About Us


The Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance is dedicated to celebrating, exploring and preserving unique food traditions and their cultural contexts in the American Midwest. By hosting public events, developing archival resources and generating publications, Greater Midwest Foodways uncovers the distinctiveness of a region that is as varied in tastes and traditions as it is in its geography from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains. Whether indigenous foods like Wisconsin cranberries and Minnesota walleye, iconographic flavors like the wheat and corn from across the prairies, immigrant cuisines from early Europeans to 21st century newcomers, or fish boils and fine dining in small towns and big cities, Greater Midwest Foodways promotes and chronicles the diversity of the region’s culinary character.



Catherine Lambrecht, President Catherine is program chair of Chicago Foodways Roundtable.  A founder and moderator of LTHforum.com culinary chat site.  She is ex-Presidents of Illinois Mycological Society and Highland Park Historical Society. She was Vice Chair of Advisory Council for University of Illinois Extension at Grayslake and ex-Vice President of the Lake County Extension Foundation.


Jeanne Zasadil, Treasurer is a Master Gardner, Master Food Preserver, Tailor and Culinary Historian. She belongs to Nineteenth Century Club, Chicago Archaeological Society, Wild Flower Preservation Society and Treekeepers. Jeanne worked producing caviar at Collin’s Caviar. Public relations for hotel restaurant institutional market. Food editor at Vend magazine. Editor at Food Business Magazine.


Wanda Bain, BS, Roosevelt University, Chicago, is a columnist for the Schaumburg Review and a public relations advocate for several NFP organizations. For more than a decade, she worked in the Daily Herald’s marketing department, and recently retired as Director of Tourism for the Greater Woodfield Convention and Visitors Bureau. She was chairman of CHC’s 10th Anniversary event.


Patty Erd is a 2nd generation spice merchant and co-owner of The Spice House, which received Evanston’s Small Business of the Year award. Selected to serve as national spice expert on The Food Network, NPR radio, PBS television.  Member of the IACP, Les Dames d’Escoffier, American Spice Trade Association. Winner of the prestigious Good Eating award from The Chicago Tribune.


Barbara Kuck 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.




Founding Board



Wanda Bain, Christopher Koetke, Bruce Kraig, Catherine Lambrecht, Kantha Shelke and Jeanne Zasadil