Recent CHC Events

Recent Events

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Tuesday, June 28

Ceramics for the Canadian Table

A lecture and tour with Sequoia Miller, chief curator at Toronto’s Gardiner Museum, about depictions of Canada featured in ceramic tableware. A collection of ceramic tableware on view at the Gardiner depicts idealized scenes of 19th-century Canadian life. Manufactured in England, these objects and others like them participated in the colonial project by imagining and asserting both national and colonial identities. At this event, Sequoia Miller will discuss how seemingly decorative objects engage complex questions around colonialism, political economy and cultural authority. Dr. Miller will also consider the role of museums in offering new and critical interpretive strategies for thinking through problematic historical objects.


Tuesday, May 31

Healthy, Happy, Wholesome: Cooking and Wellness in Canadian History 

CHC partnered with University of Guelph to present the launch of a new cookbook-themed food-history exhibit: Healthy, Happy, Wholesome: Cooking and Wellness in Canadian History. This online exhibit is part of the larger project What Canada Ate, a growing repository of digitized Canadian cookbooks and contains materials from the University of Guelph’s Archival & Special Collections’ Culinary Collection, one of the largest of its kind in North America.

The event included a brief virtual tour of the exhibit and formal remarks from University of Guelph adjunct history professor, Rebecca Beausaert; acting Special Collections librarian, Ashley Shifflett McBrayne; University of Guelph history professor, Catherine Carstairs; cookbook donor, Gary Draper; home economist and food writer, Anne Lindsay; and culinary historian and CHC co-founder, Fiona Lucas.

Thursday, February 17

Salt Beef Buckets: A Newfoundland Valentine

Amanda (a.k.a. Andie) Bulman is a writer, comedian and cook who joined us for our Hearth Warming winter holiday foods event in December to talk briefly about her life on The Rock. Now she’s back to tell us more about her new book, Salt Beef Buckets: A Love Story, and some of the fascinating culinary and cultural traditions of Newfoundland.

Saturday, January 15

Salt-Rising Bread Workshop

Salt Rising Bread author and researcher Genevieve Bardwell led a workshop on making this uniquely North American bread that originated in the Appalachian region during the 1700s. This bread tradition was passed down orally through the centuries and shared across West Virginia and Western New York—and right up into Canada, where Catherine Parr Traill made it in Ontario—as well as Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina. Bardwell also shared theories about how the bread got its name. Comparisons with similar Indigenous breads from other world regions were discussed.


Sundays, December 5 & 12, 1 to 2 p.m. EST

Hearthwarming: Canadian Winter Holiday Traditions

A two-part Zoom series. As winter closes in, different groups across Canada celebrate numerous winter holidays with “hearthwarming” and heartwarming traditions and traditional foods. CHC member John Ota, author of the acclaimed book The Kitchen: A Journey Through Time … in Search of the Perfect Design (Penguin Random House, 2020), will host a series of interviews with six different Canadians from six different provinces sharing some of their favorite holiday memories. Each interview will be followed by a brief Q&A. Tickets and more details will be available on Eventbrite soon.

At 1 p.m. EST on two successive Sundays, December 5 and 12, John Ota will host Hearth Warming Stories, Celebrating Some Canadian Winter Holidays, Zoom interviews with six Canadians about their favourite holiday traditions, memories and foods from six different provinces.

Admission: $19.10 for one event or $32.04 for both (general); $11.34 for one or $18.59 for both (CHC Members). Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Episode 1 (Sunday, December 5)

Chef, writer, comedian and CBC contributor Andie Bulman of St. John’s on holiday fare in Newfoundland

A discussion of Hanukkah in Montreal with food historian and CHC member Kat Romanow and activist, mother and lawyer Sydney Warshaw, founders of the Montreal-based Jewish food history group The Wandering Chew

Edmonton native, Nanaimo resident, cook and cookbook collector Charlie Galan, chair of the Edmonton Historical Society, on festive West Coast foods

Episode 2 (Sunday, December 12)

CHC member Kesia Kvill, a PhD candidate in WWI foodways at University of Guelph, exploring holiday food in Norwegian Alberta

