Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

You Are What You [M]Eat: The Culture of Meat in 19th–20th Century America

A New Exhibit at The Culinary Institute of America

Hyde Park, NY – Over the course of the fall semester, students in The Culinary Institute of America’s Food History class have been researching and curating a museum exhibit for the public. Through the use of primary texts, cultural artifacts, and multimedia, You Are What You [M]eat: The Culture of Meat in 19th–20th Century America showcases meat culture—from production to consumption, as well as its rejection—in America over the past two centuries.

Some of the themes they explored include: the movement to large-scale production of meat; dietary attitudes toward meat consumption; Native American and cowboy culture; issues of class, race, and religious relationships with meat; the rejection of meat consumption; and cannibalism in American history and pop culture.

The students wrote interpretive and descriptive text to accompany each theme, and produced multimedia components to introduce video and audio elements to the exhibit.

An opening reception will be held in the Conrad N. Hilton Library on the CIA campus in Hyde Park on Friday, December 15 from 12:30–1:30 p.m. Student-curators will be on hand to answer questions about the exhibit. They will also prepare and serve foods based on historical recipes that highlight exhibit topics.

The exhibit will be on display in the Donald and Barbara Tober Exhibit Room in the Hilton Library until spring 2018. The hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m.; Friday, 8:30 a.m.–7 p.m.; and Saturday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

Menu cover from Hutton’s Restaurant in New York City, circa 1956. The menu is part of the student-curated museum exhibit, You Are What You [Meat]: The Culture of Meat in 19th–20th Century America, on display at The Culinary Institute of America’s New York campus until spring 2018. (Image credit: Conrad N. Hilton Library Archives)
View hi-res image >

Media Contacts:

Beth Forrest, PhD, Professor

Nicole Semenchuk, Library Archives

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to developing leaders in foodservice and hospitality, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers bachelor’s degrees in management, culinary arts, culinary science, and applied food studies, and associate degrees in either culinary arts or baking and pastry arts. The college also offers executive education through its Food Business School along with certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences, leadership initiatives, and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of nearly 50,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food business. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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