Press Release



Catherine Lambrecht

Day/evening: 847/432-8255


Alternate contact:

Wanda Bain




Beef: From Plains to Plate

Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance’s Third Annual Symposium





Chicago, Illinois – Celebrate Midwestern beef foodways by tracing the historic odyssey of all-American meat from the windswept plains of the heartland to meat processors in “cities on the make,” like Chicago, where it was packed, wrapped and sent to dinner plates around the globe. Join the Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance (GMFA) on that journey Beef: From Plains to the Plate – Follow the Cattlemen’s Trail to Savory Midwest Beef Traditions.


This three-day event begins on Friday, October 23rd at 4 p.m. with a cutting demonstration of a side of beef donated by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The resulting beef primals and subprimals will be pieced together, picked apart and discussed at Kendall College in Chicago, Illinois. Afterwards, there will be a Founder’s Dinner fundraiser featuring a fabulous dinner prepared by the chefs and students of Kendall College. This dinner will honor early supporters of Greater Midwest Foodways: Vienna Beef, Almond Board of California and Kendall College. Earlier, on Friday morning, there will be optional tour and lunch at the Navy’s Great Lakes Culinary “A” School.


The main event is on Saturday, October 24th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kendall College, where Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance will host a symposium featuring topics on beef production, history and dining. There will be panelists on cattle production from the cow-calf producer to the feedlot operator, beef processing and marketing as practiced in the past, present and future as well as what we know will be an enlightening discussion and simultaneous tasting of Certified Angus Beef and grass fed beef. Learn how ground meat on a bun conquered the world. What inspired some traditional Iowa farmers to practice Halal meat processing rituals. Close the day with a roundtable of steakhouse chefs and purveyors.


Refreshments will be offered throughout the day. Lunch will feature preparations of beef primal cuts and in the evening, many may opt to experience Chicago’s many great steakhouses.

On Sunday, there are two optional tours: First, Victoria Matranga, Curator of Kendall College’s Culinary Curiosities, will provide a look at some of their historic antique food production equipment. Second, Chicago Public Radio’s David Hammond and Bruce Kraig will lead an expedition through Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market, in operation since the late nineteenth century and now a well-recognized source for some of the tastiest Mexican street food in the United States.


“The Midwest is a sleeping-giant of rich food cultures, and GMFA plans to wake up the region to the intriguing facts filled with recipes, tales and samples at this Beef culinary event,” says Bruce Kraig, President of Greater Midwest Foodways, well-known food historian, author and Pillsbury Bake-off judge.


Join Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance at Kendall College, 900 North Branch (west of Halsted St, north of Chicago Ave), Chicago, Illinois, on Saturday, October 24th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (main event registration fee — $50). Beef cutting demonstration on Friday, October 23rd, 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. (Registration fee — $35). If you attend both, the cost is $75. Founder’s Dinner fundraiser on Friday, October 23rd at 6:30 p.m. (Registration fee — $100). Optional tours range from $5 for Sunday and $10 for Friday’s Navy Culinary School.


For more details and agenda, visit then follow the Events tab to Beef. For questions contact either Barbara Olson at 708/788-0338 or e-mail For registration by credit card go to


This event is open to all interested parties from chefs, academics, students, food scientists, journalists, industry representatives, restaurateurs, culinary historians, writers, publishers and food enthusiasts. This program is sponsored to date by Kendall College, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Midwest Region State Beef Councils.




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, the GMFA 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, the GMFA promotes and chronicles the diversity of the region’s culinary character.


In 2010, Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance’s symposium will address The Great Depression’s Food and Culture. After the success of our initial State Fair Heirloom Recipe competition, they are expanding it to other states next summer. All competitors’ recipes from 2009 are on our website: