Epic Lineup for Chefs' Ukraine Fundraiser
Nearly six dozen leading culinary stars lend their time and their hearts
Epic Lineup for Chicago Chefs Cook for Ukraine
Chicago’s culinary community is shocked and appalled by the humanitarian crisis inflicted on the people of Ukraine by the ongoing atrocious invasion. And they are channeling their anger the best possible way, by sharing their time, talent and heart with the Chicago Chefs Cook for Ukraine fundraiser Wednesday evening at the Navy Pier Ballroom.
All proceeds from the event go to World Central Kitchen, the passion project of Chef José Andrés, which races to disaster areas around the world — including Ukraine and neighboring states absorbing its refugees — to set up kitchens to provide healthy and delicious meals to people in desperate need.
We have obtained the chef lineup and it includes nearly all of the biggest names in the Chicago restaurant scene. General admission tickets are $150 with VIP upgrades available (click the button below). Scan the list below and I hope you’ll agree that it’s worth every penny, especially given all the good that the money will do.
The list is in alphabetical order by restaurant with the chefs’ names following.
Amaru (Rodolfo Cuadros)… Avli On the Park (Lewis Alexakis)… Bacinos (Linda Bacin)… Batter & Berries (Ken Polk)… Bazaar Meats by José Andrés (Alex Pitts)… Big Fat Cookie (Linda Friend)… Bistronomic (Martial Nougier)… Blue Door Kitchen & Garden (Art Smith & Hector Guerrero)… Blue Plate Catering (Charles Haracz)
Boka Restaurant (Lee Wolen)… Brindille (Carrie Nahabedian)… Cira (Chris Pandel)… Cocoa + Co (Meg Galus)… Craft Urban (Bernie Laskowski)… Demera (Tigist Reda)… The Duck Inn (Kevin Hickey)… Eleven Eleven (Lamar Moore)… Eli’s Cheesecake (Marc Schulman)… Fat Rosies (Dudley Nieto)
Four Seasons Hotel Chicago and Adorn Bar & Restaurant (Jonathon Sawyer)… Frontera Group (Zach Steen)… Gene & Georgetti (Cristiano Bassani)… Giant (Jason Vincent)… Gibsons Italia (Jose Sosa)… Gioia Ristorante e Pastificio (Federico Comacchio)… Little Goat Diner… The Girl in the Kitchen (Mila Furman)… GT Fish & Oyster (Giuseppe Tentori)… Hewn Bread (Ellen King)… Honey Butter Fried Chicken (Joshua Kulp and Christine Cikowski)
Jaleo by José Andrés (Justin DePhillips)… Katherine Anne Confections (Katherine Anne)… La Soupe, Cincinnati (Suzy DeYoung)… Le Bouchon (Oliver Poilevey)… Luella’s Southern Kitchen (Darnell Reed)… Lula Cafe (Jason Hammel)… Manny’s Deli (Dan Raskin)… Monteverde (Sarah Grueneberg)… NaKorn (Sam Rattanopas)
Nonnina (John Boudouvas),,, North Pond (Caesar Murillo)… Offshore Rooftop (Jim Kallas)… Paramount Catering (Jody Fyfe and David Abrahamson)… Petergof Banquet Hall (Tusya Korastin)… Piccolo Sogno (Tony Priolo and Mike Burke)… Pescadero Seafood and Oyster Bar (Nick Hynes)… Petterino’s (Ozzy Amelotti)… Prairie Grass Cafe (Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris)… Pretty Cool Ice Cream (Dana Cree and Michael Ciapciak)
Publican Quality Bread (Greg Wade and Paul Kahan)… Pure Green Juice… Purple Pig (Jimmy Bannos and Jimmy Bannos Jr.)… Robert’s Pizza and Dough Company (Robert Garvey)… Rome’s Joy Catering (Cliff Rome)… ROOH (Sahil Sethi)… Rose Mary (Joe Flamm)… Smoque BBQ (Barry Sorkin)… Soul & Smoke (Heather Bublick and D’Andre Carter)… Taqueria Chingon (Marcos Ascencio)… Torali at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago (Toni Roberts)
Tryzub Restaurant (Nataliya)… Tzuco (Carlos Gaytan)… Umbria Caffe (Jim Louras)… Urbanbelly (Bill Kim)… Vanille Patisserie (Sophie Evanoff)… Verzenay Chicago (Arshiya Farheen)… Vie (Paul Virant)… Victory Italian (Michelle Anne)… Virtue (Erick Williams)… Wherewithall (Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark)
The fundraiser is presented by Lifeway Foods, the Chicago-area kefir company founded and run by Ukrainian refugees who fled the Soviet Union. Hosts include Chefs Tony Priolo (Piccolo Sogno) and Sarah Stegner (Prairie Grass Cafe), Green City Market (GCM), and GCM Board Members Darren Gest and Eda Davidman.
