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.

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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.