"Riding The Rails to The Star City" was the theme for the 2005 Southeast Regional Conference of the American Culinary Federation, the professional organization for executive chefs. The conference was held at Hotel Roanoke March 10-13 with the Southwest Virginia Chapter as host. Executive Chef Billie Raper was Chairman of the Conference and Charlie Chang, Executive Chef and Roanoke Restaurant owner, was President of the Southwest Virginia Chapter, ACF.
The Peacock-Harper Culinary History Committee was invited to present an educational program and to exhibit at the Trade Show. Mary Rapaport presented the educational program, "Through the Centuries in an Eggshell." She presented an eye-opening overview of how people through the years handled, stored, prepared, and enjoyed eggs. Mary demonstrated a two hundred year old recipe, which she discovered as she researched the books in the Peacock-Harper Collection. She also displayed a century of egg ephemera (brochures, booklets). Jean Robbins introduced the program with a history of the Peacock-Harper Culinary History Committee. Committee brochures were distributed at this meeting.
On the second day of the Conference, members of the Peacock-Harper committee participated in the Trade Show with an exhibit. Members who assisted were: Preparation—Jo Anne Barton, Gail McMillan, and Joyce Nester; Exhibit—Sandy Bosworth, Chair, Polly Holloway, JoAnn Emmel, Maxine Fraade, and Jean Robbins. The members had an opportunity to talk to many visitors including chefs from eleven states.
A highlight for Peacock-Harper members at the Conference was meeting Shirley Corriher, author, column writer, and lecturer, who displayed her cookbook, "CookWise", which received the James Beard Awards winner of Best Reference and Technique Book of 1997. Ms Corriher was the Keynote Speaker for the conference.
Participating in this meeting was a great outreach for the Peacock-Harper Culinary History Committee. Many more people know about the Virginia Tech Collection! And we did receive promises of donated books! Our appreciation is extended to Executive Chef Billie Raper for the opportunity to be included at this outstanding conference.