National Archives at Kansas City

Press Release: June 26, 2013

National Archives at Kansas City

Fred Harvey: In the Kitchen and On the Rails at the National Archives

For More Information Contact:
Kimberlee Ried, 816-268-8072

Kansas City, (MO)…On Wednesday, July 10 at 6:30 p.m., the National Archives at Kansas City will offer a panel discussion titled, Fred Harvey: In the Kitchen and On the Rails. The panel will include Kansas City food critic Charles Ferruzza of The Pitch; local historian and former Kansas City bartender Steve Noll; and food blogger, caterer, and culinary mystery author Lou Jane Temple. A 6:00 p.m. reception will precede the panel discussion.

The Harvey Standard¯ was Fred Harvey’s trademark, guaranteeing the best quality food ingredients even in areas where it was practically impossible to accomplish. Standardization and large-scale, centralized purchasing ensured consistency and low prices. The success of Fred Harvey’s restaurant empire included initiating the hiring of female servers, establishing fine dining,¯ creating consistent food quality standards, and the notion of instituting restaurants that would become national chains. The panelists will discuss the lasting impact of the Harvey Standard¯ in the food service industry.

To make a reservation for this free event call 816-268-8010 or email kansascity.educate@nara.gov.

About the Fred Harvey: The Man, the Brand, and the American West Exhibit:

Fred Harvey was a visionary businessman who changed the nature of railroad meal stops in the 1870s. His string of eating establishments, called Harvey Houses, followed the route of the Santa Fe Railroad. Prior to Fred Harvey, there were no fast-food restaurants or chain hotels guaranteeing a quality travel experience in the American West. He espoused the principles of excellent food, impeccable service, reasonable prices, and standardized service in all his restaurants.

Fred Harvey’s hospitality empire eventually spanned from Ohio to California. Dotted with everything from eating houses and grand resort hotels to curio shops and specialty tourist activities, Fred Harvey created a standard of excellence in hospitality that the traveling public grew to appreciate and expect. So much that Fred Harvey inspired poems and books about his famous hospitality, and even a Hollywood movie featuring the Harvey Girls.

Fred Harvey: The Man, the Brand, and the American West is available for viewing, Tuesday-Saturday, 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. through January 4, 2014. To schedule a group tour call 816-268-8013 or email mickey.ebert@nara.gov

About the Panelists:

Charles Ferruzza was never a Harvey Girl, however he has worked for several restaurants influenced by the Fred Harvey philosophies. Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Ferruzza is a graduate of both Butler University (Journalism) and the National Bartending School (Exotic Cocktails). He started his restaurant career as a teenager because his father feared he was becoming a juvenile delinquent. He hoped to stop working in restaurants upon his graduation from college, but that never proved to be the case and he continued to freelance as a long-suffering server for most of his 16 years as features editor of The Sun newspaper. In 2000, Ferruzza joined the staff of The Pitch as restaurant reviewer. He has written for many publications - both local and national - and can be heard on the radio in Kansas City on KCUR-FM and KKFI-FM. He can sing "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe,¯ but completely off-key.

Steve Noll has served as executive director of the Jackson County Historical Society since 2004. A retired executive in manufacturing and distribution, his hospitality industry experience included a stint with Kansas City's famed Gilbert/Robinson organization at the original Fred P. Ott's. He has served in various leadership roles with The American Royal (where he chaired the Barbecue Committee), Historic Kansas City Foundation, Heritage League of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City Spirit Festival, and The Kansas City Star's 40 Years Ago Column Club. His hobbies include an extensive postcard collection and collecting artifacts of local restaurants and hotels. Noll attended the University of Kansas and has served on the Prairie Village city council since 1991.

Lou Jane Temple has been a caterer, restaurant owner, event planner and private chef, among other things. She has published nine culinary novels/mysteries, and a cookbook. She holds a bachelors degree in administration of justice and those college criminal evidence courses have come in handy in her career as mystery novelist. Temple has been a guest chef at the Culinary Institute of America and at the famed James Beard Foundation. Currently she is working on another culinary mystery, and in her spare time is a party caterer, a script supervisor on film projects, and writes about food and wine.

The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 13 facilities nationwide where the public has access to Federal archival records. It is home to more than 50,000 cubic feet of historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by nearly 100 Federal agencies. Serving the Central Plains Region, the archives holds records from the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The facility is located at 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO 64108. It is open to the public Tuesday - Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for research, with the exhibits open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit us online.

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LPM/LE-KC 13-018

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