Danville business offers commercial kitchen/restaurant rental

DANVILLE – Two Danville women have been planning how to bring new food-based businesses to Danville.

Carol Nichols and Jean Beck have started The Cooks' Workshop, which will offer commercial kitchen and restaurant space rental.

Downtown Champaign streets closed Friday-Saturday for 2 events

CHAMPAIGN – The intersection of Neil, Church and Main streets in downtown Champaign is closed to traffic through 3 a.m. Sunday to accommodate a bags tournament and the CuervoGames this weekend, Champaign police Sgt. Scott Friedlein said.

Sweetcorn festival in Urbana will close downtown streets

URBANA – Portions of four downtown Urbana streets will be closed this weekend for the annual Urbana Sweetcorn Festival.

Competition medals are icing on cake for C-U's own ace

Local pastry chef Ashlee Roderick has created several themed cakes for large competitions. The awards they've won prove her career also has a theme: excellence.

Roderick, 37, has competed in three competitions and is planning to enter another cake this fall in the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show. She's a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and has owned and operated The Cake Artist's Studio in Champaign since 2001.

UI grad's work for Fox leads to award-winning Jimmy John's career

CHAMPAIGN – Dan Mall was doing part-time landscaping and maintenance work for Fox Development when Peter Fox tapped him to help run a new Jimmy John's franchise.

That was in 2001, when Mall was getting ready to graduate from the University of Illinois.

Nine years and 18 stores later, Fox and Mall's franchise has been named Operator of the Year by the Champaign-based sandwich shop chain.

Slow Cooked: Aromatics can get the mouth watering early on

One of the benefits of using a slow cooker is coming home after a long day and smelling food that's been cooking all day.

We compiled a few recipes – not just entrees, either – that use especially aromatic ingredients.

That way, you'll enjoy your slow cooker and food inside it with more than just your taste buds.

Tried and True: Trisha Crowley's Noodle Kugel

"This recipe is always part of my family's Christmas Eve dinner, which was our biggest family time," says Trisha Crowley, deputy city attorney for Champaign. "Fifteen years ago, my parents prepared a family recipe book that they gave to each of their 14 children for Christmas one year, because, as my mother said, answering all the phone calls from all my brothers and sisters asking for individual recipes was taking more and more time every year.

Local heart-association donors, volunteers get meal from 'Top Chef'

CHAMPAIGN – Although he's been a professional chef less than a decade, Dave Martin is readily recognized by thousands as the funny guy who came in third in the inaugural season of the hit show "Top Chef" on Bravo TV.

The show, which just finished airing its sixth season in December and has been picked up for a seventh, has fans who still remember Martin for a crack aimed at a fellow contestant that's not really appropriate for a family newspaper.

There are even T-shirts with his famous line on it.

Help for nut allergies

There are lots of Internet sources for help in dealing with peanut and tree nut allergies.

The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network,, is recommended by several mothers with allergic kids. Among its information is how to read a label for a peanut-free diet and the following advice:

-- Avoid foods that contain peanuts or artificial nuts, goobers, monkey nuts and peanut protein hydrolysate among other items.

Slow Cooked: Tasty options to impress sweetheart this weekend

Spend more time with your sweetheart this weekend while cooking these sure-to-be delicious meals in your slow cooker.


Makes: Eight servings

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 6 1/4 to 8 1/4 hours

Ideal slow cooker size: 4-quart

2 slices lean turkey bacon, cut in squares