Get The Full Story on Broadview Farm and CSAs
As reported earlier, the Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois directory published my latest article, which focuses on Broadview Farm and Gardens in Marengo, Illinois. Broadview — launched in 2016 by Tim and Delicia Brown, both career-changing first-time farmers — started a CSA after first establishing a customer base at farmers markets in north-central Illinois.
With permission from Buy Fresh Buy Local, we are re-publishing the article. CSAs were in vogue for a couple of decades ago, fueled by eaters who wanted to live out the slogan “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food.” Though the CSA model slumped a few years back, Broadview owners Tim and Delicia Brown overcame the challenges by building their CSA boxes around popular “Salad Bowl” ingredients, and benefited during the pandemic from a CSA revival, as many consumers sought secure, local food supplies.
Enjoy the story and please consider subscribing to a local CSA.
CSA’s The Best Way to Know Your Farmer and Your Food
Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) was at the cutting edge as consumer interest in buying food directly from local farmers started to build. True believers eagerly subscribed to receive CSA boxes from their favorite farms, ensuring that they would enjoy the products they love while providing the farmers with cash to cover costs of growing that food.
After enjoying a long period of growth, CSA struggled a few years ago, the result of factors that included oversaturation of CSA farms and the proliferation of farmers markets. CSA rebounded, though, as pandemic-related supply chain issues sent consumers flocking to secure local food sources, and farms adjusted to market realities with more flexible subscription options and convenience (home delivery or additional drop sites).
CSA remains the most personal way to know your farmer and know your food. We think you’ll enjoy the following story about Broadview Farm and Gardens in Marengo (northern Illinois), which does CSA and farmers markets.
Broadview is a member of the Buy Fresh Buy Local Coalition and is listed in its essential directory of producers and sellers of local food. Listings are free to values-driven farm and food businesses (sign up by clicking here), and consumers can find a list of CSAs near them by entering CSA in the search box (we provide a starter list at the end of this article).
Taking The Broadview on CSA
When it comes to Community Supported Agriculture, there has been a common complaint voiced over the years even by dedicated subscribers. At some point, your CSA farm might provide a box of products that you don’t exactly know what to do with — summed up by the stereotypical big box of kohlrabi.
Tim and Delicia Brown are among the farmers who address this issue by taking a more specialized approach with the CSA they run at the Broadview Farm and Gardens in Marengo, located in northeast Illinois at the edge of metro Chicago. Their featured subscription is the Salad Bowl CSA, available June to October, that highlights lettuces and 10 varieties of tomatoes, all chemical-free from their Certified Naturally Grown farm.
“I’m going to grow what I normally grow, which is lettuce and spinach and cucumbers and tomatoes, things that I know the vast majority of people want,” says Tim Brown. “It’s not going to be difficult for me to sell anything. I don’t grow anything exotic. I make it a point not to grow anything exotic.”
The Browns also have a flock of laying hens that enable them to stage an Egg CSA.
