The Collection

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The Rachel Norman Collection

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The Rachel Norman Collection

Featuring 101 historical albums on the history of our Branch


Dear Fellow Members and Friends:

As the International Wine and Food Society, Marin Branch, Haskell Norman Chapter, gracefully approaches its 37th year, our Co-founder and Branch Vice President, Rachel Norman has completed her long two-yearRachel Norman arduous project of cataloguing her 101 historical albums on the history of our Branch. Her albums represent not only a pictorial history of many of our branch's grandest events,  but also a wealth of collateral material on the San Francisco Bay Area's greatest Chefs, historical articles on food and wine, and other important culinary gatherings.


Along with being a significant masterpiece of IWFS Branch history, it also represents perhaps the most comprehensive collection of material showcasing the evolution of Bay Area cuisine. In addition, it chronicles the serving of the greatest wines in the world, during the many dinners, tastings and verticals presented by the Branch under the masterful direction of her husband and IWFS Marin Branch Chairman,  Dr. Haskell Norman, who for 20 years led the then largest Branch in IWFS history, and later by my Chairmanship which is now in its 17th year.


Rachel began this project at the "youthful" age of 92 and as she approaches 95, is delighted if not relieved, that this meritorious project has now been completed. Several of the albums have been shown at two events in the past, all being well received.   When Alice Waters of the legendary Chez Panisse was writing her book in celebration of the restaurant's 25th anniversary, she sent a member of her staff to seek out early pictures of Chez Panisse  from Rae's collection. One of Rae's pictures was chosen for the publication. Also, the BBC contacted Rae to request specific pictures of interest.


Rae, has been well known for her photography, snapping pictures at more events than one can imagine.  Her relatively unknown past as a English major at College, and being the unofficial editor of the Branch's newsletters for three decades, her work now comes full circle in recognition of her outstanding talents. She has clearly taken her rightful place as perhaps one of the greatest "gourmets" in the area, certainly in the IWFS world, and maintains great enthusiasm in the culinary arts.


The catalogue is represented by 521 pages of documentation. Our website includes a small sample of photographs contained in Rae's collection.


The entire catalogue is now available for your enjoyment through our website. Please click the following link to access the .pdf file: The Rachel Norman Collection.


We hope you will join us in congratulating Rae for completing this important work.  It is through great efforts such as this that the IWFS moves forward with tangible material to preserve its past, and to remind us of the highest standards that we strive to maintain in securing our future.


Kindest regards,

Jack Rubyn, Chairman
IWFS, Marin Branch, Haskell Norman Chapter


~ A selection of photographs from the collection.