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October 4, 2019 - January 5, 2020 | First Floor

Discover the delectable offerings of Culinary Curiosity, a collaborative exhibition that celebrates the preparing and sharing of food across time and cultures. This extraordinary collection is on public view for the first time outside its original home at Chicago’s Kendall College at National Louis University. The more than 250 rare cooking tools, utensils and gadgets are on display across four area libraries.

At the Arlington Heights Memorial Library (AHML), view more than 50 culinary artifacts and two historic stoves. Marvel at the technical innovations in the world of food and cooking implements. Topics include Hearth to Cookstove, A Tasting Menu, Appetizers and Amuse-Bouches, Mudge Sterilizer and Steam Cookers.

Continue your exploration of Culinary Curiosity at Aurora Public Library, Gail Borden Public Library District and Schaumburg Township District Library. Each library features a uniquely-themed part of the collection. Visit some or all of the library exhibits and collect stamps at each location for a chance to win culinary-themed prizes.

Culinary Curiosity, made possible by the Kendall College Trust, is presented with the generous support of the Friends of the Library at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library. Items in the exhibit are from the personal collection of food industry veterans Mel and Janet Mickevic.

Be Our Guest At the Table

Be our guest At the Table where you can share your experiences, stories or memories around food and shared meals with family and friends. Visit the exhibit to participate. Your story may be featured on the library’s social media. 

Pick up a Passport and Earn Stamps to Win Prizes

Visit two- or all- Culinary Curiosity library exhibits, get a stamp at each stop and earn prizes. Collect two stamps and receive a gift at any participating library – show your passport at the Checkout desk to redeem your prize. Once you have visited all four participating libraries, drop your completed passport at the Checkout desk to be entered to win a grand prize. Winners will be announced by January 10, 2020. Culinary Curiosity passports are available at each participating library. Ask staff at any library if you need assistance.
Tune in as Catherine De Orio Talks Local Food
Join us for a unique event broadcast on Facebook Live. On Monday, October 28, former host of WTTW's dining review show Check, Please! and Executive Director of Kendall College Trust, Catherine De Orio dishes hearty food talk with the Culinary Curiosity libraries. Tune in to learn more about the items in all four exhibits and get to know exciting restaurants to discover great food in all four communities showing the exhibit. To watch, visit Arlington Heights Memorial Library's Facebook page at 7 p.m. October 28 to be directed to the live feed. 
Join a Guided Tour
Learn more about the exhibit by joining a tour guided by one of our volunteer docents. Tours meet by the Universal Stove near the elevators by the Marketplace on the first floor. Each tour is approximately 20 minutes long. Look for the docent in red apron to get your tour started. For all ages. Drop in.
November Tour Schedule:
Saturday, November 2, 11am-1pm
Every Tuesday and Thursday, 11am-1pm (except for Thanksgiving Day)
Wednesday, November 6 & 20, 1-3pm
Friday, November 29, 11am-1pm
December Tour Schedule:
Every Tuesday and Thursday, 11am-1pm
Wednesday, December 4 & 18, 1-3pm

Contribute to a Community Cookbook

The Culinary Curiosity libraries are compiling a community cookbook. At Arlington Heights Memorial Library, share paper copies of your favorite recipes at the Checkout desk or share your recipes online anytime at
Feed Your Culinary Curiosity with A to Z World Food
After you’ve seen the Culinary Curiosity exhibit at the library, keep your culinary adventures going with the A to Z World Food database. You can explore US and world regional cuisines and culinary customs, and print out recipes to try yourself. At-home use requires login with your AHML cardholder username/password. Need help? Contact the library for assistance at 847-392-0100.

Related Programs

Wednesday, November 20, 7:008: 30pm/Cardinal Room
Thursday, December 5, 7:008: 30pm/Hendrickson - South, Hendrickson - North
Sunday, December 8, 2:003: 30pm/Cardinal Room
If your status is Confirmed Registration, your spot for the event is confirmed.

If registration for this event is full, you will be placed on a waiting list. Wait listed registrants are moved to the confirmed registration list (in the order of registration) when cancelations are received. You will receive an email notification if you are moved from the wait list to the confirmed registration list.

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