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Archive for the ‘Food and Dining Out’ Category

Black frozen pizza company loses shelf space at military commissary

Posted by Admin On August - 6 - 2012 Comments Off on Black frozen pizza company loses shelf space at military commissary
The only Black frozen pizza company in the United States loses shelf space at the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCa). Reggio’s Pizza was recently advised by its broker that its three pizza products had been discontinued for distribution at DeCa, the grocery store for our military personnel. This unjust act is deemed to be reprehensible in the Black and Hispanic communities, because it negatively impacts Black and Hispanic workers.
Reggio’s was provided distribution of three pizza product items in 2009, just after Barack Obama became President and Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the United States. Reggio’s was provided this limited opportunity after trying 15-years unsuccessfully to gain distribution.  Reggio’s was given only three items when some other pizza companies are given as many as 70 items, and as many as 8 items of the same flavor.
Reggio’s is the only African American frozen pizza manufacturer in the United States. John Clark, President/CEO said that this action is unfair and discriminates against Reggio’s because it is Black owned. Mr. Clark further stated that President Truman desegregated the armed forces by executive order in 1948. Nevertheless, we still have a long way to go in terms of racial equality; especially in the area of economic fairness and justice.
The Black and Hispanic communities are calling on Richard Durbin, U.S. Senator of Illinois; Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives; Bobby Rush, the U.S. Representative in the District where Reggio’s processing facility is located; Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense and all political leaders of justice and good will on both sides of the aisle to correct this discriminatory, unfair and unjust act immediately. During these tough economic times, Reggio’s, a small business enterprise with a diverse workforce, needs this business and its employees certainly need their jobs.
If you believe in justice and fairness, we are requesting you to write, call or e-mail the above mentioned political leaders and your Representatives in Congress to ask that this discriminatory action be reversed.

Farrakhan’s rebirth of Salaam Restaurant called a “diamond” on 79th Street

Posted by Admin On July - 5 - 2012 Comments Off on Farrakhan’s rebirth of Salaam Restaurant called a “diamond” on 79th Street

Pfleger: “Restaurant powerful sign of  hope, peace”


By Chinta Strausberg

After being closed for the past 12-years, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan late Sunday night touted the reopening of the $5 million Salaam Restaurant saying it is a sign of peace in a troubled community with Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th) calling it a “diamond,” that’s symbolic of the beginning of jobs and black business growth.

As a stream of excited supporters entered the restaurant, located at 706 W. 79th Street, Strobe lights flashed across the building and crisscrossed the sky. Inside, scores of people were ushered to the second floor ballroom that was eloquently designed by Nation of Islam leader’s daughter, Maria, and filled with beautifully colored delicacies from fruit to salmon.

The entire restaurant is non-alcoholic and the food is all organically grown and purchased from Nation of Islam farms.

There are three unique restaurants inside of the Salaam Restaurant—the Crescent Café that is adjacent to the bakery and is Wi Fi wired, an eloquent dining area and the majestic looking ballroom on the second floor.

Father Michael L. Pfleger, who attended yesterday’s special VIP reception, said: “The opening of the Salaam is a powerful sign of Hope in a time when we are experiencing such hopelessness in the world.

“While the economy continues to struggle and our communities seem to be losing ground the opening of the Salaam stands as a Beacon of New Birth and New Life. It is also important that in a time of so much violence the Salaam which means PEACE comes forth on 79th Street,” Pfleger stated.  He and Prince Asiel Bin Israel, who owns the Soul Vegetarian East Restaurant, along with other ministers prayed for the success of the restaurant during the VIP reception held last Friday.

Minister Ishmael Muhammad, Farrkahan’s national assistant, also spoke urging all to support the rebirth of the Salaam Restaurant.

Brother Leonard Muhammad, Farrakhan’s chief of staff, said, “We’re just proud of the fact that we were able to do it for the community. We know this is something that has been asked for by people in the city for many years. The Salaam is now open and it’s open to say and we’re proud to be going in the direction that was started by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad when the Salaam Restaurant was at 83rd and Cottage Grove years ago.

“Much of the product and food that is going to be sold here will come from Muhammad Farms in Georgia and in Michigan,” said Muhammad. “We have organic fruits and vegetables that will be consumed here by our customers. We are really proud of that as well.”

When asked why was the Salaam Restaurant closed for 12-years, Muhammad said, “It was closed basically because it is a debt-free facility, over $5 million, and we decided we were not ready to do the restaurant business. He had some very huge difficulties with management….

“We are trying to do it again as an un-privatized business but hopefully we’ve brought in the management people we need to keep it going and make it work properly,” said Muhammad referring to the restaurant’s general manager, Calvin Hollins.

Muhammad is hoping to capture some of Starbuck’s customers with the coffee shop. “We also have a lunch and dinner menu until 9 p.m. every day,” he said.