CHC member Lisette Mallet, president of the Société d’histoire de Toronto (Toronto Historical Association) on an Acadian Christmas in New Brunswick

Kristin Olafson-Jenkyns, author of The Culinary Saga of New Iceland: Recipes From the Shores of Lake Winnipeg (2020), describing foods of New Iceland in Manitoba

Sunday, October 17, 1 p.m. EST

First Catch Your Gingerbread

A Zoom chat with food historian and writer Sam Bilton, author of First Catch Your Gingerbread (Prospect Books, 2021). Did you know that a mistress of a French king was poisoned by a piece of gingerbread? Or that gingerbread men were thought in some quarters to be reminders of the human sacrifices made in bygone days?

Sunday, September 26

Annual General Meeting

Tuesday, July 27, 7 p.m. EDT

Mrs. Dalgairns’s Kitchen

Culinary historian and CHC honorary lifetime member Mary F. Williamson will talk about her new book, Mrs. Dalgairns’s Kitchen: Rediscovering “The Practice of Cookery,” an in-depth look at a cookbook first published in 1829. Mary will be joined by Elizabeth Baird, who adapted some of the recipes in the book for modern kitchens. Baird—who found Dalgairn’s recipes extremely practical—will demonstrate two of the updated recipes. A question-and-answer session with both women will follow.

When The Practice of Cookery first appeared in 1829, reviewers went into ecstasies, and it was a top seller for nearly 30 years, until it was finally eclipsed by Mrs. Beeton’s famous cookbook. Mrs. Dalgairns was thought by her contemporaries to be Scottish, but she had lived for over 20 years on Prince Edward Island. In Mrs. Dalgairns’s Kitchen, Mary Williamson reclaims Dalgairns’ and her book’s Canadian roots.

In addition to the author’s experience of Acadian and Mi’kmaq foodways, Mrs. Dalgairns lived in Scotland for a number of years and added recipes from there to her repertoire. Her mother had come from Boston, inspiring the cookbook’s several American recipes; Dalgairns’s brothers-in-law lived in India, as reflected in the chapter devoted to curry recipes.

Thursday, June 24, 7:30 p.m. EDT

Packaged Toronto: Vintage Food Packaging & the Companies Behind Them

Researcher and writer Jamie Bradburn will talk about historical food and drink packaging and the companies behind them as featured in a new book from the publishers of Spacing magazine: Packaged Toronto: A Collection of the City’s Historic Design.

In Packaged TorontoSpacing’s writers teamed up with City of Toronto museum curators to reveal a treasure trove of early local package design from the city’s vast collection. Through detailed photography and historical essays focused on an underserved period of Canadian design, Packaged Toronto takes readers on a journey back in time to the period between 1870 and 1950 to witness the emergence of the city’s aesthetic. Jamie Bradburn focuses on some of the companies and products from this period, from Mr. Christie’s Cookie Tin for Soldiers to Harry Horne’s Double Cream Custard Powder, and much more.

Jamie Bradburn is a Toronto-based writer and historian. He writes a weekly history quiz for the Toronto Star and regularly contributes to TVOntario’s website. His work has appeared in several books published by Spacing; he cowrote their 50 Objects That Define Toronto. For a decade, he contributed to Torontoist’s “Historicist” column, earning Heritage Toronto and National Magazine Awards.

Admission: $19.10; $11.34 (CHC members). Ticket holders will receive a coupon good for a $5 discount on the book, good through June 30. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Thursday, May 13, 8:00 p.m. EDT

Uncertain Harvest: The Future of Food on a Warming Planet

Ian Mosby and Sarah Rotz—authors of the new book Uncertain Harvest: The Future of Food on a Warming Planet—look to the past to help us better understand our culinary future. They explore our ongoing history of mostly failed predictions and use that to look at contemporary predictions of a food future dominated by robot farms, cultured meats and photosynthesis-hacked GM rice.

Admission: $18.59 ($11.54 for CHC members). Tickets are available on Eventbrite. Save on this ticket price and admission to future events by becoming a CHC member for only $30 today!

