Barbara Ketcham Wheaton

Barbara Ketcham Wheaton

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Barbara Ketcham Wheaton, born in Philadelphia in 1931, is a writer, a noted food historian, and since 1990 the honorary curator of the culinary collection at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College, one of the largest U. S. collections of books and manuscripts relating to cooking and the social history of food. In 1976 she produced a modern edition of Agnes B. Marshall's Victorian classic The Book of Ices, originally published in London in 1885. She is the author of the well-reviewed Savoring the Past: The French Kitchen and Table from 1300 to 1789, and of the biography of Marie-Antoine Carême, French exponent of grande cuisine, in Alan Davidson's Oxford Companion to Food (1999). At her request the MIT Media Lab's Counter Intelligence Group created its Dishmaker, a machine that made dishes on demand out of food-safe materials and recycled them afterwards. She developed "The Cook's Oracle", a searchable database that establishes relationships among recipes in cookbooks from different historical periods. Wheaton hopes to find someone who will continue her database, now on Microsoft Access, and make it available.

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