Broadview Farm became the Browns’ landing spot in 2014 after a long physical and personal journey. Tim and Delicia were born and met in Los Angeles. They developed unhealthy eating habits — Tim says he maxed out at 325 pounds — but they adopted better diets and quit smoking as they started a family that now includes three young children.
They also moved first to the Northwest Side of Chicago, then to a house with a backyard in Elgin. Tim fulfilled a longtime dream to grow a vegetable garden and started to contemplate a second career in farming. At the same time, he became increasingly disenchanted with his day job with an audio-visual firm. “I was just obsessed with gardening,” Tim says. “The only thing I wanted to do is come home and spend time in my garden.”
He tested the waters in the Farm Dreams and Farm Beginnings programs presented by Angelic Organics Learning Center in Caledonia, Illinois. In 2013, he took a giant leap, quitting his job, initiating a land search with Delicia that landed them in Marengo, and working for two years at organic CSA farmer Janet Gamble’s Turtle Creek Gardens in Delevan, Wisconsin to learn the ropes.
Broadview Farm and Gardens started full production in 2016 but initially eschewed CSA. After a long stretch of surging growth, CSA was struggling at that point in the Chicago region. Tim attributes that mainly to oversaturation, as small farms surged into the space and competed for subscribers. There were other issues too, including limited say over what goes into the CSA boxes, and the challenges getting product to consumers (as few CSAs did home delivery at the time).
Yet the Browns eased into CSA, recruiting subscribers through the personal relationships they had developed vending at the Woodstock Farmers Market in McHenry County and the Edgebrook Farmers Market in Rockford. Their farmstands also became their primary pickup points for CSA customers.
The couple addresses the product selection issue by focusing on the salad ingredients that they feel they do best, and the upfront price issue by creating subscription plans of varying lengths and creating a la carte options. Like many such farms, Broadview rode the CSA revival during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, as supply chain issues and empty shelves prompted many consumers to look to local farms for secure access to food.
And this year, Broadview is tackling the convenience issue by initiating home delivery.
Broadview is on trend in other important ways. The Browns are bullish on the opportunities that hoop houses provide for year-round growing. “The rewards that they can bring are significant,” Tim says. “I think that anybody growing in the Midwest should have them. I want to put in as many as I can.”
He concedes, though, “I can honestly say that I do enjoy the natural built-in breaks in the season like right now. I don’t want to be outside every day battling with the cold, dealing with iced-over equipment and all that kind of stuff.”
The Browns also intend to take advantage of the new Illinois Home to Market Act that greatly expands opportunities for farmers to sell value-added products made in their own kitchens to the general public. “The cottage food law that the Illinois Stewardship Alliance was able to help get pushed through has been amazing,” Tim says. “We can convert some of our stuff into jams, jellies, nectars, preserves, chutneys, whatever, and legally sell it without issue.”
And Tim notes that Broadview will actually be adding kohlrabi to its lineup… just not whole boxes of it. “I’m growing kohlrabi this year for the first time in like seven years. It’s a very limited amount, but I have seen areas where I can fill in my CSA or I can throw them on the [farmers market] table,” he says.
Find CSAs Near You
You can find CSA farms near you at www.buyfreshbuylocalillinois.org. Just use the filters to search by proximity. Below are just a handful of CSA farms across the state:
Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm Meat CSA, Ottawa: Northern IL
Henry’s Farm, Congerville: Central IL
All Seasons Farm, Cobden: Southern IL
Terripin Farm Stand CSA, Quincy: Western IL
Get Listed with Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois
Are you a farm, farmers market, farm-to-table restaurant, or grocery store that sells local products purchased directly from local farms? Get listed in Illinois’ most trusted guide to local food. Your listing is absolutely free. Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois is a local foods marketing project led by a coalition of organizations across the state working to promote local farms and food businesses like yours. Get listed and start reaching new customers today!