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Past Speakers and Contributors

BRYAN OGG is a native of Morton, IL,(Pumpkin Capitol of the World).  He earned a Bachelor’s in History from the University of Sioux Falls and a Master’s in History from Western Illinois University.  He taught 100 and 200 level history courses at Illinois Central College, East Peoria, IL before joining the staff at the Peoria Historical Society as the Curator of Collections & Exhibits and the Site Manager of the 1868 Pettengill-Morron Home.  He worked as a consultant with Graff & Associates, Hartford, WI assisting clients with all aspects of museum and non-profit work.  While working at the Missouri Historical Society, Ogg was the gift shop manager/product development for the Louisiana Purchase museum gift shop and a regular contributor with the Missouri Humanities Council’s charrette program.  Bryan Ogg is the author of Peoria Spirits :The Story of Peoria’s Brewing and Distilling History and Wish You Were Here: Peoria Edition.  Ogg writes a monthly column called “The Curious Curator” for the Positively Naperville newspaper.  In addition to writing, Ogg has produced award-winning exhibits and contributed research to many local and nationally known students, and authors.  Ogg was the Curator of Research at Naper Settlement, Naperville, IL from 2004-2017 and is currently working on a comprehensive history of Naperville


In 1996 Donna visited Paris for the first time and her life changed. For the previous sixteen years the rough and tumble, fast paced world of advertising and marketing filled her life, then she saw the street vendors selling crepes and the wheels began to turn. Why can’t Americans have such nice fast food? Combined with her passion for cooking and armed with a marketing plan, Suzette’s Creperie was born. From 1997 – 1999 Donna was a street vendor selling crepes at summer festivals in the western suburbs including the French Market every Saturday in Wheaton. She also spent one summer three days a week on State Street, next to the Chicago Theatre selling crepes with Ethnic Foods of the Neighborhood and the Chicago City Green Market. But this was not enough for her or her customers.  They repeatedly asked her to open a restaurant. In April, 2000 a lease was signed in Historic Downtown Wheaton and she turned a run-down sandwich shop into a little piece of Paris. Not having formal culinary training, Donna had the opportunity to study under the incredible talent of many including Lorenza di Medici at Badia a Coltibuono in Italy, Patrick Chabert formerly of Le Francais, Chez Madelaine from Hinsdale and Reine Sammut from La Feniere in Provence. With this knowledge and her passion the menu at Suzette’s grew and changed from just crepes to also include bistro fare.  After 18 years of slinging crepes, Donna’s passion for sharing good food and wine continues as Suzette’s has grown and evolved to include a French-inspired Bakery and an award winning wine bar and Suzette’s L’Ecole: Lessons on Food – Wine and Fine Beverages.  A visit to Suzette’s is like a trip to Paris leaving the jet lag behind. Bon Appetit         1/11/16

CYNTHIA CLAMPITT is a writer and food historian. She has pursued her love of culture, history, and food in thirty-seven countries on six continents (so far), but has in recent years focused her studies on the American Midwest. She is the author of Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland, published by the University of Illinois Press. She has also written more traditional history and geography for every major educational publisher in the U.S., including the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and National Geographic Learning. Clampitt is a member of the Society of Women Geographers, Culinary Historians of Chicago, the Agricultural History Society, the Association of Food Journalists, the Midwestern History Association, and the history section of the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

DR. COLLEEN SEN was born in Toronto, Canada and  received her B.A. (Hons.) and M.A. in Slavic Studies from the University of Toronto and her Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Columbia University, New York. Her contributions to the field include articles and reviews on interwar Polish literature and many translations from Polish and Russian, including Roy Medvedev’s Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism.

After teaching at Roosevelt University she joined Institute of Gas Technology, an energy research institute that at the time was affiliated with Illinois Institute of Technology. She was hired as an editor, and over the years held various editorial, policy and managerial positions.

Throughout her career Colleen continued free lance writing on such topics as chess, dogs, travel and food, encouraged by her husband, Ashish. His late mother, Arati Sen, was a well-known Indian writer whose column in the Bengali journal Desh was one of the most widely read in India. Colleen’s articles have appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Christian Science Monitor, Toronto Globe and Mail, Travel and Leisure, Food Arts, Yoga International, and elsewhere. In 1998 she began attending the Oxford Symposia on Food and Cookery in the U.K. and has become a regular participant. She lives on the North Side of Chicago with Ashish and their Cardigan Welsh Corgi Gatewyn Krishna’s Gopi.

Indian Harvest Restaurant, founded twenty years ago, has acquired a reputation as one of the finest Indian restaurants in Chicagoland. Owner-Partner SANJEEV PANDEY prepared a special menu for the Culinary Historians of Northern Illinois.

SANJEEV PANDEY has been in the food business ever since he immigrated from India in 1992.He first worked in San Francisco and then came to Chicago and worked at India House and continued learning the business becoming manager of three Indian Garden locations. In 1998 he and two partners opened Indian Harvest becoming one of the first Indian restaurants to come to the suburbs.  Later he bought them out and now is owner with Mr. Anu Hora.He moved to the Naperville Road location in 2008 and his menu is filled with selections from northern Indian as well as others from the eastern and northwestern regions. The menu offering are changed every now and then but he keeps customer favorites.  It features not only vegan items but also gluten free ones.  The menu selections include lamb, seafood and chicken dishes. The restaurant’s décor offers a welcoming atmosphere with the many Indian artifacts, screens and artwork adorning the walls.

Information at right was distributed at event. Adapted from Dr. Sen's "Pakoras, Paneer, Pappadums: A Guide to Indian Restaurant Menus" available on 

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