The cooks are dads and men from all walks of life and include entertainers, athletes, ministers, media personalities, politicians and other hard-working men who are bound by their resolve to uplift the family.
Highlights of the 2008 event include:
- Sampling of a wide menu of food offerings including traditional southern cuisine, Caribbean cuisine, desserts, exotic delights, vegetarian dishes and everyday fare.
- A Health and Wellness Pavilion that includes information on healthy cooking, nutrition, fitness, family wellness as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. The Pavilion is sponsored by Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and BASUAH (Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV/AIDS) in association with Real Men Charities and the Community Mental Health Council.
- Health screenings for diabetes, prostate cancer and HIV/AIDS in the Illinois Department of Public Health's Wellness Van
- Information on Real Men Charities' Responsible Fatherhood initiative during the month of June
- Special information area to share the MORE program partnership between Real Men Cook and the National PTA
- Information on Real Men Charities' Responsible Fatherhood initiative during the month of June with DCFS (Department of Children & Family Services), the Governor's office and the Illinois Department of Public Health
- Martial arts demonstrations
- MAGIC /National Teen Testing Day where teens can get screened for HIV/AIDS
- A chance for a free trip to the Bahamas, courtesy of the Bahamas Visitors Bureau
- Entertainment by Chicago's leading jazz, R&B and pop stars
Conceived and launched in Chicago in 1989 by entrepreneurs Kofi Moyo and Yvette Moyo and as a local Father's Day family celebration, Real Men Cook's success has spawned the creation of a number of products including Real Men Cook Sweet Potato Pound Cake mix® and programs recognized for nutritional education, family building and health and wellness through the work of Real Men Charities, Inc. The event has also spawned success of branded products including Real Men Cook Coffee, introduced in 2007, which is available on line at www.realmencook.com.
The book, "Real Men Cook," published by Simon & Schuster, is now in paperback, by popular demand. It features a compilation of 100 favorite recipes from Real Men. In writing the Foreword to the book, U.S. Senator Barack Obama reflects on the warm memories of attending the Real Men Cook events with his family, and donning a Real Men Cook bandana while serving his favorite dish to the crowd.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), State Farm Insurance, The Nielsen Company, Jewel-Osco, the University of Chicago Medical Centers, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) U.S. Cellular, the Chicago Park District, Washburne Culinary Academy and Shore Bank are sponsoring the event. Media sponsors are NBC5, Power 92.3FM, Soul 106.3FM and Rejoice 102.3FM.
Tickets are $20 for adults in advance, $25 at the door and $10 for children (12 and under). For tickets and additional information, contact the South Side YMCA at 773-947-0700, the Community Mental Health Council at 773-734-4033 X 422, Real Men Cook at 773-651-8008 ext 5 or visit the RealMenCook's Web site.