Tuesday, December 9, 2014

CAM Holiday Updates and Happenings

contributed by Kristin M. Zosa Puleo, Event and Program Coordinator

The second trimester at JWU is underway, and in just under two short weeks, the university will close for Winter Break. Here's what's happening at the museum and on campus, and what's to come in 2015!

The teaching lab has expanded to accommodate more classes! In the space of the former Dinner at the White House exhibit, we have added a space that looks more like a classroom to accommodate presentations and lectures. On display there are the latest food truck branding projects from the talented students in Deana Marzocchi's print design class.

On Saturday, December 13, the museum will be hosting a hot chocolate bar. We are encouraging you to wear your tacky holiday sweaters and enjoy a warm beverage with your choice of toppings. This treat will be free for JWU students, staff, and faculty, and free with the cost of admission for the general public. Join us at 12pm until the hot chocolate stops flowing! RSVPs are not necessary, but feel free to visit our Facebook page to join the event, and share it with your friends!

In March 2015, we will be installing a new exhibit, in conjunction with the NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) conference happening in Providence. The exhibit, curated by the founders of Empty Bowls, a grassroots movement to end hunger, is a retrospective celebrating of the organization's 25 year history.

Finally, we plan to bring back Project Cupcake in 2015! Keep an eye on the social media (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) and your inbox for details!

One last note, the museum will be closed for Winter Break from December 20, 2014 through January 5, 2015. There's still plenty of time to visit before then, but if we don't see you, have safe and happy holidays, and have a happy new year!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

It's good to be back! Reflections on our first month back in the game.

Hello CAM community,

In case you haven't heard, we are open for business! Here's a quick refresher: In May 2013, the museum closed to conduct a comprehensive inventory of our collection. It has been estimated that our collection consists of 250,000 artifacts and printed and archival materials. Need a visual for that estimation? In 1989, Chef Louis Szathmary donated his culinary collection to Johnson & Wales University, starting the CAM as we know it today. Louis' collection was transported here from Chicago in sixteen (16!) tractor trailer trucks. Since then, we have taken donations from generous patrons, families, business, and even family businesses. We've also acquired many more materials for our various exhibitions. Needless to say, closing for this inventory project was a wonderful opportunity for us to get to know the collection better.

Now that we've reopened, our primary focus is on the curriculum here at Johnson & Wales.  We established the CAM Teaching Lab prior to our closure, and we had a couple of solid, repeat visitors who brought their culinary lab classes in to use it. In addition, we had some regular business in terms of class tours. Since we reopened on September 2, we've had 200 students who've walked through our doors as part of class visits, and many more who have come through on their own and with their families! Keep it coming, JWU!

Contrary to what some people have heard, we did not complete a renovation during the time we were closed (the inventory was certainly enough to keep our hands full). We do, however have one new exhibition and one updated exhibition. We've updated the look of our Chef's Gallery and we have included more current JWU Distinguished Visiting Chefs and celebrity chef names. Our new exhibit, Sweet Success, highlights three successful businesses: The Agora Ice Cream Parlor, Salois Dairy, and Sweenor's Chocolates. Items discovered and processed during our inventory project are also included in this exhibition.

We invite you to come visit to see what's new and to revisit our permanent displays. After hitting the ground running on September 2, we are continuing to settle into a steady pace. Be on the lookout for announcements about programming and special events at the museum.

For all the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

You may recognize these young chefs on the right, but check out our new wall of chefs!
Close-up: The green jacket was donated by Chef Lorena Garcia, '00. The apron is from Chef Derek Wagner, '99.

Updated graphics and displays for the Chef's Gallery.
Sweet Success! A wide shot of our newest exhibit.

Stained glass panel from the back bar of the Agora Ice Cream Parlor.

Bunnies Galore! A selection of chocolate moulds from the Dorothy N. Timberlake Candy and Chocolate Mould Collection. Photo of the boy and the chocolate bunny courtesy of Sweenor's Chocolates.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pop Rocks: The "Action Food" of the future!

contributed by Kristin M. Zosa Puleo, Culinary Arts Museum Event and Program Coordinator

Hello CAM fans! Remember us? We're still here, and digging our way through our extensive inventory project. After pouring through tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands, even) of objects, books, art, and more than you could ever imagine, the museum is reopening this September, so be ready for us!

If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you've probably seen a few notable articles and images that I've come across. Today, I thought I'd take some time away from the counting to give a quick progress report along with today's article of interest.

This morning, in my "Future" envelope, were several issues of the newsletter "Futurific," published in the late 1970s. As you can imagine, the articles predicting what was coming up for the future were quite interesting and amusing. The craziest article I came across was predicting that there would be a floating airport built in Osaka, Japan by 1985. There was even an article about cloud-seeding (how timely for all of the conspiracy theories surrounding Atlanta's last snow/ice storm). Oh, and in 1977, the government was about to tell us all the truth about U.F.O.'s, yet Mulder and Scully were still searching for the truth in the 1990's.

Here, I share with you all an article about "Action Foods," namely, Pop Rocks. Apparently, Pop Rocks went through a testing phase in the Pacific Northwest in 1977, causing much excitement in the children who were eating them, and much fear in the parents of those children, who were worried that their kids' insides would explode from eating the carbonated sugar crystals. Read on, and enjoy! And don't miss the paragraph about the future of gas-causing foods. It is intriguing.