American food critic (1880 - 1959), author of Adventures in Good Eating and Adventures in Good Cooking.

Originally a travelling salesman, in 1935, he sent out a list of 167 restaurant reviews gathered from over 30 years of business trips along with the family Christmas card.

"I’ve run more risk eating my way across the country than in all my driving."
Encouraged by the response, he published the reviews as Adventures in Good Eating in 1936. Soon he left sales and concentrated on writing, publishing more books on lodging, vacation spots, and recipes. His books outsold the popular Michelin guides.

 

In 1948 publisher Roy Park convinced Hines to lend his name to a line of food products, including ice cream, coffee, canned vegetables, and cake mixes. In 1956 he licensed his name and the 250 products to Proctor & Gamble, who continued the product line and pared it down to baking mixes (cakes, brownies, cookies, muffins) and cake frosting. In 1997, the brand was sold to Aurora Foods (itself bought out by Pinnacle Foods in 2003).

Bowling Green, Kentucky, hosts an annual Duncan Hines Festival in honor of their hometown hero. Past festivals have included attempts to create the world's largest brownie, a juried art exhibition, a street dance, and The Little Mister and Miss Duncan Hines Children’s Pageant.

And in case you've got some old DH boxes in your pantry, be advised that in 1998 the Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix was recalled for "undeclared walnuts," and the Duncan Hines White Cake Mix was recalled for "undeclared soy protein."

 

Sources: Stephen Currie, "Duncan Hines" reprinted from "American History," February 2000, Aurora Foods Web Site, <http://www.aurorafoods.com/brand/dh_story.html> (3 April 2002)
"The History of Duncan Hines," Duncan Hines Web Site, <http://www.duncanhines.com/dh-6-1.asp> (3 April 2002)
"Hall of Distinguished Alumni, Class of 2001" Western Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumni Web Site, <http://www.wku.edu/tradition/01hoda.html> (3 April 2002)
"Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix Recalled," Safety Alerts Web Site, 15 July 1998, <http://www.safetyalerts.com/rcls/fda/98/jul98/f-538-8.htm> (3 April 2002)
Lea Jacobsen, "Celebrating the Man Behind the Mix," Bowling Green Magazine, <http://www.communitylink.com/bgmag/rec8.htm> (3 April 2002)

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