Thursday, April 15, 8:30 p.m. EDT

The Canadian Archaeologist Who Collected 4,500 Beer Cans

Dr. David Maxwell, archeologist at Simon Fraser University, will talk to us about his side passion, collecting “antique” beer cans, and what they can tell us not only about beer and can production, but also about littering and recycling, industrial design and attitudes toward alcohol.

Admission: $18.59 ($11.54 for CHC members). Tickets are available on Eventbrite. Save on this ticket price and admission to future events by becoming a CHC member for only $30 today!

Sunday, March 21, 1 p.m. EDT

Charoset Cooking Class for Passover

CHC invites our members and friends to join The Wandering Chew for a virtual Passover cooking class on Zoom. The Wandering Chew is a Montreal-based group founded in 2013 by Sydney Warshaw and CHC member Kat Romanow to share their excitement about the diversity of Jewish cooking from across the diaspora. In 2018 they were joined by Gillian Sonin.

During this class, participants will learn how to make several kinds of charoset, one of the essential symbolic—and delicious—foods of a seder meal (pictured above). Whether you’re looking for a new charoset recipe for your seder table or want to learn more about the diversity of Jewish food traditions, this will be a fun class for everyone.

Admission: Suggested donation of $12 (CHC members), $18 (general). Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Thursday, March 4, 2021, 7:30 to 9 p.m.

The Marmalade Mavens

An illustrated Zoom talk by author and CHC board member Sarah B. Hood on the rise and fall of the world’s greatest marmalade makers

From the legendary Janet Keiller, popularly credited with “inventing” marmalade in Dundee, Scotland in the 1700s, to Cooper’s, Chivers, Smucker’s and Shirriff’s, the world’s great marmalade manufacturers have fascinating stories. Touching on marmalade history from ancient times to the present, Sarah weaves a compelling tale that ties in Roman cookery, medieval Persian poetry, changing attitudes towards racism, scurvy in the British Navy, Victorian labour conditions and globalization, and perhaps explains why marmalade is such an enduringly beloved commodity.

After the presentation, Sarah will stay for a Q&A session on marmalade history and answer practical questions about making prize-winning marmalade.

Admission: $18 ($12 for CHC members). Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Thursday, January 21, 2021, 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Catharine Parr Traill on Enjoying and Surviving a Canadian Winter

Catharine Parr Traill’s genteel life in England did not prepare her at all for life on the frontier in Ontario in the mid-1800s. But one of the ways she found to support her family in her new world was to write about her experience for other immigrants. Her writings both public and private deal with the many joys and tribulations of the wintery backwoods in early Canada.

Traill had practical advice for her readers, from maintaining a yeast supply to choosing a parlour stove to sewing a warm cloak. She revealed much about bottling, pickling, smoking and hunting foods for the mid-nineteenth century pantry, then making winter meals. Her how-to advice benefited many immigrants unprepared for the cold and ice, as she had been once unprepared, but she also came to love the sparkling snow in her Canadian wilderness.

Fiona Lucas, who with Nathalie Cooke, co-edited Catharine Parr Traill’s Female Emigrant’s Guide: Cooking with a Canadian Classic (2017), speaks knowledgeably and entertainingly on Traill’s experience and writings. Her half hour presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.


Thursday, December 10, 2020, 7:30 to 9 p.m. ET

Baking for the Victorian Christmas Table – Plum Pudding & Mincemeat Tarts!

Culinary Historians of Canada’s 5th annual Baking for the Victorian Christmas Table is going digital this year! This Christmas baking workshop features CHC’s star baker and historic cook, Sherry Murphy. She’ll be demonstrating recipes for traditional plum pudding and mincemeat tarts from Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery for Private Families, a cookbook that was current during the Victorian period (1837–1901), all made over the open hearth in the historic kitchen at Montgomery’s Inn in Etobicoke, Ontario.

This virtual workshop will include a beautifully filmed recording of Sherry and her assistant Pat Currie demonstrating both recipes, along with an introduction to Montgomery’s Inn. A live question and answer period with Sherry will follow the video presentation. A booklet of Victorian recipes will be available for participants to download and save. In addition, participants will have access to the workshop video for one month following the event.

