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Culture and Community

Customers picking up food bought through the app Flashfood at a grocery store

App Prevents Food Waste—And Gives Customers a Deal on Groceries, Too

Daniel Hautzinger

Food waste is a huge problem that not only deprives hungry people of food but also contributes greenhouse gases. The app Flashfood allows users to buy groceries nearing their sell-by dates from stores at half price, preventing them from being thrown out. 
A boy smells a bunch of cilantro

Food as a Teaching Tool: How One CPS Teacher Used Food to Connect with Her Students

Meredith Francis

A program called Pilot Light brings food education into the classroom. But it's about more than nutrition or cooking lessons. One Chicago Public School teacher shares her experience with using food as a dynamic teaching tool.
Soft pretzels on a table next to a glass beer stein

18 Chicago Food Events to Enjoy in September – Including Plenty of Oktoberfest Celebrations

Meredith Francis

Apples, tacos, and plenty of Oktoberfest celebrations are just some of the food events to look forward to in September.
Jessica Pamonicutt standing in front of a sign on the grass reading Land of the Menominee

Chicago Chef Envisions a Culinary Industry Where Being an Indigenous Chef Isn’t An Anomaly

Meredith Francis

Jessica Pamonicutt is the owner and executive chef of the catering and pop-up business Ketapanen Kitchen, which specializes in indigenous ingredients and cuisine––a focus that is currently rare in Chicago and the rest of the United States. 
A "gym shoe" or "jim shoe" sandwich on a plate.

Jumpballs, Gym Shoes, Mother-in-Laws, and the Maxwell Street Polish: Four Stick-to-Your-Ribs Classic Chicago Sandwiches

Amy Bizzarri

You may have (or not have) heard of these four classic, hearty sandwiches that were created in Chicago. Explore their origins and unique ingredients.
Pastries by Maa Maa Dei on pottery by Danielle Chutinthranond. Photo: Courtesy Jack X. Li

A Chicago Ceramicist Who Seeks to Enhance the Joy of Eating with Her Work

Daniel Hautzinger

Danielle Chutinthranond seeks to optimize the experience of eating and sharing food with the pieces she creates under the name Monsoon Pottery. “I feel like one of the reasons why I get so into the design of this stuff is because I just like to eat so much,” she says.
Ribs on a grill

15 Chicago Food Events to Dig Into This August

Meredith Francis

If you like garlic, corn, ribs, sangria, and much more, there are a variety of food events in and around Chicago this August.
Joseph Moton, left, and Ted Robinson

Meet the Two Brothers Behind A Vodka Brand Celebrating Lake Michigan’s “Playpen”

Meredith Francis

Lake Michigan's "playpen" inspired Chicago brothers Joseph Moton and Ted Robinson to launch their own vodka company. They talk about how they got started, their love for the versatility of vodka, and what it's like to work as brothers.
A Too Good to Go order at Chicago's House of Dim Sum. Photo: Courtesy Too Good to Go

Reducing Food Waste By Redirecting Restaurant Surplus Straight to Consumers at a Reduced Price

Daniel Hautzinger

In a year in Chicago, the app Too Good to Go has redirected around 108,000 meals from landfills by allowing consumers to buy unsold surplus products from restaurants and other food service businesses at a reduced price. 
Tacos de canasta from Guapo Taco. Image: Courtesy of Guapo Taco.

The Brighton Park Restaurant Serving Up a Rare (in the States) Mexico City Specialty

Meredith Francis

When Chef Manny Gonzalez had his mother's tacos de canasta at a party, he knew he wanted his restaurant to be centered around the popular Mexican street taco. Gonzalez owns Guapo Taco in Brighton Park, and he explains the origins of "basket tacos."
A man washing bell peppers in a restaurant kitchen

Local Restaurant Initiative Addresses Inequities for Black Restaurateurs, Envisions South Side Corridors as Culinary Destination

Meredith Francis

FoodLab Chicago has been working with restaurants in South Side neighborhoods in the hopes of uplifting Black restaurateurs, especially after the pandemic brought new challenges for local business owners. Their goal is to make major corridors, like 75th Street, an established culinary destination for locals and tourists alike.
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