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updated: 4/2/2014 5:27 AM

Spreading the word about Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

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  • Chef Lee Wolen is the featured chef for WINGS Taste Takes Flight fundraiser.

      Chef Lee Wolen is the featured chef for WINGS Taste Takes Flight fundraiser.
    Courtesy of WINGS

  •  
    Courtesy of Welsh's PB&J Snacks

 
 

Now here's a food holiday my fifth grader can celebrate: Today is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day.

While the average American eats PB&J one to five times a month, my guy is way above average -- he easily polishes off 25-plus sandwiches a month, sometimes two a day.

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Strawberry is the jam of choice in my house, with raspberry and apricot in a distant tie for second. Grape, as you might have guessed, is the favorite jam of half those surveyed.

Here a few other PB&J facts, brought to us by the folks at Welch's PB&J Snacks:

• 52 percent of Americans choose creamy over crunchy peanut butter.

• 60 percent prefer their sandwiches untoasted.

• More than 50 percent spread their peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat or multigrain bread. White bread seems to have fallen out of favor, with just 19 percent indicating it as their preference.

Taste Takes Flight: Tickets still are available for the April 3 Taste Takes Flight culinary event that raises money for WINGS (Women in Need Growing Stronger).

The event, set for 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Chicago Marriott Northwest in Hoffman Estates, gives WINGS supporters and food enthusiasts a chance to sample dishes from more than 15 local restaurants and taste an array of wine, spirits, cheeses and chocolates.

Chef Lee Wolen, formerly with The Lobby in The Peninsular Chicago and now with BOKA as executive chef/partner, is this year's featured chef. Wolen earned one Michelin star while at The Lobby.

Carnivale, Chessie's, Francesca's Famiglia, Fortune Fish & Grill, Fresco 21, L'eiffel Bistrot & Creperie, Mago Grill & Cantina, McGonigal's Pub and the Annex, NEAR and Wok N Fire are among the participating restaurants.

Proceeds from the event will go to WINGS to assist women and children who are victims of domestic violence. Tickets cost $125. There will be silent and live auctions. Get tickets at (847) 519-7820 or wingsprogram.com.

Last year's event raised more than $60,000 in support of WINGS' Safe House. Money raised this year will support the Building Safer Futures campaign which is focused on shelter beds.

Tip of the toque: Michael H. Garbin of Naperville and executive chef at the Union League Club of Chicago received the Dr. L.J. Minor's Chef Professionalism award from the American Culinary Federation during the group's Central Regional Conference last month in St. Louis. The award goes to a chef who exemplifies the highest standards of professionalism through certification, continuing education and training, culinary competitions and community involvement. As the regional recipient, Garbin is a candidate to receive the national award at the ACF National Convention in Kansas City in July.

The association also gave its Achievement of Excellence award to Carlucci restaurant in Rosemont, Redstone American Grill in Oakbrook Terrace and The Purple Pig in Chicago (where Maine South High School grad Jimmy Bannos Jr. runs the kitchen). Congratulations to all!

• Contact Food Editor Deborah Pankey at dpankey@dailyherald.com or (847) 427-4524. Be her friend at Facebook.com/DebPankey.Daily Herald or follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter @PankeysPlate.

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