Celebrity Chef event planned for Saturday

The Cooks'  Workshop

38 N. Vermilion St.


Celebrity Chef Night

Seatings at 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday

Chef Drew Starkey

Cooking experience: Crane Alley, Caf Luna and Bacaro in Champaign; and Green Zebra, Chaise Lounge and Terzo Piano in the Art Institute in Chicago.

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.

Peanuts, soybeans, other foods strike fear in those with allergies

Gwen Martens of Atwood has almost died three times because of her food allergies.

The first time was at a bank when she was 5 years old.

"Mom was in the middle of a transaction when someone cried out, 'That little girl is turning blue!'" Martens said. "That was my first trip to the ER – then, throughout childhood, trips to the hospital as they discovered I was also allergic to tree nuts."

Next, Martens was deprived for years of cow's milk and chocolate when her family feared she was allergic to those substances.

Traditions part of Chinese New Year celebration

DANVILLE – Kathy Lan sometimes misses the good old days of her childhood in China.

The Danville Area Community College sophomore would like to get another red envelope like the one she got when she was 8.

Lan received a large amount of money from her grandmother and other adults, part of a tradition for older adults to give children and young single people money to help with their education or to be used during the upcoming year.