The study of food is intrinsically bound to the study of the human race. Culinary Historians of New York (CHNY) was founded in 1985 to stimulate and share knowledge of the ways food has affected humans (and humans, food) since earliest times.
Members of CHNY include chefs, cooking teachers, historians, anthropologists, food writers, food editors, food stylists, researchers, librarians, caterers, collectors, and nutritionists. Lots of people who simply enjoy learning about, cooking and eating good food are also enthusiastic contributors.
Intellectual curiosity is the common denominator, but many members also share special interests ranging from edible wild plants, climatic influences, food advertising, kitchen technology, beer brewing, heirloom vegetables, menu collecting, food safety, bread baking, and restaurant trends to Medieval, Chinese, African, Dutch colonial, Russian, Italian, American Indian, Latin American, Mexican, Portuguese, and Sephardic cuisines.
At monthly meetings, workshops and field trips, CHNY members explore the historic, esoteric, and entertaining byways of food. These events are led by noted authors, anthropologists, and food and wine experts, many of them CHNY members, who illuminate the role of food in the distant and recent past as well as the present. The events are as lively as they are scholarly, often accompanied by tastings, and always informal.
Some topics have a relatively short history, i.e. Hawai'i’s new “pidgin” cuisine, foodways of the American Gypsies, and Kwanzaa, the Afrocentric celebration. Others stretch back to the Bible’s influence on food choices, the Crusaders, gingerbread, and obento, the ancient Japanese answer to the boxed lunch.
Board of Directors:
Laura Hampton, Secretary
Diane Klages, Treasurer
Carolyn Vaughan, Programming
Julia Mucci, Membership Liaison
Editor, NYFoodStory: Joy Santlofer