Students cook with chefs before NATO

May 2, 2012 9:57:03 AM PDT
As Chicago is set to welcome world leaders for the NATO Summit in less than three weeks, some high school students are preparing to play a role in the big meeting.

International chefs from some of the 28 countries in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization participated in a program with the culinary on the city's South Side Wednesday.

The goal of the Crossroads program, which was sponsored by the Illinois Restaurant Association, was to teach the students about international dishes and how to be a successful in the food industry.

Culinary students also were afforded the opportunity to ask the professional chefs questions -- just before everyone moved into the kitchen to do some real cooking.

The chefs participating in Wednesday's event will also team up with local restaurants and help them create special international flavors for the NATO Summit.

The Crossroads event came on the same day the FAA announced a no-fly zone would be in place over the city of Chicago during the Summit. NATO supporters at the cooking event say they think the Summit will benefit Chicagoans.

"Having these NATO countries come in with chefs from their countries... so we interacting with other cities, other countries throughout the world. And this is what makes us a world-class city, and NATO -- this NATO Summit-- puts us right center in the middle of that worldwide," said Sam Toia of the Illinois Restaurant Association.

Both the students and instructors said they were looking forward to the start of the NATO Summit.