Friday, April 24, 2009

Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day

The Cook County Circuit Court Clerk's Office asked us to do a demo on the Take your Daughters and Sons to Work Day. We had about 60 4th to 6th graders attend the cupcake decorating demo on the 10th floor of the Daley Center on Randolph, downtown Chicago.

Mary Anselmo and Aquila Thomas were in charge of the event and helped us through the heavy security of the building with some of our not so police friendly tools.

The Kids all had a great time even if they were not particularly fond of the Swiss buttercream.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

CHIC Garden Club Bake Sale

For the students, by the students, of the students.....continuing to be self reliant and understanding the need for financial responsibility and sustainability, the CHIC garden Club conducted a fundraiser to help establish the garden on the north end of the building. The students, instructors, with the help of Chef Juanita's angels, produced, wrapped and bagged, sold and marketed cookies, easter bunnies, cupcakes, baguettes and dinner rolls, etc....

It was a tremendous success, way beyond our expectations. We had hoped to make at least $300 to cover topsoil, compost, seeds, bone meal, blood meal, chicken wire (vs the rabbits) and white picket fencing. And we made $850. We were kidding around that with this money, we can hire a landscaper....just kidding.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

CHIC Urban Parking Lot Garden Paradise



Armed with shovels, spades, rakes and ready for action muscles, instructors, staff and students broke ground for what should be a promising organic culinary garden. Mixed with a butterfly sanctuary, the garden is being dug up right in the middle of what once was one of Chicago's toughest neighborhoods, in the CHIC parking lot, now CHIC, hip and very urban.
After digging for a while, we soon realized the muscles were not ready for the very thick grass on the north side of the school, and we ran off to Home Depot to rent a rototiller. The garden right under the admissions window was a breeze, but the other side across the way was really tough, so we decided we will cover it with about a foot of topsoil to kill the grass. This area gets full sun and this will be the vegetable garden. We plan to install at least six different tomatoes, six types of basil, at least 4 kinds of peppers, zuchini, cucumber, beans, oriental vegetables and but of course, thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, some mint. I am even trying to get roots on a store bought lemon grass.
After the back breaking hard labor, Chef John bought the group some Bari subs and Chef MIke brought some soda.
This week, we will amend the soil with store bought topsoil, some manure from the horse farm , compost, peat moss and perhaps some bone meal or blood meal. for some slow released food. BY next week, we hope to plant.
Thanks to evrybody who came and participated. Bill Mustari, Chef John with Matthew, Michael and Alexander, Chef Mike Skufca, Emily Johnson, Sala Schweiger, Tabitha tattone, Daniel Crum, Andrew, Gerry McCarthy