Culinary History

Auguste Escoffier

Any chefs in our listening audience undoubtedly know about Auguste Escoffier, but people who haven’t studied cuisine may not realize that this one man revolutionized food preparation and restaurant dining in ways that are still part of almost any meal you may be served today. 



Interview: Anne Byrn's 'American Cookie'

We're delighted to have Anne Byrn back on the show to talk about her latest book, "American Cookie." Anne shares her vast knowledge of historical baking and how it fits into the cultural history of the U.S. in the form of small, portable treats. 

The First Celebrity Chef: Marie-Antoine Carême

Today, there is an entire industry around celebrity chefs. But the first celebrity chef in the western world's history was born in late 18th-century France.

The East India Company's Theft of China’s Tea Secrets

Great Britain's relationship with tea is part of its cultural identity. But before the mid-1800s, China was the only source of tea, which was a problem in the eyes of the East India Company. 

Unearthed! in 2017, Part 2

In part two of our annual recap, we walk through what's been literally and figuratively unearthed in 2017, including things institutions found in their own collections, exhumations, repatriations, and edibles and potables.

The Historical Roots of Holiday Treats

Tasty treats associated with winter holidays - candy canes, wassail and gingerbread - have some slightly hazy origins, because the evidence of their histories was eaten. What do we actually know about these foods and their place in the holiday menu?

Frederic Tudor, the Ice King

Tudor hatched a clever plan: In cold weather, he would harvest ice for cheap, and then sell it all around the world when it was hot, singlehandedly turning ice into a commodity and becoming vastly wealthy in the process.

A Brief History of Foreign Food in the U.S.

One of the most diverse things about the U.S. is its food industry. Foodies obsessively seek out the “authentic” flavors of any given culture. But many of the foods brought to the U.S. via immigration were initially viewed with suspicion and disdain.

John Kidwell and the Founding of Hawaii’s Pineapple Industry

From his start as an apprentice to a nurseryman in London, John Kidwell would go on to catalyze the establishment of Hawaii’s pineapple industry. His story is tied to the white business-driven Reform Party and its coup over the Hawaiian monarchy.

Beer History with Erik Lars Myers

Erik Lars Myers, founder, CEO and head brewer at Mystery Brewing Company, talks about the history of beer, including how it connects to charity, nutrition and humans' first development of agriculture.