Admission is $30 ($20 for CHC members). Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Saturday, September 26, 2 p.m. EST

CHC Annual General Meeting

Thanks to all who attended! In case you missed it, you can still click to download the key documents as PDF files:


Thursday, October 8, 2020 (virtual event)

A Taste of Longing – In Conversation with Suzanne Evans

Join us for a live Zoom talk with Canadian author Suzanne Evans on her new book, The Taste of Longing, focused on food in a POW camp during WWII.

Admission: $10; free for CHC members with code CHCmember. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Canadian Cooking Challenge

July 2020

Food Day Canada falls on August 1, and we’re inviting you to get involved as part of our Canadian Cooking Challenge for this month.

The rules are simple: whether you’re shopping at a farmer’s market, grilling at a campsite or having a quiet meal at home, just add #FoodDayCanada to your posts on Instagram and Twitter. You’ll find inspiration from the wealth of Canadian recipes to be explored on the Food Day Canada site in the section called Cook Like a Canadian!

Behind Every Great Cook is a Great Mother

Summer 2020

Video interviews with notable chefs, cooks and culinary authors who talk about their mothers’ influence on their careers.

John Ota’s The Kitchen – Lecture

Thursday, March 5,  6:30 to 8 p.m.
Campbell House, Toronto

John Ota – architect, designer, historic preservationist, member of the Culinary Historians of Canada – talked about his new book, The Kitchen, which he wrote as part of his quest to seek out – and be inspired by – the great historic kitchens of Canada and the USA.

Hungry for Comfort 2020

Sunday, February 9, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Fort York National Historic Site, Toronto

Join fellow food enthusiasts at the 2020 edition of Hungry for Comfort: Celebrating Our Food History to explore how different peoples survived and thrived during Canada’s bitter winter. This year, the spotlight is on the culinary stories of the Jewish community. There will be speakers, demonstrations and workshops as well as tastings and a catered lunch featuring Jewish recipes.

Workshops include Hamantashen with professional baker Joel Levy; Cooking from The Jewish Cookery Book (1871) by Esther Levy, offered by the Fort York Volunteer Historic Cooks; Challah with Chef Doris Fin; Ruggelach with Chef Joanne Yolles; Kreplach with Chef Adell Shneer; and Chrime Fish with Harissa and Green Zhoug, led by Chef Carolyn Cohen.

Part of this Winterlicious event is the Baking and Preserving Competition, which will be co-organized by CHC. The categories this year are Seville Orange Marmalade, Citrus Marmalade, Apple Chutney and Challah Bread.

The deadline for submissions is 9 a.m. on Sunday, February 9. Participants are welcome to enter as many categories as they like for a fee of $5 per entry, and they don’t even have to attend the program to enter!

Admission: $75 + HST. Pre-registration is required. For more information about the competition, download the entry form with full regulations or contact the coordinators by email at

Family Winter Fun Day at Fort York

Monday, February 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fort York National Historic Site, Toronto

CHC will be setting up a display at Family Winter Fun Day on the theme of “Cookbooks: The Family Connection.” We will be sampling cookies made from the 3rd edition (1954) of The Wimodausis Club Cook Book (so named because the members of this Toronto-based women’s club were WIves, MOthers, DAUghters and SISters.) We will also show various traditional and vintage ways in which families have passed down their recipes. We invite visitors to bring their own family favourites.

Admission: Free. Various items available for purchase.


Lost Feast: Culinary Extinction and the Future of Food: Wednesday, December 4, 6 to 9 p.m.
Culinaria Research Centre, University of Toronto Scarborough
Lenore Newman discussed her new book, Lost Feast: Culinary Extinction and the Future of Food, about the foods tha thumans have literally loved to death. She will also discuss the “extinction dinners” she designed to recreate meals of the past or project how we might eat in the future. Lenore Newman is the Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Environment at the University of the Fraser Valley and author of Speaking in Cod Tongues: A Canadian Culinary Journey. Her talk is co-sponsored by Culinary Historians of Canada and Culinaria Research Centre at U of T Scarborough.