Featured Program

Please join us for CHEW meetings at 7:15 pm  on the first Wednesdays of the month at the Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St, Madison, Wisconsin.

CHEW meetings are open to the pubic. Scroll down for info about meetings, membership, the newsletter and the CHEW library.

Coming Up Next:

March 2, 2016, 7:15 pm, Goodman Community Center, Madison

My Bologna Has a First Name: The History of Oscar Mayer Foods         Presented by Jim Aehl and Larry Borchert

In 1883 German-born Oscar Mayer and his two brothers opened a small meat market in Chicago, a business that grew into one of the nation’s leading meat processors, with its headquaDSC_1263rters based in Madison, WI for decades. Tonight two former employees of the company will present: Jim Aehl will explore its history from 1883 to the mid-1990’s, and Larry Borchert will cover the innovations in food processing and manufacturing that Oscar Mayer pioneered, and that other companies followed. Bring your Oscar Mayer memorabilia, folks, and come learn about the company that has had a significant influence on our city and culture.

Jim Aehl worked in public relations at Oscar Mayer from 1970 to 1996; while he was there more than 4,000 people were employed in the plant and office. Larry Borchert worked at Oscar Mayer from 1960-1996; he holds a PhD in food chemistry and became Director of Central Research. 


Future Programs

  • April 6, 2016 – Film screening with director Holly De Ruyter, Old Fashioned: The Story of the Wisconsin Supper Club and  book-signing with Mary Bergin, author, Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook: Iconic Fare and Nostalgia from Landmark Eateries.
  • May 4, 2016  – “She Cooks to Conquer: Revising the Place of the Housewife in the American Food System,” presented by UW-Madison history professor Nan Enstad.


Please join us for CHEW meetings at 7:15 pm  on the first Wednesdays of the month at the Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St, Madison, WI.


Membership – To be come a member of CHEW click here.

Newsletter – to receive our email newsletter, just send us a note at chewwisconsin@gmail.com

Meetings – Meeting place and time: click here. Depending on speaker/topic, location can vary, please check the monthly meeting details for location if different than the Goodman Community Center.

If you’re coming to the meeting, why not bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Goodman Center food pantry!  The Center is giving out food as fast as it can take it in and the need has never been greater. Items needed: tuna, beans, shelf-stable milk, juice, canned fruits & vegetables, macaroni & cheese, peanut butter, cereal, infant formula, baby food, diapers, soup (not tomato), rice, can openers. Financial donations also welcome.


CHEW Library – One advantage of coming to a monthly CHEW meeting is access to CHEW’s traveling library. Our collection totals almost 60 titles – ranging from the esteemed Ovens of Brittany Cookbook to Near a Thousand Tables: A History of Food. We have copies of the books written by virtually every guest speaker we have had in the last ten years, e.g.,  Putting Down Roots: Gardening Insights from Wisconsin’s Settlers by Marcia Carmichael, chief gardener at Old World Wisconsin; Kathleen Kline’s People of the Sturgeon: Wisconsin’s Love Affair with an Ancient Fish, and Cluck: From Jungle Fowl to Chicks by Susan Troller. To peruse all the book titles on the CHEW web site, click Culinary. You can put in an “order” for a specific book by emailing chewwisconsin@gmail.comand the book will be brought to the next meeting, if it hasn’t already been checked out. Several titles will also be featured at each meeting–you’ll hear a short review and will have the opportunity to check one of the featured titles out for a month. We are happy to provide this personal service.