Food Associations

Food Associations

As general food consciousness increases larger portions of the American public are becoming interested in issues of food preparation, production, preservation, as well as sustainability and legislation. Various food associations exist all along this spectrum of food activityófrom the political to the gustatory to the cultural. Here are some food associations operating in the Southland.

Accademia Italiana della Cucina (Italian Academy of Cuisine)

A Bit of History: ìOn July 29,1953, at the Hotel Diana, in Milan, the Accademia Italiana della Cucina was founded by members of an Italian intelligentsia, as a response to Orio Verganiís (d. 2008) outcry ìItalian cuisine is dying.î The Accademia was organized to safeguard Italyís culinary civilization and to promote appreciation, research and education around this gastronomic heritage. In 2003, the Italian Minister for Cultural Affairs, officially recognizing the institutionís activities and historic importance, granted it the stature of a ìCultural Institutionî of the Republic, placing it among the largest and most significant of Italian cultural organizations.î

It has edited a guide to Italy's restaurants since 1961. This guide, I ristoranti dell'Accademia ("The Accademia's Restaurants") is the result of the evaluations of the Accademiaís Delegates, and provides an overview of the present condition of Italian cuisine in Italy and abroad. The guide identifies restaurateurs who care for the best and truest part of an authentic Italian culinary tradition (according to criteria of the quality and regionality of food products, as well as their adherence to tradition, while allowing space for innovation). The Italian-language guide can now be consulted online, according to country/region, city, evaluation, and price:
Membership: Members of the Accademia ìpossess a gastronomical background constructed through personal experience, love for oneís own roots, and through the participation, investigation and curiosity of its different traditions. [Ö] distinct education in taste allows [members] to appreciate and practice the rules which make the table pleasant.î A selective process initiated by the regional Delegate and the President garners an individual invitation to its membership. Those who have a direct professional interest in catering and restaurants are excludedóto avoid conflicts of interest.

The Los Angeles Convivium of the Accademia della Cucina Italiana was founded in 2006 by Delegate Francesca Valente, Director of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Los Angeles. For further information on the local Convivium, contact:

Accademia Italiana della Cucina
Delegazione di Los Angeles
c/o Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Los Angeles
1023 Hilgard Avenue
Los Angeles CA 90024

For information on the Accademia della Cucina Italiana, visit:

Of related interest:

Here is a list of cooking academies in Italy:

Slow Food Los Angeles

See: FOOD & RESTAURANTS, Restaurants, Angeli

Slow food: yes. Fast food: no. ìFounded by Carlo Petrini in Italy in 1986, Slow Food is an international association that promotes food and wine culture, but also defends food and agricultural biodiversity worldwide. It opposes the standardisation of taste, defends the need for consumer information, protects cultural identities tied to food and gastronomic traditions, safeguards foods and cultivation and processing techniques inherited from tradition and defends domestic and wild animal and vegetable species.î From: ìAll about Slow Foodî
Slow Food boasts 80,000 members in more than 100 countries, organized into more than 800 local convivia. In Italy there are about 35,000 members and 360 convivia (in Italy known as condotte). In the rest of the world, there are about 450 convivia and the number is continuing to grow. The condotte in Italy and the convivia worldwide are the linchpins of the Slow Food movement and interpret and represent its philosophy at local level. The head of the condotta or convivium is the fiduciary or convivium leader, who, through the members and the central office, organizes food and wine events and initiatives, creates moments of conviviality, raises the profile of products and promotes local artisans and wine cellars. He [sic] also organizes tasting courses and Taste Workshops and promulgates new food and wine developments and knowledge of the products and cuisines of other areas. In short, he educates in matters of taste.î ìSlow Food: The Movementî:

Evan Kleiman's Angeli CafÈ, where the
LA Slow Food Convivium was first formed and
the location of frequent Slow Food events.
Photo by Francesco Mancini

Slow Food Los Angeles:

IOHI Archive: Oral history of Evan Kleiman, by Francesco Mancini

Of related interest:

Slow Food Italy (International Headquarters)
Via Mendicit‡ Istruita, 8
12042 Bra (CN)
Tel: +39 0172 419611
Fax: +39 0172 421293
Web site:

Slow Food USA
20 Jay Street #313
Brooklyn, NY 10013
Tel: (718) 260-8000
Fax: (212) 226 0672

The American Institute of Wine & Food

ìThe AIWF is dedicated to promoting health and well-being through the enjoyment of good food and drink and fellowship that comes from dining together around the table. The American Institute of Wine & Food is one of the few national organizations with the unique combination of dedicated wine and food enthusiasts and professionals. Wine and food enthusiasts get to meet and learn from renowned chefs, winemakers, authors, culinary historians, and food producers, while industry professionals have the opportunity to know and understand their core consumers. Today, the organization has 25 chapters with 4,000 members in the United States.î (From:

Founded in 1981 by Julia Child, Robert Mondavi, Richard Graff, and others.

AIWF - Los Angeles Chapter

The American Institute of Wine & Food National Headquarters (AIWF)
213-37 39th Avenue, Box 216
Bayside, NY 11361
Tel: (800) 274-AIWF (2493)
Fax: (718) 522-0204
Email: ttp://


San Diego
Tel: (619) 297-0951

San Luis Obispo
Jeffery Landolt
Tel: (760) 224-7622

Santa Barbara
Jean Schultz
Tel: (805)967-5358

Culinary Historians of Southern California

Culinary Historians of Southern California(CHSC)
c/o Los Angeles Public Library
630 W. Fifth St.
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Tel: (213) 228-7101

ìPeople with a passion for food beyond the knife and fork founded the Culinary Historians of Southern California in 1995 as an affiliate of the Los Angeles Public Library. Typical of library patrons, they sought an intellectual as well as gastronomic approach to food, but not at the expense of taking themselves so seriously that they would forget to have fun.î The association organizes monthly forums, free and open to the public, contributes to the libraryís culinary collections, and arranges outings for dining and celebrations.

Childrenís Cooking Classes

Piccolo Chef
7774 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Tel: (323) 848-8557
Fax: (323) 654-0493

Westside Childrenís Center
12120 Wagner St.
Culver City, CA 90230

ìCulinary academy for the young gourmetî