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Explore Highlights from the Archives and Special Collections


These are some of our favorite things in the Archives.

circa 50 CE

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

The amphora is located in the Archives Reading Room.

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.
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.

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
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