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Join the discussion

Share your thoughts and findings amongst the like-minded and open-minded. Informed, academic, interesting content welcome and encouraged from everyone.

Questions will be posted regularly, and anyone is able to reply and comment although you will need to login (using your 2021 on-line Symp account details) or sign-up for an account first.

Please keep the discussion within the topic. The thread with all comments will remain live for a rich mix of thoughts and ideas to develop.

Initiated and moderated by Ken Albala.

We start with a question from the experimental historian’s kitchen.

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Chair Elisabeth Luard introduces Dr Lizzie Collingham, invited speaker for our upcoming Symposium on Portable Food

Chair Elisabeth Luard introduces Corby Kummer, invited speaker for our upcoming Symposium on Portable Food

Update from our Chair, Elisabeth Luard, on Keynotes and Guest Chefs

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Listen to our podcast

Episode 8 Bel Castro – The Grandeur that was Lipa May 29, 2019

Episode 7 Joshna Maharaj – Taking Back the Hospital Tray May 22, 2019

Episode 6 Bee Wilson – Why Kitchen Technology Matters May 15, 2019

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Joining forces

The Sifter

Imagine a cyberworld of cookbooks, agricultural manuals, dietetics, herbals, etc., arranged in a database, searchable by your choice of parameters. Then imagine that this tool could return results in languages other than the original search, automatically, through a unicode glossary. And then imagine that this database would be constantly expanding to incorporate additional works and languages, with the goal of making the vast majority of culinary literature discoverable to the curious researcher. If this possibility intrigues you, then investigate The Sifter, a Wiki-like database that debuted at the 2020 OFS V-Symp.


The project is part of a broader effort led by Wikipedia to redress imbalances in its current content. Although it’s “free and anyone can contribute”, what Wikipedia discovered about itself is that over 90% of those who actually do so are white men of a particularly computer-nerd bent of mind. We tackle this egregious gender imbalance in the food-arena as a dedicated part of Wikipedia’s effort to improve these statistics across a spectrum of fields. Simultaneously, we embrace the need to more generally address neglected food and cooking personalities and topics as well as to correct popularly received falsehoods that are rife in a field that has only recently received serious scholarly attention. Since October 2021 our Wiki Club has been meeting monthly at the virtual OFS Kitchen Table to improve our Wikipedia editing skills and inspire each other.

Change the conversation
Expand the table
Improve the plate