Two of my favorite topics: Great, Delicious Food and Heroic, Motivating Teachers

Once again, it's Blogapalooz-Hour, Morning Edition. On the last Wednesday of each month, our ChicagoNow community manager sends us a topic at precisely 10:00 am. We have one hour to gather our thoughts, compose, edit and publish our response.

It's not quite as stressful as Chapman pitching, up by one run, two out, bottom of the ninth with a guy on second, but cut me some slack here. I haven't slept much since the series with the Giants for God's sake.

There will NOT be an Evening Edition tonight. For those of you with your heads down the drain, the Chicago Cubs are playing Game II of the World Series tonight in Cleveland. No self-respecting resident of Chicago wants to write ANYTHING at game time except a lot of letter "K's" and a big W for the finish.

The entire Cubs Nation will be glued to their televisions, just as baseball and Ernie Banks intended. Go Cubs Go!

Here's our topic:

What is your favorite thing you've ever written?

Share a link and explain why you feel this way.

It's been said that if you write about what you love, the words flow freely. After all, writing comes from the heart, not the keyboard.

Two of my favorite topics to write about are good food of any kind and quality teachers.

Food nurtures your body. Teachers nurture your soul for the duration of your life.

Sadly, many teachers never know the impact they made.

One did.

Her student made that very clear.

I read about the Chicago chef Curtis Duffy in a featured article in the "Chicago Tribune" a few years ago. What caught my eye was not just the wildly acclaimed opening of his award winning restaurant Grace.

Curtis Duffy honored his former junior high school Home Economics teacher, by inviting her to be his honored guest on opening night, the biggest night of his career.

He could have invited celebrities, food royalty, wealthy patrons from his other past kitchens. Movers and shakers, the so-called "important people" that would give his restaurant instant creed and impossible reservations to secure.

Nope. Not this man. This humble and talented chef from a small town in Ohio with a horrific past.

He chose his teacher, Ruth Snider.

This article really touched me how this teacher was honored so publically and with such regard by one of the best chefs in the United States.

So I did what felt I must and wrote a post about it. I've worked in schools and know how tough it can be. I also know how rewarding it can be to touch the life a child.

Of course it didn't hurt that it pertained to fine dining and descriptions of the incredible food that appeared like magic out of Grace's kitchen. My God, what talent and hard work it takes to accomplish that.

Curtis and Ruth became somewhat of my heroes.

Excellence in food and teaching became the perfect storm for a story.

A boy with a troubled home life is brought back on track because of a kind and caring teacher. Boy goes on to become an awarding-winning chef in one of the top restaurants in the country. Teacher is given the greatest award a teacher can ever receive, the success of her former student.

All of us were once students in school.

Most of us will never achieve the fame of a man like Curtis Duffy.

However, if we look back long and hard, we will find that a teacher from our past, (Sr. Leoniece in third grade, who helped me fall hard for art) inspired us to try a little harder and do our best, no matter what the circumstances. School is where we bloom and find out if we want to become a veterinarian, social worker or engineer. Or even a chef, like Curtis. With the love and guidance of a great teacher, the classroom is a place of wonder, learning and promise of what's to be.

All of us, are who we are right now, in some small way, because of a great teacher.

Read more about Curtis and Ruth.


Food and teachers. A great combination, indeed.



Filed under: Lifestyle, Observations

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