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Foodie fundraiser to keep kids cooking in schools

To keep healthy food and culinary education classes growing at a number of Chicago Public Schools—despite budget the system’s budget deficit and impending funding cuts—Tasteful Manners NFP today announced details of its second annual “Cooking with a Purpose” fundraising event, scheduled for Friday, October 16, 2015, 7-10 PM at Trigger Chicago, 2810 West Addison Street, Chicago.

The event features a five-course tasting menu prepared by Chicago-area professional chefs, including Tasteful Manners founder and president, Chef Monica Hayes-Jones, Chef Leslie Cleveland of Cleveland Hospitality Catering, Chef Sophia Jennings of Bachelor Bunny and Chef Quincy of Chef Quincy Culinary. Each course will be complemented with varietals from Love Cork Screw, a Chicago-based wine and lifestyle brand led by vintner Chrishon Lampley, who will be on hand to discuss food and wine pairings. A silent auction, poetry performance by master of ceremonies Blaq Ice and dancing round out the evening.

All event proceeds will go toward keeping classes going in several Chicago public schools whose budgets to pay for the lessons have been cut or eliminated. Tickets to the event are $55 and are available here.

“For me, one of the best parts of being a chef is helping kids and parents find healthier ways to make old favorites, try new foods and make positive lifestyle changes together,” says Chef Monica. “The Cooking with a Purpose event will allow Tasteful Manners to keep serving fresh food and nutrition ideas to students, families and communities that most need them.”

Combining her training as a speech pathologist and professional chef with her experience as a mother and passion for working with kids, Chef Monica launched Tasteful Manners in 2009 to teach students and parents about healthy cooking and nutrition at schools across Chicago. To date, the organization has served more than 5,000 students and their families at 15 public schools on Chicago’s South and West sides.

About Chef Monica and Tasteful Manners NFP

Launched in 2009 by Chef Monica Hayes-Jones, Tasteful Manners NFP is a cooking, nutrition and etiquette education company based in Chicago. Its mission is to bring families together and improve health by teaching children and parents how to create great-tasting, easy and nutritious meals at home. Led by Chef Monica, the Tasteful Manners team of professional chefs have delivered weekly cooking and nutrition lessons to more than 5,000 students and parents at 15 public schools in Chicago. In addition to her work with Tasteful Manners, Chef Monica also serves as a mentor and coach to high school culinary students participating in “Cooking Up Change”, a national healthy school lunch contest sponsored by Chicago-based Healthy Schools Campaign. She also is a personal chef who creates weekly meal plans, wedding cakes and other pastries for her clients. Chef Monica is a graduate of Jackson State University and Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.