Food Timeline 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


  • Frank Perdue, age 28, ruffles feathers when he takes control of Perdue Farms and its 40 employees
  • Balducci’s opens
  •  J.I. Rodale says organically grown fruit and vegetables are good for you as a Brand new idea!


  • Legal Seafoods opens
  • The Coach House opens to fanfare
  • The Rainbow Room blazes back on restaurant scene after wartime closing
  • Diners Club is founded. Patrons carded
  • Dunkin’ Donuts opens. Hole in one


  • Parks Sausage is introduced in Baltimore
  • Duncan Hines Cake Mix introduced. Sales rise
  • Louis Zabar leaves business to sons, Saul, 22; Stanley, 18 and  Eli, 7
  • L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes opens in Paris with Julia one of the Trois


  • Cheez Whiz introduced. Gee!
  • “TV Dinner” appears on the market. Customers take news lying down
  • Irish coffee is introduced at San Francisco’s Buena Vista Café
  • Joe Baum, 33 opens The Newarker restaurant at Newark Airport, NJ


  • Ray Kroc opens his first McDonald’s hamburger stand
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken opens, Harland Sanders, 65 wings it
  • Lum’s opens the first of its 390 restaurants in Miami Beach
  • Ferdinand Point of Restaurant de la Pyramide at Vienne dies at age 58
  • Owen Brennan dies at age 45, leaving sister Ella, 30 in charge
  • Lever Brothers introduces Imperial margarine

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


  • Williams-Sonoma opens in San Francisco. No pans.Many pots
  • Pizza Hut opens in Wichita Kansas. Delivers fast service
  • International House of Pancakes opens in California. Sales not flat as…
  • Henri Soulé opens La Côte Basque on the former site of Le Pavillon
  • American Express Card founded


  • Gaston Lenôtre, 44  opens a petit pâtisserie  in Paris
  • The James Beard Cookbook  is published
  • Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream factory opened in the Bronx by Polish born Reuben Mattus
  • The Four Seasons restaurant opens for all


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. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Sustainable Cuisine: What Is It?

Twelve thousand years ago, our hunter and gatherer ancestors were able to feed themselves well enough for our species to survive. Today, our challenge has become how to feed our neighbors and ourselves without harming the land, the air, or the waters that surround us. This philosophy of nurturing is contained in the words ‘Sustainable Cuisine.’Sustainable Cuisine          


Sustainable Cuisine involves a study of history and geography, anthropology and science and technology, farming and fishing, buying and selling. And because we have Continue reading

Visions of Becoming a Food Entrepreneur

As the holidays approach, many will turn to the kitchen for their gift inspiration. They’ll check their favorite recipes, pull out ingredients for preparing and packaging tasty delicacies to give to loved ones and colleagues, even to the friendly mail carrier and newspaper delivery ladies. As they wait for the goodies to emerge from the oven, their minds may begin to wander, to consider what it would be like to quit the day job and have a dream food job as a food entrepreneur.

Getting Started Continue reading