Food Time Line Begins


M.F.K. Fisher writes Here Let Us Feast

Mrs. Paul’s Kitchens launches fish sticks

Brennan’s Restaurant opens. Creates competition for

Dinner at Antoine’s with Breakfast at Brennan’s

Arthur Bryant opens Bar-B-Cue restaurant in Kansas City

Taillevent opens in Paris.

1947          Reuben sandwich huge hit

1948          Frank Perdue, age 28 ruffles feathers when he takes control of Perdue Farms and its 40 employees

1948          Balducci’s opens

1948          J.I. Rodale says organically grown fruit and vegetables are good for you. Brand new idea

1950          Legal Seafoods opens

1950          The Coach House opens to fanfare

1950          The Rainbow Room blazes back on restaurant scene after wartime closing

1950 Diners Club is founded. Patrons carded

1950 Dunkin’ Donuts opens. Hole in one

1951 Parks Sausage is introduced in Baltimore

1951 Duncan Hines Cake Mix introduced. Sales rise

1951 Louis Zabar leaves business to sons, Saul, 22; Stanley, 18 and  Eli, 7

1951 L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes opens in Paris with Julia one of the Trois

1953 Cheez Whiz introduced. Gee!

1953 “TV Dinner” appears on the market. Customers take news lying down

1953 Irish coffee is introduced at San Francisco’s Buena Vista Café

1953 Joe Baum, 33 opens The Newarker restaurant at Newark Airport, NJ

1955 Ray Kroc opens his first McDonald’s hamburger stand

1955 Kentucky Fried Chicken opens, Harland Sanders, 65 wings it

1955 Lum’s opens the first of its 390 restaurants in Miami Beach

1955 Ferdinand Point of Restaurant de la Pyramide at Vienne dies at age 58

1955 Owen Brennan dies at age 45, leaving sister Ella, 30 in charge

1956 Lever Brothers introduces Imperial margarine

1956 Paul Bocuse, 50 leaves La Pyramide to join his father at Collonges-au-Mont d’Or

1958 Williams-Sonoma opens in San Francisco. No pans.  Many pots

1958 Pizza Hut opens in Wichita Kansas. Delivers fast service

1958 International House of Pancakes opens in California. Sales not flat as…

1958 Henri Soulé opens La Côte Basque on the former site of Le Pavillon

1958 American Express Card founded

1959 Gaston Lenôtre, 44  opens a petit pâtisserie  in Paris

1959The James Beard Cookbook  is published

1959 Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream factory opened in the Bronx by Polish born Reuben Mattus

1959 Four Seasons opens for all

Please add more lines to this beginning.

I Delivered 50 Babies in Scotland

Irena Chalmers, (second from the right) graduation

Irena Chalmers, (second from the right) graduation

Imagine me: a midwife.

At the time, Her Majesty’s Government insisted that a British nurse had to deliver 50 babies before undertaking special training in a specific branch of medicine. Because I wanted to  study neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, (brain and spinal chord), I enrolled as a student at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and after a few months, struggled, alone, through the endless snow  — on my bike — to find the Moms.

I drank a lot of tea.


Thus I learned the labor-intensive process of writing a food book.

If Cows Could Swim

cowYou’ve heard about this new theory about butter?

It seems we have to update our nutrition knowledge (AGAIN).

So. There was this scheme called ‘The Great Cattle Reef Project’. The idea was, if we could teach cows to swim underwater, they’d stop producing all that milk and cream and butter and cheese that nobody wants anymore and instead make Omega 3 fatty acids that we’re all crazy about.

(Just checking to see if you are still listening…)


I just heard a politician say that he is reintroducing himself. (He had recently been released from prison.) “What a good idea!,” I thought.

I’ll do the same thing: the introducing part, not the prison bit.

To begin at the beginning, my name is not Ilona Chompers. It is Irena Chalmers.

I began my professional life as a British nurse and have been caring about the food and the people who eat it or need it for many years.

I’ve worked in and around restaurants, and recreational and professional cooking schools for what seems like forever. Read on…

Sustainable Cuisine

Food is the common thread that unites us all. It is love made tangible.

No matter what our physical surroundings or our religious and cultural beliefs, we all have many things in common. We all experience the emotions of sorrow and joy, rage and repentance, love and hate, fear and, occasionally, courage.  And everywhere, throughout every part of the world, we gather together to eat and drink at the end of the day. It is this sharing of food that defines us as family and unites us as members of the human family. Read on…

Recipe for Success: Soup Peddler

David J. Ansel, The Soup Peddler

David J. Ansel, The Soup Peddler

David J. Ansel, the Soup Peddler, wrote this inspirational story for my first Food Jobs book. I loved it then, and think of him whenever I make a pot of soup.

“A scant three years and four months ago, an idea occurred to me whilst sitting on a porch swing at a magical house in South Austin, Texas. What if I could make a living cooking food and taking it to people’s homes? At my wits end with trying to figure out anything I could do for a living instead of being a mediocre computer programmer, I figured it was worth a try. Read on…