Pam Dudeck moved to Charlotte from California in 1992. She has been a memer of the Guild since 1998. She has a degree in home economics with an emphasis in foods and nutrition. Before marrying and moving to West Africa she worked as a clinical dietician. Her interest in foodways, history and research find an outlet through the Guild and through her membership in Mecklenburg Historical Association Docents.
Barbara Goodwin’s interest in history and old methods of cooking began in her childhood in Caldwell County, NC. She can recall drying and canning foods, slaughtering hogs and plucking chickens and cooking on a wood stove and on outdoor fires. She began historical cooking in 1990, because she loved cooking those childhood foods and passing along her history. Barbara was one of the original cooks who formed our Guild.
Sharon VanKuren is one of the original hearth cooks. She came to the Cooking Guild from the Mecklenburg Historic Association Docents where she received her training in “Backcountry N.C. history”. She continued study at our local community college on North Carolina history.
It was through the MHA Docent group that she met Carolyn and Barbara where their excitment about open hearth cooking invited her curosity. Along with her love of cooking this was a match. She has attended several Colonial Williamsburg Virginia foodways seminars.
A favorite program that Barbara and Sharon created was for the 1st Girl Scout Reenactment Encampment at Latta Plantation where they taught 18th Century open hearth cooking along with the girls.
Sharon’s special interest is cooking with spirits such as rum, whiskey, port, medeira and wine in foods such as desserts, sauces makes for good tasting of the 18th Century palate.
Audrey Mellichamp followed her husband south from Michigan and has a degree in Botany. She has cooked with the guild for some 9 years and contributes to the group with her knowledge and interest in wild edible foods and Native American cooking.
Leila Merims Leila is a Yankee transplant, having come from NY in 1990. She joined the guild in 2002 and shares her interest in antiques. Over the years she’s shared some of her yard sale and auction finds with the Guild.
Linda Gedney is originally from North Carolina but now lives in South Carolina. Seven years ago Linda became a member of the cooking guild after learning about the guild at a historic sewing workshop. With the guild she has found a way to combine her love of history, cooking and historic clothing with a way to help teach others about our past.
Cathy Davis is a native of Mint Hill, a “small town” outside of Charlotte, NC. Her branch of the Davis family has lived and worked on the same soil for five generations. This has given her deep roots in the local community. She has been actively involved as a member of the Mint Hill Historical Society for more than twenty years. Her interest in cooking started at an early age with her grandmother teaching her how to cook, by texture and taste. Some eight years ago, her love of cooking and sense of history naturally led her to the Cooking Guild. Just this past year she joined the newly formed Mint Hill Herb Guild.
Mary McGinn is a native of nearby Fort Mill, SC. She joined the Cooking Guild in 2004, after wanting to learn hearth cooking for years. Other interests include heirloom gardening, herbal medicine, soapmaking and hand sewn living history clothing.
Patricia Veale is a history enthusiast and resident of North Carolina for 34 years. She especially enjoys interpreting various local historic sites and engaging visitors with living history narratives and scenarios while performing open hearth cooking demonstrations. She received her MA in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Language and Culture from UNC-Charlotte in 2002 and continues her academic pursuits through 18th century cooking and gardening research, attending ALHFAM conferences and historical symposiums.