Bella Cuisine Kids Cooking Club partners with Chicago firefighters, police and local chefs to host battle of the badges

Bella Cuisine Kids Cooking Club partners with Chicago firefighters, police and local chefs to host battle of the badges

(CHICAGO) — Students from The Bella Cuisine Kids Cooking Club (BCKCC), a CPS after school program focused on the benefits of healthy eating, will join with Chicago firefighters and local chef’s for an elegant fundraising event that features a cops vs. firefighters cooking challenge, food and beverage tasting, silent auction and a special live auction of a trip to the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Oahu. The event will be held on Friday, April 22 from 5:30 – 9:30 at the Knickerbocker Hotel, 163 E Walton Pl.

“Cooking with Fire” is a follow-up to the widely publicized Cooking with Cops event Bella Cuisine hosted in January. For this competition, the Bella Cuisine students will serve as sous chefs assisting the teams of police and firefighters in preparing an original recipe. The participating chefs will then refine the recipes, and guests will then dine at food stations featuring the teams’ creations. Chefs include the Cliff Ostowoski from the Knickerbocker, Craig Couper, executive chef at Michael Jordan’s Steak House, Adam Dittmar of Bistro Campagne and Bin 36’s Shane Graybeal. This event supports at-risk youth in an effort to positively change the culture and create positive interactions among young people and the public servants charged with serving them. BCKCC believes this coming together in a safe, relaxed, fun environment is the first step in changing the relationships between these groups.

Guests will also have the opportunity to bid on numerous auction items from staycations, to dining experiences to spa packages and other local services. The highlights of the evening will be a live auction for a five day, four night stay at the

Hilton Hawaiian Village inclusive of hotel and airfare and a private catering event with Chef Latrice McArthur founder of Bella Cuisine. Emcee for the evening will CBS2 Chicago’s Suzanne Le Mignot.

“The Bella Cuisine Kids Cooking Club has found some great partners in the Chicago Police and Fire Departments,” says BCKCC founder Latrice McArthur. We are excited to add some of the most well known chefs in the city to help our young people, some from the most underserved areas of the city, learn a craft while also learning the value of partnerships with those charged with protecting our citizens.”

Guests will also get to vote on their favorite recipes and the teams will be awarded prizes. Sponsors include Blue Cross Blue Shield and State Farm. Tickets for the event are $40 and can be purchased by visiting

BCKCC was founded seven years ago to demonstrate to youth the benefits of healthy eating. Today BCKCC engages nearly 675 students, ages 8 – 15 in 18 schools on Chicago’s South and West sides and the program has been recognized as part of Chicago City Clerk Susana A. Mendoza’s “Culinary Kids Initiative”. Our message is simple, make healthy eating a part of your daily life and encourage families to cook together and cook from scratch.
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