WBEZ | common threads http://www.wbez.org/tags/common-threads Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Friday Foodie Forecast: Top chefs, an Oscar party and lunch at the Hilton http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-02-25/friday-foodie-forecast-top-chefs-oscar-party-and-lunch-hilton-82947 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Oscar table setting.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="300" width="400" title="" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-24/Oscar table setting.jpg" /></p><p>If the winter chills have left you reaching for take out menus over party invites, there&rsquo;s nothing like a good bash, great food and plenty of booze to get you to bundle up and venture out. Chicago landmarks set the scene for a chef-driven charity event at <a href="http://www.soldierfield.net/">Soldier Field</a> and a historic lunch and tour at the <a href="http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/...Palmer-House-Hilton.../index.do">Palmer House Hilton</a>. If a night in Hollywood is more your style, head to Lakeview for an Oscar-themed dinner and &quot;Black Swan&quot; martinis at the <a href="http://www.kitkatchicago.com/">Kit Kat Lounge &amp; Supper Club</a>. Wherever your destination, grab your coat and scarf and celebrate the last weeks of winter.<o:p></o:p></p> <p><strong>World Festival at Soldier Field</strong><o:p></o:p></p> <p>Join some of Chicago&rsquo;s - and the country's - most notable chefs as they bring their culinary expertise together for <a href="http://commonthreads.org">Common Threads</a>&rsquo; sixth and final &ldquo;<a href="http://events.commonthreads.org/eventList.aspx">World Festival</a>&rdquo; on Monday, March 7 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at <a href="http://www.soldierfield.net/">Soldier Field</a>. Stephanie Izard (<a href="http://www.girlandthegoat.com/">Girl &amp; The Goat</a>),&nbsp;Bill Kim (<a href="http://urbanbellychicago.com/">Urban Belly</a> and <a href="http://www.bellyshack.com/">Belly Shack</a>),&nbsp;Paul Kahan &amp; David Posey, (<a href="http://www.blackbirdrestaurant.com/">Blackbird</a>),&nbsp;Chris Pandel (<a href="http://www.thebristolchicago.com/">The Bristol</a>)&nbsp;and Anita Lo, (<a href="http://Annisa Restaurant">Annisa Restaurant</a>, NYC) are among more than 60 of this year&rsquo;s celebrity chefs joining Common Threads&rsquo; founder Art Smith, (<a href="http://www.tablefifty-two.com/">Table Fifty-Two</a> and Oprah&rsquo;s former personal chef), serving up global cuisine in the non-profit&rsquo;s annual culinary event benefiting health and nutritional education for Chicago&rsquo;s youth. In addition to global food stations, guests will enjoy a live performance by singer/songwriter and worldwide superstar <a href="http://knaanmusic.ning.com/">K&rsquo;naan</a>, a silent auction including weekend getaways and tickets to sporting events and culinary experiences. Tickets are $250 per person, $500 for VIP - which includes a unique, exclusive fashion show beginning at 5 p.m., and can be purchased online at <a href="http://www.commonthread.org">www.commonthread.org</a>. For more information, call Erica Stimac at 312-329-2501 ext. 208, or email <a href="mailto:Erica@commonthreads.org">Erica@commonthreads.org</a>. <o:p></o:p></p> <p><strong>Black Swan Oscar Party</strong> <o:p></o:p></p> <p>For those not attending Wolfgang Puck&rsquo;s Governor&rsquo;s Ball following the Academy Awards, enjoy a night inspired by his official soiree&rsquo;s menu at the <a href="http://www.kitkatchicago.com/">Kit Kat Lounge &amp; Supper Club</a> this Sunday, Feb. 27 at 5:30 p.m. &ndash; 2 a.m. Chef Mark Kasper&rsquo;s special Oscar night menu features black truffle chicken pot pie with homemade crust and baby heirloom vegetables ($18), tempura tiger prawns with carrot-ginger remoulade ($9) and mini Wagyu burgers with aged cheddar and tomato jam ($12). Movie-themed, half-price martini specials ($5) &ndash; The Black Swan (Effen vodka, black sambuca, garnished with a black feather) and the White Swan (Effen black cherry, a splash of St. Germain, Hypnotiq and a splash of champagne garnished with a white feather) will also be served alongside seven screens airing the ceremony, live ballet performances and decorations inspired by the nominated Natalie Portman film, <a href="http://www.foxsearchlight.com/blackswan/">Black Swan</a>. Prizes and giveaways will also be awarded including Joffrey Ballet tickets and movie merchandise. There is no fee to attend, and table reservations are available by calling 773-525-1111. Kit Kat Lounge &amp; Supper Club is located at 3700 N. Halsted Street.<o:p></o:p></p> <p><strong>Historic Tour and Lunch</strong><o:p></o:p></p> <p>Mix historic art with modern dining as the <a href="http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/...Palmer-House-Hilton.../index.do">Palmer House Hilton</a> launches an interactive luncheon and tour series beginning March 1 at 12:30 p.m. From Tuesday through Sunday, the two-hour experience kicks off with a 45-minute lunch inside&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lockwoodrestaurant.com/">Lockwood </a>where guests will dine on Executive Chef Greg Elliott&rsquo;s prix-fixe American menu featuring a salad and entrée along with the hotel&rsquo;s world famous brownie (invented there in 1893 by the request of socialite and owner Bertha Palmer), and a glass of wine &ldquo;to go.&rdquo; After lunch, guests will meet Ken Price, a 28-year resident historian of the property, for a 45-minute tour featuring an exclusive, insider&rsquo;s peak at the hotel&rsquo;s historic art-deco lobby, grand ballrooms, guestrooms and vintage artifacts not typically open to the public. The tour will conclude at 2 p.m., and participants will each receive a commemorate gift that embodies the true spirit of the hotel. Reservations are $50 per person and need to be made 24-hours in advance by calling 312-917-3404, or online at <a href="http://www.lockwoodrestaurant.com">www.lockwoodrestaurant.com</a> The Palmer House Hilton is located at 17 East Monroe Street.<o:p></o:p></p> <!--EndFragment--> <!--EndFragment--> <!--EndFragment--> <!