Family Heirloom Recipes from the Illinois State Fair

A Road Scholar Program by Catherine Lambrecht

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Mar 3, 2021


Virtual Zoom Event


Open to the public

Attend this free Zoom event!

Since 2009, Catherine Lambrecht has judged Family Heirloom Recipes contests on behalf of Greater Midwest Foodways in Illinois as well as Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Ohio, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Contestants enter their best scratch family heirloom recipe suitable for a family or community dinner. The recipe should have originated 50 years ago or earlier. Contestants bring to the fair a prepared dish along with a history of who passed the recipe down to them.

This presentation offers an opportunity to follow the judging experience with curated histories, recipes and pictures of displays presented as submitted at the Illinois State Fair (2009-2019). The prepared recipes may have been submitted simply in their transport container, or more elaborately on the family’s china with relevant props of family pictures, kitchen paraphernalia and sometimes their loved one’s handwritten recipe.

What will be highlighted are the wonderful stories collected.

  • How a contestant wanted a judge to settle a long-debated family argument, which is better: green or white asparagus soup?
  • A right of passage as a young boy’s pet pig may become his breakfast
  • A family of mushroom collectors preserves old country traditions
  • And many more

If nothing else, should we inspire you to document a family favorite recipe to share with loved ones, then we have accomplished our mission. We want to encourage the continued use of these Family Heirloom Recipes so they will live on.

This virtual Zoom event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Sharon Zahorodnyj at

Learn more about Catherine Lambrecht, this program, and how to book it.


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