Mark your calendars: Austrian breads and the Science of Honey

Last weekend for the first time I went to a Culinary Historians of Chicago program, David Strauss' talk on Gourmet magazine's 1941 founding and its patriotic role in the war effort.  Quite interesting and best of all, a very thoughtful crowd with great questions.  This group has such events most weekends, this week's featuring an Austrian baker.  And can you even believe it, he will be demonstrating apple strudel.  Really.

Raising Austria:  A History of Austrian Breads

with Michael Mikusch
Master Baker and Owner, Austrian Bakery and Deli, Chicago

Saturday, October 29, 2011, 10 a.m. to noon
Kendall College, School of Culinary Arts
900 N. North Branch St. (just west of Halsted, just north of Chicago Ave.)

Born and raised in Austria, Michael Mikusch discovered his passion for baking at age 15, and became a certified Master Baker at age 22. After bringing his vast knowledge of traditional Austrian baking to countries around the world, Chef Mikusch eventually settled in Chicago. Since opening the Austrian Bakery and Deli at 2523 N. Clark in 2004, he has continued to perfect his craft and share his love of authentic Austrian breads, pastries and cakes with the Chicago community.

Cost of the lecture is $5, $3 for students and no charge for CHC members or Kendall students and faculty. To reserve, please call David Farris at 312/286-8781 or e-mail your reservation to:


Any wannabe beekeepers out there?  Learn how bees do what they do, and the chemistry of honey at the Notebaert Nature Museum this Saturday.  From the Illinois Science Council website:

Chemistry of Honey

Saturday, October 29, 2011 - 10:30am - 12:30pm
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive

This program will delight and enlighten you with what bees actually do to make honey, how it’s harvested and other fun facts.  Entomologist May Berenbaum, PhD, of University of Illinois-Champaign, together with chemist Shelby Hatch, PhD, of Northwestern University will explore the extraordinary chemical properties of honey and its many varieties.

  • Why doesn’t honey "go bad" even if you leave it in the cabinet for months or years?
  • What are the different viscosities of honey?  Does it affect taste?
  • Does the amount of water in honey matter?
  • What about honey’s antibiotic properties?
  • What the heck is the “osmotic effect” of honey and what is Mānuka honey?

You’ll conduct experiments yourselves to explore the wonders of this golden goodness. There may be balloons and beakers and ph involved, and perhaps refractometers, but there will be definitely be tastes to tantalize your tongue.

Space is limited.  Click here to register.  Tickets are $15 (includes museum admission) and available only online.  A presentation of the Illinois Science Council, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and Slow Food Chicago as part of their series on bees and beekeeping.



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