“Welcome to your Salaam Restaurant,” said Minister Farrakhan. “We wanted to put a building up that represented that Elijah Muhammad had in mind when he put up the original Salaam Restaurant” at 83rd and Cottage Grove.

Saying Elijah Muhammad always got the best for his people, Farrakhan said back then he bought a printing machine for $1 million with the stipulation that the company had to train his people how to run it. Farrakhan said Muhammad bought houses, apartment buildings; land packing plants, bakeries, supermarkets. “We had land in Georgia, land in Alabama, land in Honduras. We traded with Morocco bringing products in from Morocco. He sent his laborers to China to bring back products from China.

“We were the largest fish distributors in the United States of America under his leadership.” Farrakhan said they brought back fish from off the coast of Peru and did so well they forced white fishermen to drop the price of their fish to compete with theirs.  “This what we’re doing is for him,” Farrakhan said referring to Elijah Muhammad.

Serving as the Masters of Ceremony was WVON’s Cliff Kelley who said, “I think it’s wonderful. The only person happier than me is the Minister himself. I have been here so many times and I was so distressed over the fact that it was closed. I heard it was going to reopen, and it’s more beautiful than it was before.”

Kelley wants people to know that you do not have to be a Muslim to come to the Salaam Restaurant. “They can come here. They don’t have to go downtown. You won’t find any place better than this. Everybody is welcome here.”

Attorney Berve Muhammad, Minister Farrakhan’s lawyer, said, “This is one of the most historic events that has taken place in this era. To see a jewel on 79th Street to reopen…. “

Referring to other black-owned restaurants that have gone out of business like Izola’s, Army & Lou’s and the Original House of Pancakes on 87th Street, Muhammad said, “We see the Salaam Restaurant becoming this foundation for this South Side and a place where black people and others can come to have quality food and a quality banquet facility.

Saying Minister Farrakhan has “instituted a tremendous program of economic development, Muhammad said Muslims and others “love to see the Muslims coming because they knew they were going to get fresh, clean quality products from the Nation of Islam.” He said Farrakhan is following in the footsteps of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

“We don’t have to go to Cicero anymore. We don’t have to go downtown anymore and pay all that extra for parking,” the attorney said. This is the vision of the Honorable Minister Farrakhan and provides us with an opportunity for economic development where we live.”

“As we were going through this two-year process of resurrecting and providing for the rebirth of the Salaam Restaurant, we were in and out of this building all kind of days and nights and every time we would stand on the sidewalk people would say, ‘Is the restaurant opened, yet…’ We can now say welcome, come on in.”

The restaurant is located in Ald. Latasha Thomas’ (17th) Ward. “We’re absolutely excited about it and this time we’re going to make sure it stays open. We are going to support this banquet hall. They have fabulous food, the fine dining restaurant, the every day restaurant and bakery.

“We’re going to support this because this brings more opportunities to our community. This brings jobs, business, more vibrant 79th Street opportunities,” she said. Thomas also announced that she would be holding her functions at the Salaam Restaurant and will be urging others to follow suit.

Attorney Muhammad said they chose Calvin Hollins, who has owned and operated many restaurants including the E2 Night Club at 24th and Michigan where 21 people were killed after being trapped in the building.  He was exonerated of all charges. The father of 10 children, Hollins is determined to make the Salaam Restaurant the very best in Chicago having opened 17 different restaurants across the nation.

“When you come here, you’re going to see how to eat to live put into practice,” Muhammad said referring to the bakery and the organic food they serve. He said the bakery would be opened from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Crescent Café opens at 11 a.m. through 10 p.m. and later on Friday’s and Saturdays. The Fine Dining Room is opened from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and later on the weekends.

The restaurant is wired for Wi Fi. On the coasters, it reads: “Your real power is in trying to be right,” Louis Farrakhan. There are also murals on the wall depicting the faces of black civil rights leaders. There are several 100-inch flat TV screens to watch. When you order your food, the waiters and waitresses are there to patiently explain the organic ingredients.

And, to make sure the food is cooked properly, Farrakhan has hired three of Chicago’s top chefs including Jimmy Carter, the executive chef who was the executive Sous Chef for the Marriott Association for Marriot Hotels in Amsterdam and of Jordan, Chef Sammy La Gunas, who was born in Michoacan, Mexico who was the executive Sous Chef at the Hyde Park Caribbean restaurant and the Calypso Café, and Chef Kareem Roberts who is a “culinary infusionist.”

Rev. Willie Taplin Barrow, 87, who formerly headed the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, urged everyone to support the Salaam Restaurant. She is gathering the names of black businesses from several churches and told the audience, “We got to start doing business with each other. I’m tired of talking and eating because all we do is eat and talk…talking about nothing.”

Barrow said “it’s time for a change” and that should begin with supporting black businesses including the Salaam Restaurant. Farrakhan, who said he is Barrow’s godson, said, “She is the only 87-year-old woman who got an 80-year-old son.”  Actually, he will be 80 next May 11th.

