Common Threads hosts World Festival

March 16, 2009 9:45:44 AM PDT
Notable chefs from Chicago and around the U.S. will bring their culinary expertise together for Common Threads' Fourth Annual "World Festival" on Monday, March 23. Top Chef Season 4 winner Stephanie Izard, Tyler Florence, Ming Tsai and Michelle Bernstein are among this year's celebrity chefs who will serve up global gourmet cuisine representing countries from around the world in the annual culinary event to benefit health and nutritional education for Chicago youth. World Festival celebrates food and how it influences the many different cultures of the world around us. In addition to global food stations, guests will enjoy live multicultural entertainment and tempting silent auction including weekend getaways, tickets to sporting events and culinary experiences. The live auction will include: a BBQ for 40 with Chefs Giuseppe Tentori, Bill Kim, Mindy Segal and Graham Elliott Bowles; a Top Chef Party with Season Four Top Chef Winner, Stephanie Izard and Top Chef Friends; and the top prize of a Bambi Airstream, the luxury travel trailer, designed by Michael S. Smith, celebrity designer for Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, Cindy Crawford, and even President and Michelle Obama.

"Common Threads' mission is a simple one- it's about bringing kids into the kitchen to discover the world," says Executive Director Linda Novick O'Keefe. "Every day, children who participate in Common Threads' programming embark on a world adventure. World Festival affords us adults a similar experience."

This year's festival attendees will be treated to global delicacies by renowned chefs including founder Art Smith, TABLE fifty-two; Graham Elliot Bowles, Graham Elliot; Gavin Kaysen, Caf´e Boulud; Giuseppe Tentori, BOKA; Bill Kim, Urban Belly; Koren Grieveson, AVEC; Tyler Florence of the Food Network; and Curtis Stone, Take Home Chef. Later in the evening, VIP guests and host Tyler Florence will sip Mo?t at the stylish James Hotel, 55 E. Ontario as they enjoy a performance by Million Dollar Quartet.

This year's festival is co-chaired by Katherine Chez, Candace Jordan and Mayari Pritzker. The Honorary Chair and Mistress of Ceremonies is Gail Simmons from Food & Wine and Bravo's Top Chef. World Festival will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art. General Admission is $250 per person and VIP tickets are $500 per person. Tickets can be purchased online at

Common Threads, a not-for-profit organization, was founded in 2003 by Art Smith, personal chef to Oprah Winfrey. The organization educates children on the importance of nutrition and physical well being, and fosters an appreciation of cultural diversity through cooking in cooperation with many local nonprofits and schools. Common Threads touches nearly 1,000 children annually from Chicago's most underserved neighborhoods. Common Threads hosts 14 cooking classes each week at 12 locations throughout the city, has two classes in Los Angeles and is opening a pilot in Miami this March. For more information on Common Threads, please visit

Chef Stephanie Izard's Taste of Peru

Peru is the country that Chef Stephanie will be representing at the World Fest. She is sharing her Peruvian-flavored recipes for "Lime and Onion Salsa" and "Spiced Nut Condiment" to spice up pork, chicken or fish.

Lime and onion salsa

Spiced Nut Condiment

Top Chef Winner unveils new recipes and food adventures in weekly video podcast, "The Tasty Life"

Stephanie Izard, winner and fan-favorite of the fourth season of Bravo's Top Chef in Chicago, announces the launch of her new weekly video podcast and blog, "The Tasty Life," featured on her website at Filmed with the culinarily curious in mind, Stephanie sets her sights on uncovering gastronomic greatness both near and far.

With a new episode each week, "The Tasty Life" joins Stephanie on food-inspired adventures as she visits some of her favorite spots like farms, wineries, breweries and more. For her premiere podcast, Stephanie dropped by the Indiana brewery and brewpub, Three Floyds, where she helped make beer onsite then cooked up a delicious dish using their Alpha King Pale Ale ? Stephanie's top choice for pale ales. With each of her "The Tasty Life" episodes, viewers can read behind-the-scenes commentary on Stephanie's blog and find a link to a related recipe featured in the podcast. You can jump into "The Tasty Life" by subscribing free on iTunes or through Stephanie's website.

Always brimming with seasonal ideas, each week Stephanie will also post new, diverse recipes that represent the same creativity shown in her winning dishes. Visitors can already find a library of Stephanie's favorites on her website ranging from Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Apple Butter and Rapini and Rosemary Vinaigrette to Oatmeal and Banana Pancakes with Pomegranate Syrup, and Quince and Fig Cobbler with Vanilla Mascarpone.

An intimate collection of stories, recipes, advice and photographs, Stephanie's website is her home away from home. Join her as she dishes on the unique flavors, cool people and exciting restaurants that have crossed her path during trips to places like Walla Walla for a wine tasting, a tapas tour through Spain and a week in New York City to host a dinner at the famous James Beard House. To see what Stephanie has coming up, you can look at her calendar for details on upcoming events, and for real-time updates you can even find her Twitter status on the site (Tweeps can follow her using "stephanieizard").

Busy as ever, Stephanie is currently in the midst of writing a cookbook and will be opening a new restaurant in Chicago, The Drunken Goat. Stephanie says, the restaurant, expected to open this fall, will incorporate innovative flavor combinations and take comfort-style dishes to the next level. You can find more info and subscribe to "The Tasty Life" at Stephanie's website: