The Delectable History of Cheesecake”

Presented by: Jolene Worthington

Executive Vice President of Operations

Eli’s Cheesecake Company, Chicago


While modern American cheesecake began with cream cheese, invented in 1872,
the creation of cheesecake began hundred of years earlier in Europe. Jolene
Worthington’s talk covered a cornucopia of cheesecake’s ethnic history and lore,
including Chicago’s slice of cheesecake history. (Ever hear of Sara Lee
perchance? That classic product has been around for a half-century!) And she
recounted the creamy memories of New York’s revered Lindy’s cheesecake, that
years ago turned people into cheesecake cultists. Topping off her talk was such
conversational nibbles as How many cheesecakes are produced in the United States
each day; the skinny on gourmet cheesecake; how commercial cheesecake is make;
and tips for the home baker on making fabulous cheesecake. We had over 20
different cheesecakes to sample — which helped to make up for the technical
difficulties we experienced during Ms. Worthington’s presentation.


Jolene Worthington is one of America’s most esteemed cheesecake mavens. She
has been responsible for the creative and technical production and operations at
Eli’s Cheesecake sine the company began in 1983. The Eli’s Cheesecake Company
and Eli’s Bakery Café and Tourism Center in Chicago is now one of the largest
national gourmet cheesecake processors distributing desserts throughout the
U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia.


Ms. Worthington trained in pastries and baking and candy making at the
Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, N.Y. During her more than 20-year
food career, Ms. Worthington has been a columnist for the Chicago Tribune’s food
section; has served as a consultant for Time Life Books; and has taught cooking
and pastries in Chicago. She is the author of Pies, published by Consumer