Congress Danny K. Davis (D-7th) said he is old enough to remember the first Salaam Restaurant then located at 83rd and Cottage Grove. “It was fantastic. This is incredible. It’s an indication that things don’t always go the way you want to have them go but if you wait and have enough patience and enough determination, you can put it back together again like the Nation as done.

“I look forward to this becoming a regular eating place not only for myself but people like me and they don’t have to have any chitlins on the menu…. I’m going to be a frequent diner. This becomes my place to eat because I like eating black. I make no bones about it. I like shopping black. I spend my money with African Americans. I practice what I preach,” said Davis.

Also present were former Ald. Dorothy Tillman (3rd) and her daughter, Jimalita Tillman, executive director of the Harold Washington Cultural Center, Buzz Palmer, the husband of former State Senator Alice Palmer, Sheila Hill, executive director of the Chicago Minority Supplier and Development Council, who said, “this is a phenomenal opportunity for corporate American, the private and public sector for each of us as individuals to embrace this business is not closed to anyone but opened to everyone.”

Former Ald. Wallace Davis (27th) who has owned the Wallace’s Catfish Corner Restaurant, 2800 W. Madison, for 21-years said, “This is a breath of fresh air. It’s long over due. I thank the minister and his staff for bringing something to the South Side which is long overdue but well worth the wait. It’s off the chain,” he said. Accompanying Davis was Zoe Young said the restaurant is “fabulous. I think it’s going to bring some brightness and some diversity to our African American community.”

Ernest Sanders, formerly with the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation, said, “It is so great that the Minister kept it in the family so long. The community will benefit….”

A video was played of Magic Johnson who was supportive of the restaurant’s re-opening. Besides a live band, Reggie Reg, a comedian, entertained the crowd.

Farrakhan added, “The problem with us is that we know how to serve our former slave masters, but we don’t know how to serve one another. As long as we are short on love, we will be even shorter on service. We have to learn how to truly love one another.” He said if they “miss the mark,” he wants his customers to let him know. “Our duty is to serve you.”

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

Restaurateur Josephine “Mother” Wade among eight outstanding local women entrepreneurs to be honored by Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. during TLOD’s 9th Annual Jewel Awards

Posted by Admin On January - 20 - 2012 Comments Off on Restaurateur Josephine “Mother” Wade among eight outstanding local women entrepreneurs to be honored by Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. during TLOD’s 9th Annual Jewel Awards


The Lincoln Park Chicago Chapter (LPCC) of Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. (TLOD) presents its 9th Annual Crown Jewel Awards to outstanding local women entrepreneurs on Saturday, January 28, 2012, in the Grand Ballroom of the Martinique, 8200 S. Cicero, Burbank, IL.  There will be a silent auction at 11:30 a.m. and the program will start at Noon.  Tickets are $50.00 and should be reserved in advance.

Since 2004, LPCC has presented the Crown Jewel Awards in recognition of exemplary service rendered in the area of five major thrusts.  These honors are bestowed at a luncheon which serves as the chapter’s annual fund raiser to generate funds to provide scholarships for graduating seniors, enhance the status of women, improve the quality of life of senior citizens, beautify the community, and strengthen community partnerships.

This year’s honorees are:

Shirley A. Calahan – Funeral Director and Embalmer, owner and Vice-President of Calahan Funeral Home, Inc.

Catherine Celimene – Owner, “Children’s Rendez-Vous”, an Academic After School and School Day Off Camp Program.

Angela Gordon – CEO, Gordon Dental Associates, Ltd., specializing in general dentistry, especially providing oral health for school-aged children.

Maggie Miller – Owner, “Saca-Tash Boutique”, an upscale women’s clothing salon which provides personal services to women of all ages.

Brenda Palms-Barber – Founding Chief Executive Director,  North Lawndale Employment Network, a transitional jobs program that finds employment for those formerly incarcerated.

Collette McCree Renfro – Designs and customizes dollhouses and room boxes and owns the Blackberry Harvest Museum Dollhouse Shoppe in Homewood, IL.

Beverly M. Rockymore – Created a catering business called “Gourmet Soul” for Food Cooked with Soul and Love.

Josephine Wade- Smith – Founder, “Josephine’s Hardtimes Cooking Restaurant” specializing in Soul, Cajun and Continental Cuisine.

Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. (TLOD) is an international, professional humanitarian, 501c3 organization with a membership of over 25,000 women who have dedicated their talents, skills, and resources to serve their communities.

For reservations or more information about the event, contact Dolores Tolliver, (312) 583-0595 or Monica Jones, (773)505-3568.


Clandestino Dining and Eating Vincent Price on 190 North Oct. 30

Posted by Admin On October - 11 - 2011 Comments Off on Clandestino Dining and Eating Vincent Price on 190 North Oct. 30

Local author, Chris Garlington, Chef Efrain Cuevas, founder of Clandestino Dining, and Chef Lauren Parton, Chef de Cuisine of Clandestino Dining, will be featured guests on 190 North on October 30. Filmed on location during a dinner at the secret location of the famous supper club with 190 North host Janet Davies.


