Food along Indian trails, wagon trails, railroads, Route 66 (and other routes roaming through cities and towns) and how it changed with the interstate highway system.


2. Road Food in Popular Culture (and perhaps a memorable tourist trap).


3. Food and travel writing: Cookbooks, authors, newspaper columns, radio and television advice, manufacturers' pamphlets, Works Progress Administration (WPA), internet blogs and forums plus more good stuff.


4. Food trucks: These have been around forever serving offices and construction sites are rediscovered as new venues for Chef’s with ambitious menus.


5. Surprise us with unexpected knowledge on road food and culture. (RV travel parks rumored to have 5 pm cocktail hour potlucks.)


Proposals should be one page in length and contain the following:


• Name of the presenter along with two professional references concerning presentation skills and qualifications-just names will do;


• Title or theme of the presentation;


• Brief description of the subject matter to be discussed;


• Please anticipate a presentation length of 30 minutes followed by a question-and-answer period;


• Samples, examples and visual support is encouraged but not required;


• Your preferred presentation format, i.e., interactive lecture, panel discussion, group presentation.


Proposals should be electronically submitted no later than January 15, 2012 to

[email protected]; to Catherine Lambrecht. For more information, please contact Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance, 280 Laurel Avenue, Highland Park, IL 60035-2620 or Tel: 847/432-8255. For background information, check our website at www.GreaterMidwestFoodways.com.


Note: Programs are recorded for broadcast on demand by Chicago Public Radio


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