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Archives and Special Collections

Information about The Culinary Institute of America's Archives and Special Collections housed in the Conrad N. Hilton Library, Hyde Park, New York.

What's New

 

Now Online - Fit For a King

This menu ledger from the Royal Spa in Bad Ems, Germany
contains 147 menus from the summer season in 1884. Kaiser
Wilhem I, King of Prussia and Emperor of Germany, was one
of many royal guests who took cures at the spa during the
summer months.  The daily set menus are written in French
and include several courses, including a soup, fish, entree,
vegetable, roast, entremets, and dessert. You can view or
search the ledger in our digital menu collection here.

On Display - main floor of library

Selections of chocolate and ice cream molds from the Chocolate
Mold Collection
at CIA San Antonio donated by Jenny Schimpff
are now on display in the Hilton Library.

“Ice cream could fool, deceive, and enchant by resembling what
it was not. It could give rise to a fantasy. And, since it was edible,
the fantasy could be consumed in the most agreeable of ways.
What a fascinating comment on the act of creation, on the power
to make and unmake what the imagination conceives. It was an
aesthetic arising out of the nature of ice cream itself. Because it
ais always at risk of melting before it even reaches the mouth,
its own annihilation is inherent. Destruction is part of the spectacle.”
--Powell, Marilyn. Ice Cream: the Delicious History. Woodstock, NY:
Overlook Press, 2006, pg. 174

 

Highlights

These are some of our favorite things in the Archives.

ROMAN AMPHORA
CIRCA 50 A.D.

found off the coast of Marseille
Gift of Mrs. Sylvia Sichel

The amphora was donated by Mrs. Sylvia Sichel, wife of Franz Sichel,
to the Culinary Institute of America, ca. 1976-1977.  It was given to
Franz by Peter and Walter Sichel, ca. 1960. They had bought it from
an art dealer in Paris for $1,000 and, according to Peter, "it was well-
authenticated" and in "perfect condition".  Peter also noted that Sylvia
had kept it in her garden.  It had always been displayed in the rare book
room in the Katherine Angell Library in Roth Hall and moved to the Rare
Book Room in the Conrad N. Hilton Library when the building opened
in 1993.

Amphorae were used to store and transport products including wine, oil,
and fish sauce; they are characterized by their two handles and narrow
necks which would have been plugged and sealed.  It is not yet known
what product this particular amphora transported, but Professors Maureen
and Dan Costura have identified that is had been at sea and shipwrecked
at some point in time—the little squiggly white marks are fossilized sea
urchins.

The amphora is located in the Archives Reading Room. Hours

Framed Chanterelle Restaurant Menus
 

Menus created by famous artists, including  Matthew Barney, Allen Ginsberg,
Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, Jack Shear, and Cy Twombly, for Chanterelle
Restaurant in New York City. The restaurant was founded and operated by
Chef David Waltuck and Karen Waltuck from 1979 to 2009.  The menu covers
were designed by famous artists and changed every six months. Karen Waltuck
handwrote the menus every day.

The menus are hanging in the Archives Reading Room. Hours
Pictured: Robert Indiana

Athenaeus, of Naucratis.  Athenaei Dipnosophistarum, sive Coenae
Sapientum Libri XV
.  Veneti: Apud Francisum Bartolomaei Honorati, 1556.


When students inquire about the oldest books in our Rare Book Collection, it is
always with great pleasure that I point them to a 1556 Latin edition of Athenaeus’
Deipnosophists.  It is not only a beautiful volume in excellent condition, but it is a
fascinating story of cookery that was written in the early 3rd century by a Greek
man from Naucratis in Egypt. Little is known about Athenaeus, but the work
provides many valuable insights into Greek history. The Deipnosophists, which
literally means “dining-table philosophers” and is sometimes translated as The
Banquet of Learned
, consists of 15 books, some of which are only known through
excerpts. The text is presented as a dialogue within a dialogue and describes a
banquet that is attended by philosophers who discuss food and drink, amongst
many other topics. Read more

Menu Highlights

Some of our favorite menus are featured on a dedicated menu highlights
page
.  Be sure to check it out!

 


The Culinary Institute of America | Conrad N. Hilton Library | 1946 Campus Drive | Hyde Park, NY 12538-1430
Telephone: 845-451-1747 | Email: library@culinary.edu |