Articles filed under Cook of the Week

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  • Cook of the Week: Teen takes healthy approach to dinnertime Mar 17, 2015 6:00 AM
    Alexia Ballasch knows how to whip up a meal for her family. It took her a year to perfect a meatball recipe that she felt was not only good enough to serve her family but to bring before a panel of judges at the 2014 Illinois State Fair. That win is just one of a string of culinary competitions the home-schooled teen from Island Lake has tackled.

  • Cook of the Week: Mom embraces from-scratch cooking for her family, PADS Mar 10, 2015 6:00 AM
    On the third Saturday of any given month, you're likely to find Kathy Talken with her team of volunteers chopping, mixing and serving dinner for the 20 to 40 guests at their parish PADS shelter. “We don't just feed them cheap and easy. We try to make something different, something they can really enjoy,” says Kathy, of Wheeling.

  • Cook of the Week: Rail museum volunteer restores dining car recipes Feb 17, 2015 2:46 PM
    Cook of the Week Mike McCraren is a railroad buff and a foodie. He's combined these two passions by cooking and serving historically accurate meals on vintage dining cars at the Illinios Railway Museum in Union.

  • Cook of the Week: Lake Zurich mom stirs together thoughtful food blog Feb 10, 2015 10:50 AM
    What do you do when you love to cook, love to write and love to take photographs? The solution for Becky Ejupi of Lake Zurich, was to start a blog: (because Becky also loves to ponder). “It's really been a rewarding experience. I'm so interested in people's comments and I love how engaged they are,” says Becky. The blog has a warm, enticing format, highlighting recipes, articles about travel and humorous anecdotes.

  • Cook of the Week: Firehouse cook takes care of crew with home-cooked meals Feb 5, 2015 2:13 PM
    Firefighters and paramedics work long shifts and eat many meals at the station. At Buffalo Grove Station 26, those meals are mostly made by John Jason, a 23-year veteran of the department who has assumed the role of firehouse cook, making healthy, satisfying and quick meals that his co-workers can enjoy in between the emergency calls. As John sees it, he's providing a meal to his second family.

  • Cook of the Week: Hoffman Estates dad works family dinners, wine pairings from recipe repertoire Jan 27, 2015 6:00 AM
    Neighbors use the term “gourmet” to describe Ted Dziedzic. The Hoffman Estates dad thinks that’s too stuffy. “I’m a foodie,” admits Ted, “but I hesitate to use the word gourmet. My wife and I like to go out to restaurants in Chicago, or entertain, but it‘s not always fine dining. We just enjoy a variety of good, well-made food.”

  • Cook of the Week: Thinking outside the cake mix box for creative desserts Jan 20, 2015 10:57 AM
    Patricia Kutchins shares an ingredient that she considers her go-to when it comes to making decadent treats in a snap: boxed cake mix. Yet the Lake Zurich cook quickly points out that she doesn’t just dump the mix along with oil and eggs into a bowl. With each mix, she adds her own inspiration and creates a dessert that would be special enough to serve to family and friends and even receive recognition.

  • Cook of the Week: Global cuisines simmer in Naperville mom’s kitchen Jan 13, 2015 5:05 PM
    “If people were to go into my pantry, they would be totally confused about what nationality I am,” confesses Carelys Hepburn with a laugh. The Naperville mom has been on an Asian kick lately, exploring Thai, Japanese and Indian cuisine. Yet she always comes back to foods from her native Venezuela.

  • Cook of the Week: Aurora woman adapts Parsi recipes Jan 6, 2015 6:18 AM
    Aban Daboo, one of the competitors in our Cook of the Week Challenge, returns to the spotlight to share the parsi cooking style from her homeland of India. Parsi, which also can be spelled parsee, refers to a group who emigrated to India to avoid religious persecution by the Muslims. Aban explained she learned about the Parsi cuisine growing up in Mumbai where the cuisine is popular. Aban says the style of cooking incorporates Asian, Mediterranean and other diets. It's not what most people think of as Indian cuisine.

