Why Foodseum and Why Here?


Food museums have successfully been run around the world over the last decade and showcase artifacts related to the food industry. Foodseum, however, will be different! Not only will it be the second multidisciplinary food museum in all the United States, the first being the SOFAB Institute in New Orleans, but it will be an innovative concept unique to Chicago. Foodseum will not only help people learn about food, but will also help people find their passion for food, and encourage them to explore the wonderful culinary scene of Chicago.

The city of Chicago has an amazingly rich food history, in fact the economy itself really first boomed on the export of beef and grain back in the 1850s. This food manufacturing piece is still a very strong part of the thriving economy in Chicago and a large part of our culture. Beyond that, Chicago has started seeing a heavy influx of amazing chefs and talented restauranteurs creating concepts and unique menus in the last twenty years. In fact, in May of 2015, James Beard Awards will leave New York for the first time ever, and be hosted here in Chicago. This is a tribute to really stating that Chicago is currently the hottest place for food in the United States.

To put Chicago on the map as the food capital of the United States, Foodseum will be Chicago's first non profit food museum! Walk through a modular museum with different food types engaging all five senses - that's right you'll even be able to taste the food! Our first exhibit will focus on the hot dog and encased meats of the world. This exhibit will be a popup opening in 2015 running from May to September. The hot dog and encased meats popup will be a restaurant space that is converted into half exhibit and half counter-service restaurant. Visitors will not only learn about great sausages in Chicago and around the world, but will also get to taste some like kielbasa, chorizo and the classic Chicago dog! The permanent museum space will open in 2016 and have rotating modular exhibits highlighting four to five food types at a time. Things like cheese, chocolate, pizza, and coffee will be showcased in the permanent museum. This modular layout allows any visitor to craft their unique experience around food types that anyone can engage with. Whether you eat for sustenance or are the ultimate foodie, you will find the opportunity to engage with some aspect of the museum!

Within the popup exhibit, and the permanent museum, we want to help you experience food, and to do this we will feature the stories of each different food type. The stories will be modular to allow for visitors to have freedom creating their own experience. Foodseum will provide the history of the food type, the people involved in the food production, the farm to table aspect of where your food is coming from, international and innovative uses of the food type, and an inspiration station to encourage visitors to explore the city of Chicago and visit different places where food is being creatively and deliciously served. Similarly to the popup's counter service restaurant, the permanent museum will have an attached event space. This space will allow restaurants and other organizations to host food type events. Foodseum will be the center of Chicago's food community.