Chicago, IL – Don’t blame 190 host Janet Davies if she looks a little nervous during her Oct. 30 broadcast—she’d just been Eating Vincent Price with local author and blogger, Chris Garlington, and the famous chefs of Clandestino Dining, Efrain Cuevas and Lauren Parton.

Filmed during one of Clandestino’s new Monday night dinners, Davies interviewed the crew at an abandoned convent somewhere in Chicago. The setting and theme was perfect for their Halloween special and Davies wasted no time in taking advantage of the creepy-elegant setting.

But it was really the dinner, the writer, and the cooks she was there for.

Eating Vincent Price is the newest project from Chicago food writer, Christopher Garlington, co-author of The Beat Cop’s Guide to Chicago Eats, from Lake Claremont Press, who will cook his way through the venerable cookbook, A Treasury of Great Recipes, by Vincent and Mary Price, published in 1965.

Since Garlington couldn’t cook his way out of a wet paper sack, he reached out to Cuevas of Clandestino Dining, who had been looking for a theme for his Monday night family style dinners. Cuevas presented the idea to his Chef de Cuisine, Lauren Parton, who took one look at Garlington and gave the project a solid eight long minutes of life before he cut his arm off.

America’s most famous horror star, Price was also a dedicated foodie. His book, A Treasury of Great Recipes, contains recipes from all the greatest restaurants in the world from the early 60s. After dining in each one, Price convinced the chef to give him the recipes from the day’s menu. Popular enough to go through five printings, the Treasury eventually went out of print—and became a legend.

Every other Monday night, Parton, Cuevas, and Garlington serve a dinner lifted directly from the Treasury to a group of 25 to 30 diners. The ingredients are locally sourced by Cuevas and Parton who have long standing relationships with some of Illinois’ best organic farmers. Like all Clandestino dinners, the Price events are secret suppers. Guests purchase their tickets on-line then are informed 48 hours before dinner of the menu and the location.

The next Eating Vincent Price dinner will be on Oct. 24 at 7pm.

For more information about Eating Vincent Price, please contact Christopher Garlington at (773) 480–0121.

First magazine to showcase African-Americans in food, wine and travel makes its debut in print

Posted by Admin On September - 30 - 2011 Comments Off on First magazine to showcase African-Americans in food, wine and travel makes its debut in print

Oakland, CA (BlackNews.com) — After years of planning and months of anticipation, V. Sheree Publishing announced the premiere print issue of Cuisine Noir, the first magazine to showcase African-Americans in food, wine and travel.

Chef Tre Wilcox from Bravo’s “Top Chef” and Marquee Grill & Bar in Dallas reconnected with Cuisine Noir after being the first online feature story in 2007 when the magazine originally launched before changing ownership and re-launching under V. Sheree Publishing in 2009. Readers will enjoy an in-depth look into Wilcox’s career and rise to the top.

Cuisine Noir was founded by Richard Pannell who noticed a lack of African-American chefs in mainstream food and wine magazines. Deciding to do something about it, he started to print Black Cuisine in 1998 as an insert in the Los Angeles Watts Times. When the insert was no longer an option, he continued to shop the concept around and soon changed the name to Cuisine Noir and pitched it to Sheree Williams in 2007 who came on board and helped to launch the magazine first as an e-zine and now in print.

“When Richard first told me about Cuisine Noir, I knew immediately that it would change lives and the way the world perceives African-Americans in food and wine. As an e-zine, we have been able to meet and feature so many talented professionals and now with our first print issue, we can only take that exposure to the next level,” said Williams.

Over the years, readers have enjoyed articles on chefs such as Jeff Henderson, Marcus Samuelsson, Carla Hall, Kevin Mitchell, Joseph Randall and Erika Davis. In addition, the magazine’s high profile features with Dr. Maya Angelou, Coolio, Wendy Williams and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges allows readers to see the “foodie side” of their favorite celebrities that other publications don’t necessarily highlight.

The premiere issue also features actress and comedienne Sherri Shepherd who dishes on her four cornerstones of happiness. With food being one of them, she admits to not being much of a cook, but still knows good food. Yountville proves to be Napa’s epicurean oasis in the issue’s travel story. Once you see what the town has to offer, you’ll see why locals call it home and a great place for food, wine and relaxation.

Readers will also enjoy new food recipes from the test kitchen and cocktails by some of the country’s top black mixologists. Chicago’s Brian Duncan rewrites the wine game to make the experience about enjoyment and not intimidation and our experts select 10 of their favorite wines to enjoy with the change of seasons.

This first issue is surely a collector’s item noting an important milestone in the history of African-American chefs and also the publishing industry. “As African-Americans, our influence in the culinary industry and on cuisines around the world has been overlooked over the years. Cuisine Noir is now a vehicle to acknowledge and document our contributions for generations to come,” said Pannell.

