SD County Fair to Showcase Culinary
Amidst the deep-fried s’mores, macaroni and cheese balls, and giant cinnamon rolls, visitors to this year’s San Diego County Fair in Del Mar, will get a birds-eye view of a treasure trove of rare and iconic materials from UC San Diego’s Mandeville Special Collections Library that depict our fascinating culinary history and culture.
In honor of this year’s theme at the Fair—Taste the Fun—“Consuming Passion: Books on Food & Drink from UC San Diego’s American Institute of Wine & Food Culinary Collection,” will be on display in the Del Mar Fairground’s Tour of Tastes exhibit during the Fair’s three-week duration.
UCSD’s American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF) Culinary Collection was established in 1991, with an initial gift from the AIWF of approximately 360 rare cookbooks and other materials documenting culinary history, dating back to the 17th century. Thanks to significant gifts of material from interested parties, as well as an endowment created by the San Diego AIWF board, the collection has grown to include more than 5,000 books, manuscripts, and other materials, and has exceptional strength in materials from California, Latin America, and the Pacific Rim region.
Earlier this year, UCSD’s AIWF Culinary Collection was augmented by the donation of the personal archive of Jan Weimer, a giant in the food world and a celebrated master of all things food-related. Weimer, who died in 2007, was the food editor of Bon Appétit magazine from 1981 to 1989, and has been credited with introducing groundbreaking innovations in American Cuisine.
A prolific writer, editor, and Cordon Bleu-trained cook, she authored hundreds of articles and numerous books on a startling array of food-related topics, from food sourcing and kitchen design to hors d’oeuvres and Asian cuisine. Her archive includes more than 1200 volumes, original manuscripts and articles, collectible special dinner menus, and scrapbooks, as well as her personal correspondence with her many friends and clients in the food world, including Julia Child, Craig Claiborne, and Simone Beck.
The Mandeville Special Collections Library is a major repository for rare and distinctive books, periodicals, maps, photographs, art works, recordings, and a wide range of archives to support teaching and scholarly research at UC San Diego. The Library houses many irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind collections, including: the Southworth Spanish Civil War Collection, the largest collection of its kind in the world; extensive holdings on California history and culture and Baja California history and politics; the Archive for New Poetry, one of the most comprehensive collections of post-1945 American poetry; and the Dr. Seuss Collection, a significant repository of the original art and works of Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), which includes more than 10,000 items documenting the full range of Geisel’s creative achievements.
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