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We’re not all historians here, but we’re all interested in food history.

To see what we’re up to, check out our schedule below and some of our previous lectures, and maybe drop by the Los Angeles Central Library for one of our free monthly lectures.

If you decide to join, your dues go to buy historical cookbooks and manuscripts for the Central Library’s collection, one of the most important in the country.


Albert Sonnenfeld, “Global Warning: Macrowaves on Stormy Restaurant Seas”

  • Saturday, February 13th, 2016 at 10:30 AM
  • Los Angeles Public Library, Mark Taper Auditorium
  • Downtown Central Library, 630 W. 5th St.
  • Free and open to the public

Albert Sonnenfeld
“As a sometime culinary Luddite, I shall discuss (in a light hearted unjargonistic way) globalization and multiculturalism, as projected in restaurant names throughout the Western world, in pizza as a uniquely American, not Italian export, in the cultural values represented by McDo (28,000 franchises abroad and counting, and Starbucks proliferation, (566 outlets not in North America))…”


2016-01-09 Charles Perry
The Hospitality Committee had several requests for a recipe from Charles Perry’s January’s lecture.

Dried yogurt balls (qurut) take a couple of days to make, but the process is dead simple and requires scarcely any effort of you. You cover a baking sheet with plastic wrap, spread thickened yogurt (“yogurt cheese”) on in a layer maybe ½ inch thick, and play a fan on it for 12-24 hours. Take the layer out of the baking sheet, cover the sheet with fresh plastic wrap and overturn the yogurt onto it, scraping if it won’t come off quietly, and play the fan on it for another 12-24 hours.

When the yogurt is thickened enough, roll it into balls about 1 inch in diameter, arrange them on the baking sheet and play the fan on them until they are as hard as you like. I dried these (continue reading)


Ricardo Zarate on “PERU: Five Thousand Years of Fusion”

PERU Five Thousand Years of Fusion
Peruvian food is a blend of indigenous, European and Asian flavors. Chef Ricardo Zarate walks us through regional and then fusion flavors as he discusses various dishes influenced by other cultures. From traditional Peruvian dishes such as aji de gallina (chicken stew), lomo saltado (marinated steak and potatoes), anticuhos (skewers, like the ones the chef once sold on the streets of Lima), and ceviche—to updated Peruvian comfort foods like Spanish mackerel in amarillo pepper sauce, cau cau (tripe stew), alpaca and lamb burger, and mushroom risotto made with quinoa rather than rice, Zarate explains them all and shares recipes in his new book, The Fire of Peru: Recipes and Stories from My Peruvian Kitchen.


Edible Delights in History

Nancy Zaslavsky leads a panel discussion on the Getty’s exhibitions about food, “Edible Delights in History” with Getty curators Marcia Reed and Christine Sciacca, and noted culinary authority Anne Willan.

Wanted – Angelology Experts ASAP!

chsc-uncle-sam​The unwitting Hospitality Committee chair is now in a smug soap bubble due to a near consistent appearance of Angel Volunteers who make him look very very good. Now, apparently he is looking for angelologists to understand how this happens at the Central Library events.

“Most of these angels, even though some of them are brand new Volunteers,” he says, “seem to have years of experience around here and perhaps they may even have run the Hospitality Committee in the past.” About an hour before each event, they peek in the kitchenette or the reception courtyard…, “and before I know it, it’s all done while my back was turned.” Sometimes he doesn’t even know if they had read his email. Well, even if they have read and responded, their initiative is always a pleasant surprise.

Any time their numbers swell, he is elated that the constant star angels of the committee, e.g., Edie & Jay, Lanna, Doris, Jill, Jeannie, Toni, do not have to be doing everything every time every moment of every event in addition to the prep work they do at home and shopping – “as much as they say with a smile that they enjoy it, it’s just not fair they pull through the whole thing by themselves every time due to acute conscientiousness” he says.

It seems clear that he has a different agenda than research in seeking Angelology Experts. “Any culinary skills enthusiast who appreciates angels that deeply is probably one and therefore conscientious,” he says, “and just unaware that these silent angels are being taxed, a little more than what I suspect was their collaborative intent.” Given how nice and happy the Culinary Historians are, it must just be a matter of getting the word out. Even if, saying pessimistically, only 90% of the entire membership at the events responds even few times a year, it should be a piece of angel food cake to make these events enjoyable for everyone.

Well, you all know you are one yourself. Would you come help them, this year? Find your way in by email, or via any Executive Committee member you already know, or just walk in and look for the Hospitality Committee on your social Saturday.

“Is it carbon-neutral eco-friendly and sustainable to take Angels for granted?”

– for reasons clearly not profound, this was written in third person by Sandeep Gupta the chair of the Hospitality Comm.