Copies of the issue are on sale at www.cuisinenoirmag.com while they last for $4.50 in the U.S. and $5.50 in Canada. In addition, issues will be sold at various events across the country.

Readers are also encouraged to visit Cuisine Noir’s blog, The Culinary Scoop, for daily news, promotions, cookbook reviews and more celebrity interviews in its exclusive column Walk on the Foodie Side at www.theculinaryscoop.com.

Both Richard Pannell and Sheree Williams are available for interviews. For all media inquiries, please contact Di’Nia Williams at 510-922-9702 x 102
About Cuisine Noir
As the first magazine for African-American chefs, culinary professionals, foodies and wine enthusiasts, Cuisine Noir is a unique and entertaining online and print publication that combines culinary traditions with new cultural experiences. The magazine delivers what readers are looking for which is more than where to find the next great meal. And most importantly, it is a culinary publication that compliments readers’ lifestyles and desire for a diverse culinary experience. www.cuisinenoirmag.com.
About The Culinary Scoop
Launched in September 2010, The Culinary Scoop (TCS) is the sibling of the online magazine, Cuisine Noir. The blog is an entertaining resource for companies, professionals and foodies who want to stay updated as well as share the latest industry news and culinary experiences to the world one delicious scoop at a time. www.theculinaryscoop.com.

Photo Caption: Magazine Cover

Bishop Simon Gordon: Josephine's Hard Times Cooking is not closing; it's alive and well

Posted by Admin On September - 13 - 2011 Comments Off on Bishop Simon Gordon: Josephine's Hard Times Cooking is not closing; it's alive and well

“I want to make this crystal clear. Josephine’s Hardtimes Cooking is alive and well. It is not closing. She is no quitter; rather she’s a fighter,” said Josephine Wade’s pastor, Bishop Gordon Simon, pastor of Triedstone Church of Chicago and Bishop for the Midwest Full Gospel Baptist Church. 


By Chinta Strausberg

The popular Josephine’s Hardtime Cooking Restaurant is not closing, Bishop Gordon Simon, pastor of Triedstone Church of Chicago and Bishop for the Midwest Full Gospel Baptist Church, said Monday who urged all African Americans to support this popular eatery that’s been in business for more than two decades.

Gordon, who is the pastor of Josephine Wade, owner of Josephine’s Hardtime Cooking Restaurant, 436 E. 79th St., Chicago, Il., denied media reports that her restaurant is closing. “That simply is not true,” said Gordon. “She has been making improvement changes in the restaurant like the Wi-Fi Internet she had installed many months ago and other projects that are currently being negotiated as far as prices are concerned.”

Wade opened the doors of then Captain Hard Time 22-years ago around the same time Gordon began his church. Since then, economic times have been a roller coaster and lately on the down side.

“I don’t blame the disappearance of soul food restaurants on a 17 percent population loss among blacks. Even with a population loss, African Americans still represent 36.8 percent of Chicago’s population according to the U.S. Census,” said Gordon. “We just have to do a better job of supporting our own businesses.”

Gordon commended Wade for installing Wi-Fi Internet in her restaurant, for menu changes that include healthier selections. He also commended her for plans she began many months ago that will beautify the upgrade the popular eatery. Gordon applauded Wade for grooming her son, Victor Love, as her successor and together they are mapping the restaurant’s future for the Chatham area.

“It takes money to make Mother Wade’s dreams and plans become a reality, and right now because of this economy, all businesses are hurting, not just Josephine’s Hardtime Cooking. Bank of America is laying off 3500 people. Mayor Rahm Emanuel laid off 625 people. Gov. Pat Quinn is being forced to lay off 1900 workers and shut down seven state facilities. While other companies and governmental agencies are pink-slipping their employees, Josephine’s Hardtimes Cooking is holding its own,” said Gordon.

 “It is not just black restaurants that are feeling the pinch of this fledgling economy. All businesses are being affected by an uncertain economy and a high unemployment rate especially in the black community in Chicago. That’s a recipe for failure, but knowing Mother Wade as I do, she will never give up,” Bishop Gordon said. “As a member of the faith community, we support her.

 “I want to make this crystal clear. Josephine’s Hardtimes Cooking is alive and well. It is not closing. She is no quitter,” Gordon stated. “Rather, she’s a fighter and yes, it’s hard when your own people are unemployed. It’s hard for African Americans to find jobs. We’re usually the last hired, first fired, but though the she buys her produce at the same place the downtown hotels do for their restaurants, Mother Wade chooses to keep her price of $13.00 for a buffet meal the same.

“Of course, it is difficult to make the kind of extensive changes and beautification needing to be done. The restaurant business today is not the same as yesterday especially when you are offering good and healthier food and you’re competing against the fast food industry in a community under economic siege,” Bishop Gordon stated. “We stand behind Mother Wade in her efforts to provide healthy, quality food at a reasonable price for her customers.”

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host.

