Maize: The Midwest’s Corn


The Heartland’s Corn


Kendall College School of Culinary Arts
900 North Branch (west of Halsted) in Chicago. Free parking.
 Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 6 – 8, 2017


Information on Learning Tour: Graue Mill and Naper Settlement
October  6, 2017


Maize: The Heartland’s Corn
October 7, 2017

Lunch Menu


Information on Learning Tour: Three Farms, an Orchard and a Fish Boil
October  8, 2017


Greater Midwest Foodways presents its sixth symposium examining Midwestern Maize as a foodstuff, a source of controversy and an economic engine.


We kick off this maize-centric weekend with a learning tour of the historic Graue Grist Mill and Museum in Oakbrook, IL, which ground corn for 70 years commencing in 1852. Attendees may lunch at York Tavern, which has been in continuous operation since 1843. The tour concludes at Naper Settlement, an outdoor 19th century living history museum. Tour fee: $25


On Saturday, we will convene at Kendall College at 10:00 AM for a day of maize talks.  Check-in commences at 9:15 AM. Early arrivals can have a breakfast of their favorite cereals: Corn flakes, Corn Chex  and Puffed Corn. Symposium fee: $50


Our program will feature these varied and knowledgeable speakers:


    • Amy Wertheim, a sixth-generation family farmer who will outline how corn farming has changed over the last 50 years


    • Kantha Shelke, PhD on how corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup differ, which will include tastings


    • Colleen Taylor Sen, PhD will introduce the new book she co-edited: The Encyclopedia of Chicago Food


    • Robert Launay, PhD, an anthropologist from Northwestern University on French explorers first encounters with maize


    • Donna Langford, The DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Assoc, on historical innovations that led to the transition from open pollinated corn to hybrid to GMO


    • Thomas Keith, Cicerone I, homebrew beer made from corn


  • Cynthia Clampitt, a food historian who authored Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland


DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Assoc will bring a germination box ,which was used by individual farmers to test particular ears for the likelihood of germination when corn was open pollinated (prior to 1930s). There will be display panels from former exhibits on transgenic corn and the use of the gene gun.


Saturday’s lunch serves up a maize-centric meal of sprouted corn bread, corn chowder, rice salad and a corn-based beer specially brewed for us by Thomas Keith. Samples of maize-based foods such as dried sweet corn,  Filipino corn ice cream and such will be available.


Sunday’s learning tour concludes our weekend with a visit to three farms, an orchard and a fish boil, which are all along the Illinois-Wisconsin border near Richmond and Hebron. Tour fee: $35



Tickets may be purchased by: check to Greater Midwest Foodways, 544 Michigan Ave, Highland Park, Illinois 60035 or use your credit card by phone 800-838-3006 or No refunds.


For more information, email or call 312-380-1665.