Culinary Historians of Southern California

Dedicated to pursuing food history and supporting culinary collections at the Los Angeles Public Library

We’re not all historians here, but we’re all interested in food history. To see what we’re up to, check out our upcoming events 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 purchase books on food and drink for the Central Library’s culinary collection, one of the most important in the country— plus fund CHSC program videos, speaker travel expenses, and newsletters.


2016-10 Brew
“L.A. Craft Brew” 
A look at the evolution of L.A. beer—crafting a community, one brewery at a time.

  • Saturday, October 8th, 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
Welcome to a thirst-quenching panel discussion! Once a barren desert for beer, L.A. County has since grown to flourish into a craft beer hub for Southern California, finally catching up to more established brewing communities in neighboring San Diego and Northern California. L.A. Brewers are bringing high-quality, artisanal products into a hyper-local market dedicated to fostering a sense of community and local pride. The program stars local brewers, brewery owners, and craft beer distributors who have seen the L.A. scene mature in only the last seven years. 


A California Culinary History of Curry

  • Saturday, October 15th, 2016 at 2:00 PM
  • Pacific Palisades Library
  • 861 Alma Real Dr, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
  • Free and open to the public
In 1899, four men from Punjab, India disembarked in San Francisco. They were the first of hundreds of thousands that would follow over the next century, changing the culinary landscape of America. From the Indian-Mexican cuisine of SoCal, to Ranji Smile, arguably America's first celebrity chef, we'll explore the history of Indian cuisine in America.


2016-09 Member Event
Our “Members Only” 
Azerbaijan Dinner was such a success we're going to do it again!

Click here for details of our encore event on Saturday, October 22nd.

On September 17th the Culinary Historians gathered for a members-only dinner of the cuisine of Azerbaijan made by Feride Buyuran, author of “Pomegranates And Saffron: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan.” Feride and her daughter Meltem greeted visitors wearing traditional Azerbaijani costumes and escorted us to the beautifully lit rear patio. The twelve-course meal included a chilled yogurt soup with herbs and chickpeas, four salads, rice pilaf topped with lamb stewed with dried fruit and chestnuts, and four kinds of homemade breads. Feride came out between courses to explain not only the individual dishes, but also food traditions and politeness at the table. 


Summer 2016 Newsletter now available, click here!
  • George, for Example by Charles Perry
  • Program Notes by Nancy Zaslavsky
  • A letter from the Editor by Sharon Tani
  • Events Around Los Angeles
  • Hop on over: The first American archive of brewing is open to all researchers and beer lovers
  • La Pitchoune: Julia Child's Summer Home Welcomes Guests by Carole Rosner
  • Book Review: :The Joys of Chef Memoirs" by Alison Peters
  • Why We Grew up on Velveeta by Gordon Edgar


Wanted - Angelology Experts ASAP!

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 Committee.