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.


Feride Buyuran, “Food of Azerbaijan: From the Silk Road to Today”
  • Saturday, September 10th, 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
Azerbaijan is bounded by the Caspian Sea and Caucasus Mountains, which span Asia and Europe. Azerbaijani cuisine as we know today evolved gradually over the centuries as new ingredients and techniques were introduced as a result of cultural exchange between East and West. Feride walks us through the evolution of the cuisine, highlighting the role of the Silk Road in the formation of the local food scene, the dramatic impact of sovietization on the country’s traditional cuisine, as well as the revival of long-forgotten foods and culinary practices after independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991.


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.