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Our Mission

Founded in 2004 by Erica J. Peters and the late Sally Scully, the Culinary Historians of Northern California (CHNorCal) aims to inform and delight the public on all things food and drink, and their influences on society and history. Our projects amplify diverse voices and embrace both hyper-local and global perspectives.


Our work appeals to a broad audience that includes academic and independent scholars, chefs, passionate food enthusiasts, and the curious passer-by. We actively support the study of food history by funding and/or promoting original works across a range of mediums, events, programming, and online public discourse. Unless otherwise specified, access to all of the above are freely available to the public.


Executive Director

April Chan is a San Francisco native and received her masters degree in Food Studies from University of the Pacific. She has written on Chinese restaurants and food culture for the San Francisco Chronicle. Between 2019–20, she contributed historical research and translation work to the best-selling Mister Jiu's in Chinatown: Recipes and Stories from the Birthplace of Chinese American Food (2021).



Erica J. Peters founded the organization in 2004 and served as director through 2020. She is the author of San Francisco: A Food Biography (2013) and Appetites and Aspirations in Vietnam: Food and Drink in the Long Nineteenth Century (2012). She received her bachelor's degree from Harvard University and her doctorate in history from the University of Chicago. Find her on Twitter at @EricaJPeters or at

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