Schools promote healthy eating habits through expanded fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

Posted by Admin On July - 27 - 2011 Comments Off on Schools promote healthy eating habits through expanded fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

Schools statewide receive a total of $4.7 million to increase
fruit and vegetable offerings; More students have access
to healthy eating choices


Springfield, IL — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today that 215 schools in Illinois will participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) during the 2011-12  school year. The public and private schools will share equally in more than $4.7 million, up from last year’s grant amount of $3.3 million that served 186 schools.

“Thanks to these federal funds, more children will have access to a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day as well as lesson plans that underscore their importance,’’ said Illinois State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico. “Improved access means it’s more likely that children will make smart choices that fuel their brains and bodies. It’s another tool as we try to reverse the tide of childhood obesity.’’

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program requires participating schools to allocate between $50 to $75 per enrolled student with the majority of those funds being spent on fresh produce. Program funding runs through June 30, 2012.

FFVP provides all students in participating schools access to a variety of free fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the school day. It allows schools to make available the additional produce anytime during the regular school day, except during breakfast and lunch when the School Lunch and Breakfast Programs are in effect.

The goal is to expose students to lifelong healthy eating habits. For example, schools can incorporate nutrition education into numerous daily classroom activities such as math, health, geography and science, by developing lesson plans involving fruits and vegetables. Some schools have initiated a “Vegetable of the Day,” to entice students to try produce they might otherwise not have access to and increase nutrition education efforts.

The USDA first piloted the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in 2002 and it was expanded to include all states for the 2008-09 school year. Nearly 370 schools statewide applied for the 2011-12 grant. Each school will be reimbursed on a monthly basis for allowable expenses up to the school’s total awarded amount. The fresh produce purchased under this program cannot be used to replace fruits or vegetables already being served to students at breakfast or lunch.

The complete list of 215 schools in the Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Program as well as a map of the selected schools is online at: http://www.isbe.net/nutrition/htmls/ffv_program_awards1112.htm.


New report links the standard American diet and meat consumption to cancer – Health activists propose a novel solution

Posted by Admin On June - 7 - 2011 Comments Off on New report links the standard American diet and meat consumption to cancer – Health activists propose a novel solution

 New guide highlights 1,000 healthy, plant-based alternatives to the Western diet


Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) — Recent weeks have seen a wave of news reports and published studies on the dangers of a meat-heavy Western diet, ranging from childhood obesity to links to Alzheimer’s disease. In May, the World Cancer Research Fund published an authoritative 850-page report on the link between meat consumption and cancer, warning people to think seriously about their dietary choices. This news comes on the heels of several studies citing the risks associated with processed foods, preservatives, and fast food diets, all features of the Standard American Diet.

Yet – with all the negative attention – most Americans still have little knowledge of any alternatives to this diet. But a group of young health activists hope to change that, with the publication of a guide to over 1,000 healthy, meatless recipes from around the world. Their goal is to introduce Americans to the exotic flavors of the world around them, using the plant-based diet of many of the world’s inhabitants.

A Taste of Life: 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes from Around the World is a 400-page cookbook featuring recipes from over 200 nations, offering a wide range of tantalizing cuisine, ranging from foreign flavors like West African Jollof Rice and Thai Panang Curry to more familiar treats like spicy tacos and vegan Shish kebabs. The book is scheduled to be released on Vegan Earth Day, June 21st 2011.

Americans are not dying from starvation, but are undernourished by eating food full of empty calories that make them overweight and at increased risk for dozens of preventable illnesses, according to editor and community health activist, Supreme Understanding. Studies have shown that a plant-based diet can help reduce the risk of many preventable diseases, and can allow you to eat more without gaining as much weight.

“Cooking without meat doesn’t limit you to a diet of lettuce and lima beans,” says Understanding, “People need alternatives… and it’s not that people don’t want to eat better, it’s just that many of us simply haven’t figured out how.”

The book contains over 1,000 easy-to-prepare ideas for appetizers, salads, soups, sauces, entrees, and desserts, including recipes that are easy and affordable for cooks with limited budgets. Detailed topics include how to cook using a variety of methods (written with novice chefs in mind), how to plan meals, what tools to use, and how to buy the most affordable ingredients. It also includes over 100 juices, smoothies, and herbal teas, raw foods recipes, and a comprehensive nutritional guide.

Supreme Design Publishing is an independent, grassroots company founded in 2006 with the motto of “Reinventing the World,” and a vision to empower the powerless, give voice to the voiceless, and engender widespread social change through the education of common people.
Visit www.SupremeDesignOnline.com for more info about the release of A Taste of Life.

