On Tuesday morning, Top Chef Stephanie Izard, chef/owner of the Girl & The Goat, helped open the Nettelhorst Community Kitchen at Lakeview’s Nettelhorst School; it was designed by designer Nate Berkus with help from Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn. The beautiful modern white kitchen with brand new appliances and utensils will serve as a bridge between home and school, with cooking becoming a part of the curriculum. Similar to the program put in place by Art Smith’s Common Threads foundation, the Nettelhorst Community Kitchen will help kids learn how to prepare healthy meals and see where their food comes from.
Izard was joined by local personal chef Lorin Adolph to cook fresh, healthy food for the breakfast-time ribbon cutting that was attended by Illinois U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, Illinois Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, Chicago Blackhawks VP and general manager Stan Bowman (who has two sons at the school) and Alderman Tom Tunney, who cut the ribbon and also owns local restaurant Ann Sather.
Berkus, who premiered his own talk show on Monday, wasn’t on hand but sent in a video message from his show’s set. The kitchen is one of many projects that have helped Nettelhorst become a leader in how to improve Chicago public schools. In addition to the kitchen, the school is adding a state-of-the-art student fitness center with help from a $200,000 grant from the Blackhawks.
Izard and Adolph prepared fresh fruit salad, German pancakes, frittatas and smoothies for the parents and children who attended with food donated by Whole Foods.
In somewhat related news, Common Threads will get a boost from Roti Mediterranean Grill. On Sept. 28 between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Roti at 310 W. Adams will offer free lunch to anyone who comes in in celebration of the location’s first anniversary. In exchange, the restaurant is asking patrons to make a donation of whatever size to Common Threads to help continue working with kids around Chicago and the country.