Less than one week ago, Chicago welcomed its first food museum. Foodseum is a free, pop-up museum currently featuring an interactive exhibit "The Hot Dog and Encased Meat of the World." The museum aims to inspire people and open their minds to the foods we eat, and we sure do eat a lot of hot dogs here in Chicago.
The Chopping Block first heard of Foodseum over a year ago when we were approached to host a fundraising dinner. As a recreational cooking school on a mission to get people to cook, we understand that food brings people together and creates relationships. Foodseum has like-minded goals, as illustrated from their website:
- Food is Friendship
- Food is Family
- Food is Fun
We agree, and thus a great partnership was formed! Here's our Owner/Chef Shelley Young with Foodseum Executive Director Kyle Joseph the night before the grand opening.
Many fundraisers and a Kickstarter campaign that raised $33,000 later, Chicago's food museum is now open to the public, and it's free! There are lots of cool components to this exhibit, including:
- The history of hot dogs and encased meats which goes all the way back to 2.5 million BCE
- International spice station where you can sniff flavors from all over the world
- Artifacts from Chicago's hot dog history
- Kids area where play-doh stands in for raw meat
- Farm to Fork, which The Chopping Block is happy to sponsor. Here, you'll see a video of Shelley and Chef Mario Scordato as he demonstrates how to make sausage at home.
But this exhibit is just a taste of what's to come. Foodseum is still searching for a permanent home (and corporate sponsors). Executive Director Kyle Joseph envisions a kitchen that could house multiple rotating exhibits as well as a space to host events and classes. But to do that, Foodseum needs money. A membership package is in the works, according to Joseph and donations can be made via the Foodseum website. He says he's been blown away with the response so far. "This is great for Chicago and if we keep getting more help, we can make it even better. It could be a lot of fun if it continues in this direction," said Joseph.
Right now Joseph is manning the front desk and giving tours himself, so volunteers are also needed. Foodseum is looking for a 3-4 hour time commitment during operating hours. Interested? Sign up here.
In the meantime, stop by Block37 for a visit to:
'The Hot Dog and Encased Meat of the World'
September 19 - December 20, 2015
Block 37, 2nd floor
109 N. Dearborn
Sat - Sun: 11 AM to 6 PM
Mon - Tue: CLOSED
Wed - Fri: 11 AM to 7 PM
Be sure to spend a few minutes watching our video. Perhaps you'll be inspired to make your own sausage, or just grab a Chicago hot dog on your way home.