“Mother Wade” and son tell secrets of staying in business

Posted by Admin On March - 19 - 2011 Comments Off on “Mother Wade” and son tell secrets of staying in business
 You must have a passion for this industry

By Chinta Strausberg
Fondly called “Mother Wade” by her customers, Josephine Wade talked frankly about the financial challenges of keeping the doors of her popular restaurant open but made it clear that owners must have a passion for this industry and have to be willing to sacrifice if they want to survive in this growing competitive field.
Wade and her son, Victor Love, her successor to the newly named Josephine Cooking Restaurant formerly known as Captain Hard Times, were guests on WPWR’s Channel 50’s “Perspectives” talk show scheduled to air 12 noon, Sunday, March 20, 2011.
Interviewed by host Kimbriell Kelly, Wade said her restaurant has been in business for 44-years and that the secret to staying in business is “to love what you are doing…. You can’t limit yourself to just sitting in your office….  I do it all,” the feisty restaurateur said.
Love agreed saying his mother is a “master” at her craft and “prides her self with being involved with the churches” and supports various social programs. “She’s got a good heart for reaching out to the community…,” he said.
When asked what are her business challenges, Wade said the most important one is the disparity in finance. “We don’t get the same (financial) consideration that other restaurants do. When you come downtown, you are paying $33.00 for a plate of food easily, but on the South Side you are paying $15 for the whole entrée yet you are shopping at the same place that the Hilton and the Hyatt do.”
Explaining, Wade said while she buys the same quality food at the same places high scale restaurants to, she is forced to take a loss because of her location and the fact that her customers expect more for less.
Asked how does she deal about the disparity in food prices while providing customers with the same quality of dishes, Wade admits it does cut into her profits and said sacrifices must be made to make ends meet.
“For the last four-years, we have not taken salaries,” said Wade explaining how she is managing to keep the doors of her historic Josephine’s Cooking restaurant doors open.
She also pointed to the newly installed parking meters installed along the 79th business strip that Wade said are hurting her restaurant business.
But, there is yet another new economic barrier that has Wade worried. To compound the financial burden of the parking meters, Wade said, “Now, we have a tax that is coming onto our property (tax) for security. It’s strange because I don’t know why we have to have this. I have never had a car broken into. I’ve never had any major incident that an outside person done.”
Wade said this SSA local property tax levy coupled with “the tax the governor is getting ready to put on us, I think it’s going to be much more of a (fiscal) struggle.”
She was referring to the Special Service Area (SSA) #51 which the city approved for the Chatham community. According to Karletta Kelly, assistant to the executive director of the Chatham Business Association, which is the service provider for the SSA #51 plan provides for more than just security. “Our particular business corridor has been asking for security, but it also includes a laundry list of other services” including area marketing/advertising assistance, snow removal and other services tailored for the Chatham community.
However both Wade and Love are worried about this SSA #51 plan and its $8,000 tax bill they will have to pay.  When asked how will he be able to attack these fiscal challenges since his mother is passing on the mantle to him, Love said he hopes to meet with the alderman of that ward while “raising the consciousness of the community to know that if you’re going to pay a meter here, you’re also going to pay for parking downtown. So, it kind of washes itself out.
“You have to get beyond making any excuse to do business with each other. We have to love our community first,” Love said.
Born in Louisiana, Kelly looked at the colorful and aromatic food presentation prepared by Wade. “It’s delicious. I smell crab…,” she said her eyes darting from one end of the decorated table to the other.
Wade showcased and detailed her food selections which included: Grill salmon, pressed with vinegar Parmesan dressing and served with some cilantro and cherry tomato, southern fried chicken with mustard and turnip greens and candy yams; macaroni and cheese garnished with hush puppies that were made out of black eye peas, red and green pepper, onions, cornmeal, eggs, buttermilk and combined and dropped in deep fry. Wade also displayed Tilapia on a stick, which caught the eye of Kelly.
Wade, dressed in a pink chef’s jacket, included fried chicken with twice vegetable potatoes that included cabbage and pecan duck sauce. She also cooked a blackened chicken, salad tossed in an Italian dressing and served on a bed of lettuce garnished with yellow and green Zucchini, hard boil eggs, tomatoes wedges, and topped with black beans and corn, red and green pepper onion rings and a honey mustard dressing.
And, to top off her presentation, Wade had pasta with French cut beans tossed in olive oil, which she says is healthy. She selected sweet ice tea as her choice of beverage.
When asked about the caloric intake of soul food, Wade explained,  “You can eat your own culture of food. It’s the intake that you take, the time of day that you eat, and if you go to bed kind of late, your first meal should be at lunch time (a heavy meal) and your supper meal should be light….” Wade said you should never go to bed after over-eating.
Love said at Josephine’s Restaurant, they serve “food from Italian to soul food” and praised his mother for “stretching and weaving together (the menu) real nicely.”
Wade also showed off her fried turkey that was dipped in a pecan sauce. That was a huge hit with the employees at Fox 32 who devoured the turkey along with her other food selections.
The show airs noon, Sunday, March 20, 2011, on WPWR Channel 50.
Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host.
Photo: Chinta Strausberg

Eight Chicago-area Italian restaurants certified ‘authentic’ by Italian government

Posted by Admin On February - 28 - 2011 Comments Off on Eight Chicago-area Italian restaurants certified ‘authentic’ by Italian government

‘Ospitalità Italiana Seal – Italian Restaurants in the World’ To Be Awarded On Date Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Italy’s Unification


Chicago, IL -Italian cuisine is greater than the sum of its ingredients, as this edible art form is as much about authentic hospitality as about extra-virgin olive oil, exquisite recipes and fine wine. And now, eight Chicago-area restaurants that excel at all these will receive the “Ospitalità Italiana Seal – Italian Retaurants in the World” for their culinary contributions to Italian culture.

