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Far From Dry Reading

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 12, 2007 4:57PM

2007_04_WTC.jpgThe International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) is holding its annual Cookbook Expo this weekend in Chicago. And, for the first time, they're opening it up to the public. This is your chance to hobnob with some of your favorite cookbook authors and chefs, who will be on hand to sell and sign their latest books. The event runs from 5-6 p.m. tomorrow at the Hilton Chicago. Even though it's free, reservations are required; e-mail to RSVP.

The IACP is hosting a series of events in conjunction with the Cookbook Expo. This evening, foodies can enjoy a dinner prepared by Food Network personality Cat Cora, Shrimp and Grits Cookbook co-author Nathalie Dupree, NAHA's Carrie Nahabedian, Sarah Stegner of Prairie Grass Café, and Art Smith, who's charged with keeping Oprah away from french fries. They'll be cooking in the kitchen of the Washburne Culinary Institute's Parrot Cage restaurant. The event, titled "Celebrating the Family Table: Generations of Inspiration", runs from 6:30-10:30 this evening at the South Shore Cultural Center. The cost is $125, with $100 of it tax-deductible.

Tomorrow night, Frontera Grill's Rick Bayless and Bruce Kraig, PhD., Professor Emeritus in History and Humanities at Roosevelt University, IACP Scholar-in residence, and President/founder of the Culinary Historians of Chicago, will host "Endangered Treasures: A Celebration of Historic Menu Preservation." Chef Bayless and Professor Kraig will take guests on a taste tour of menu items from long-forgotten restaurants of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This was a time when there were very few, if any, free standing restaurants (most of the haute cuisine of the period were located in hotels). The event will be held in the restored dining room of Louis Sullivan's Auditorium Hotel (430 S. Michigan). A portion of the proceeds from the event (tickets are $100) will benefit the Chicago History Museum, where the evening's menu selections were culled from their collection of turn-of-the-century menus, to fund digitizing the menus for posterity. For tickets and more information on either event, contact The Culinary Trust here.

Finally, we'd be remiss if we didn't remind readers of the Hervé This molecular gastronomy seminar Saturday at the Union League Club of Chicago, which is a joint presentation of the IACP and ACF Windy City Chefs. This groundbreaking event, the first molecular gastronomy seminar in the United States, is free, but you need to RSVP here, if it hasn't filled up already. Professor This will also have copies of his book, Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor, available for sale.

White Trash Cooking cover photo courtesy of Ten Speed Press. Chicagoist owns a mint-condition first print of this cookbook and recommends the "cooter stew" recipe.