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Who We Are

Culinary Historians of Washington, D.C. (CHoW/DC) founded in 1996, is an informal, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) educational organization dedicated to the study of the history of foodstuffs, cuisines, and culinary customs, both historical and contemporary, from all parts of the world.


Membership is open to scholars, cooks, food writers, nutritionists, collectors, students, and anyone interested in learning about foodways, culinary history, and gastronomy. Everyone’s contribution is welcome and we benefit from a wide variety of viewpoints on culinary history.


Meetings are usually held on the second Sunday of each month, September through May, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Services Center, 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, Maryland, and occasionally at other venues. The meetings are open to anyone.


Programs at meetings include lectures by invited speakers, participatory sessions in which members share research on a particular subject, specialized demonstrations, field trips, and a periodic banquet designed to enrich understanding and appreciation of a particular study topic. Recent meetings have included presentations on subjects as diverse as the histories of popcorn, tomatoes, and spices; the marketing of candy in the Gilded Age; an anthropological perspective on the culinary traditions of the Chesapeake Bay; and European wrought iron cooking and fireplace utensils from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.


CHoWLine is published eight times each year to report on the organization’s activities, and to keep members informed of meetings, related upcoming events, publications, films, and other pertinent information.