And on Thursday, March 17-the day that marks the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy-the Italian American Chamber of Commerce-Midwest (IACC) will celebrate these culinary honors by awarding certificates to these restaurants and their chefs at an evening event held at the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, 1431 W. Taylor St., in Little Italy. Each restaurant will provide its signature dishes for the evening’s event, which begins with cocktails at 6:30 p.m., followed by a sit-down dinner and program at 7:15 p.m. The event is being co-sponsored by the Milan Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International. Admission is $50 for IACC members and $70 for non-members.

Just as events are being staged across the Italian peninsula to celebrate the Risorgimento (the movement that resulted in the establishment of the Italian nation), the IACC will celebrate both this historic day and the awarding of the Ospitalità Italiana seal during one of its regular Networking Events. With specifications determined by Italy’s Istituto Nazionale Ricerche Turistiche (National Institute of Tourist Research), the seal was created in 1997 to develop a high quality of consumer service among restaurants, hotels and agriturismi, or “holiday farmhouses,” across Italy. In order for restaurants worldwide to earn this distinction-one that is voluntary and which requires that the restaurant apply-each had to meet 10 stringent criteria and submit proof of their authenticity.

Among the criteria: each restaurant selected must employ at least one staff member who can speak to guests in Italian; the menus must be written in proper Italian; at least 20 percent of wines offered must be DOP-certified (Denominazione di Origine Protetta, or “Protected Denomination of Origin”); and the head chef must meet requirements of experience and proficiency in Italian cooking. Each restaurant also had to submit descriptions of at least five Italian-tradition recipes, including the Italian region that inspired the ingredients and dishes. The Chicago-area restaurants that will be honored on March 17th are:

  • Spiaggia Restaurant, 980 N. Michigan (Chef/Partner Tony Mantuano)
  • Piccolo Sogno, 464 N. Halsted (Chef/Owner Tony Priolo)
  • Coco Pazzo, 300 W. Hubbard (Executive Chef/Partner Chris Macchia)
  • Merlo on Maple, 16 W. Maple (Chef Luisa Silvia Marani)
  • Tocco, 1266 N. Milwaukee (Chef/Owner Bruno Abate)
  • The Village (at Italian Village), 71 W. Monroe (Executive Chef Robert Trevino)
  • Volare, 201 E. Grand (Chef Massimo Campagnini)
  • Pelago Ristorante, 201 E. Delaware (Chef/Owner Mauro Mafrici,)

“Our goal for this event is to celebrate the Italian nation’s wonderful 150-year history, but also to celebrate some of Chicago’s most outstanding Italian restaurants,” said Fulvio Calcinardi, executive director of the Italian American Chamber of Commerce-Midwest. “These restaurants take tremendous pride in the ingredients used in their dishes, the wine served-and in sharing authentic Italian culture. Our guests will get to enjoy all this, and more. ”

The “Ospitalità Italiana Seal – Italian Restaurants in the World” certification process is ongoing, with Italian restaurants around the world invited to apply or resubmit applications once they meet all 10 of ISNART’s requirements.

“For generations, Americans have had a love affair with Italy and with Italian cuisine,” said Robert Allegrini, president of the IACC-Midwest. “We are very proud to play a role in helping to identify some of Chicagoland’s most authentic Italian restaurants. We are honored that the esteemed chefs from these restaurants will be preparing and serving some of their signature dishes at this 150th birthday event.”

“To taste our food is to taste our history,” says Paula Waters, Chair of the Chicago Sister Cities International Milan Committee. “All of the influences, invaders and blessings of nature that made up the Italian nation a mere 150 years ago are present in our cuisine.”

Italian American Chamber of Commerce – Midwest
The Italian American Chamber of Commerce-Midwest is a business association founded in 1907 to provide services to the Italian business community and to American businesses involved with the Italian market and products. The IACC’s primary goals are promoting its member activities as well as promoting trade relations between Italy and the United States, with a particular focus on the Midwest region. Within North America, the Chicago-based IACC is one of nine Italian Chambers located in the major metropolitan areas in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Milan Committee/Chicago Sister Cities International
The Milan Committee is one of 28 under the umbrella of Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI), which provides leadership to develop, manage, and coordinate comprehensive programs and projects with Chicago’s 28 sister cities. CSCI is committed to promoting Chicago as a global city, developing international partnerships and networks, and sharing best practices on a city-to-city basis.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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