  • Cook of the Week: Winfield woman shares cultural insights one recipe at a time Dec 30, 2014 6:22 AM
    For three years, Maria Kisiel of Winfield wrote a twice a monthly column for a now defunct newspaper. Though her columns often ended with recipes, they were more an expression of the connections Maria found between food, culture and the love of family. Since the paper folded, she has collected her columns into a book (now in its second printing), called “Seasonings: A Celebration of Culinary Crossroads and Cultural Connections.”

  • Cook of the Week: Food scientists experiements at home Dec 9, 2014 6:18 AM
    Yes, Laura Hill earned Best of Show honors at our Home Baking Challenge, but this Prospect Heights mom has more than flour and butter up her sleeves. Family and friends rave about her party-perfect spinach balls and other holiday fare.

  • Cook of the Week: Baking helps woman connect to Norwegian heritage Dec 2, 2014 6:01 AM
    Despite the fact that three of her four grandparents were Norwegian, it wasn’t until she married a fellow of Norwegian descendent and traveled to Norway with her mother in 2007, that Barb Johnson truly embraced her heritage. “I didn’t grow up eating Norwegian food,” explains Johnson of Yorkville, “It was the one grandparent who wasn’t Norwegian who had the most influence on our food!” In addition, the other grandmother, who spoke Norwegian, wouldn’t let her children speak it.

  • Cook of the Week: Cooking, laughing, learning go hand in hand Nov 18, 2014 6:27 AM
    Cook of the Week Maria Anderson has fond childhood memories and even some amusing ones of working in the kitchen with her mom and two sisters. When asked to clean vegetable greens she didn't know cleaning them did not require using soap and water. “I remember my uncle saying this tastes really soapy,” she recalls with a chuckle. Whether the time produced a delicious meal, laughs or both, the Palatine resident developed a love of cooking. Along the way she learned how to make Italian favorites, knowledge she shares with her daughters Erica, 27, and Alexis, 22.

  • Cook of the Week: His passion is getting others hooked on fish Nov 11, 2014 2:41 PM
    Even while working full-time as an options trader, Cook of the Week John Stowick couldn't keep his mind off cooking. He'd take part-time jobs at restaurants working as a busboy, line cook or bartender to be around it. Two years ago John quit his day job to focus solely on his culinary passion and landed behind the seafood counter at Foodstuffs, a gourmet grocer and caterer in Glencoe.

  • Images: Daily Herald Cook of the Week Challenge 2014 Nov 3, 2014 10:21 PM
    Images of the Daily Herald Cook of the Week Challenge event on Monday night, Nov.3, in Schaumburg.Jamie Andrade of Elk Grove Village was named the Cook of the Week Challenge winner at the event.

  • Cook of the Week Challenge winner: Jamie Andrade Nov 4, 2014 6:18 AM
    The Daily Herald’s 2014 Cook of the Week Challenge champion is ... Jamie Andrade! The grand finale of the challenge took place tonight in Schaumburg. Four finalists — Andrade, Emily Geddes, Juanita Harrell and Molly Sutton — competed for the title.

  • Cook of the Week Challenge: Judges weigh in on Emmentaler, chia seed mystery basket recipes Oct 22, 2014 12:22 PM
    Chia seeds and pork chops! Hot dogs and delicata squash? Those pairings didn't get the best of Cook of the Week Challenge contestants. Let's hear what the judges said about the recipes that got the last two cooks into the final round.

  • Jerked Anise Chicken with Caribbean Spiced Paella Oct 22, 2014 6:08 AM
    Cook of the Week Challenge winner from 2013 sees if he still has his cooking chops by tackling the licorice extract, whole chicken, mango and almond basket. What do you think?

  • Cook of the Week Challenge: Judges try their hand at the mystery baskets Oct 22, 2014 6:01 AM
    So our contestants don't think the judges have it too easy, we asked the judges to pick any of the 12 mystery baskets and submit a recipe using the same guidelines the contestants had to follow. You be the judge and tell us how they did.

  • Opaa Steak with Crusted Grilled Eggplant Oct 22, 2014 6:08 AM
    Accountant, food enthusiast and Cook of the Week Challenge judge Mario Portanova marinated steak in Opaa Zesty Greek Dip for his mystery basket recipe.

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