--EndFragment--></p> Fri, 25 Feb 2011 18:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-02-25/friday-foodie-forecast-top-chefs-oscar-party-and-lunch-hilton-82947 Program gets kids in the kitchen for some healthy eating http://www.wbez.org/story/affordable/program-gets-kids-kitchen-some-healthy-eating <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Cooking.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->The last bell signals the end of the school day, but for some Chicago elementary students, the day starts again&hellip;but this time in the kitchen.<span style=""> </span>A non-profit has been teaching low-income kids how to cook healthy, affordable meals.<span style=""> </span>The aim is to prevent childhood obesity and develop life long eating habits.<span style=""> WBEZ Pritzker Journalism Fellow</span> Icoi Johnson reports that the program is shifting gears.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">MATTHEW/CHILD:<span style="">&nbsp; </span>You guys an easy way to get the skin off, it take it underneath your palm and just push down on the garlic, kind of smash it. <br /><br />The official school day is over at John W. Cook School on Chicago&rsquo;s Southside. But a group of students are staying behind to learn how to cook.<br /><br />Jazee Burton explains what&rsquo;s on the menu.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">BURTON:<span style=""> </span>We&rsquo;re making mango crisp crumble and then we&rsquo;re making chicken tenders.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The students learn everything, from measuring ingredients, to using a knife&hellip;safely.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Jontae Townsend demonstrates a technique called a Bear Claw.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">TOWNSEND:<span style=""> </span>We put our fingers and our thumbs tucked in so the knife can just hit our knuckles.<span style="">&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Burton and Townsend are involved in a program put on by Common Threads, a Chicago non-profit group.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Common Threads uses professional chefs to teach students how to cook.<span style=""> </span>One of those is former sous-chef Matthew Peterson. Peterson says the Common Threads programs gets kids excited about cooking.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">That&rsquo;s important, since a lot of the kids in these schools are familiar with fast food or stuff that can be microwaved.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">PETERSON:<span style=""> </span>I want to give other kids a passion for cooking and bring back those skills that a lot of people in my generation and generations younger than me have lost.<span style=""> </span>I don&rsquo;t know, I just really want to show them that there is a better way to eat that they can take pride in something like cooking.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The Common Threads teaching program has been around for a while. It was founded in 2003 by Art Smith.<span style=""> </span>You might remember him as a former chef to talk show host Oprah Winfrey.<span style="">&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The program&rsquo;s gotten a lot of attention over the years for doing good.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>There are now hundreds of kids who can use a knife properly and know the ins and outs of baking, frying, and broiling.<br /><br />But there are tough questions about whether teaching kids to cook well is enough.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Mary Russell Directs Nutrition Services at the University of Chicago Medical Center.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">RUSSELL:<span style=""> </span>To help reduce obesity I think we need to hit it from a lot of different prongs.<span style=""> </span>This is a good one, but it&rsquo;s not going to solve the problem, because it&rsquo;s only when they&rsquo;re in school.<span style=""> </span>If they don&rsquo;t get it reinforced, it would be unlikely to have a lasting impact unless there was the availability of parental support and encouragement.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">It turns out Common Threads has been thinking about the same problem, so it is now getting parents more involved.<span style="">&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Jillayne Samatas is the Education and Outreach Manager at Common Threads.<span style=""> </span>She says they&rsquo;ve had parents observe their children cooking, but now they&rsquo;re thinking about getting parents in the kitchen, too.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">SAMATAS:<span style=""> </span>It will be a five week series, where we&rsquo;ll have a parent and child that has been in our cooking class before, come to a class for 2 hours for five weeks following a curriculum that will get to cook together but then also learn some basic nutrition information as well.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Samatas says Common Threads has learned a lot about teaching low-income children about cooking and food. But there&rsquo;s one lesson that&rsquo;s a bit depressing. Samatas says a lot of the parents in their program can&rsquo;t access the kinds of food their children learn to cook.<br /><br />Sometimes they have to travel miles outside their own neighborhood just to get to full-service grocery stores.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">SAMATAS:<span style=""> </span>As much as we realize there is an access problem, our organization isn&rsquo;t at a capacity right now to address that issue.<span style=""> </span>Our primary role is to teach and educate.<span style=""> </span>But it&rsquo;s something that we are definitely involved in and trying to understand ourselves how can we help with that issue and it&rsquo;s really difficult to figure out.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But Samatas says this access issue won&rsquo;t stop Common Threads from its teaching.<span style=""> </span>She figures the group can&rsquo;t solve ever food-related problem low-income kids will have&hellip;but someone needs to give them the confidence and know-how to run their own kitchens some day.</p></p> Tue, 04 Jan 2011 15:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/affordable/program-gets-kids-kitchen-some-healthy-eating