As we continue to refine the kitchen design, I make the rounds with our floor plan to see how it looks to the people that would work in the space. Tara Lane, former pastry chef of Blackbird is an amazing woman and friend and talented pastry chef. She has so much experience and insight, and I’ll be forever grateful for her generosity.

And it’s amazing to me how people I have never met respond with open arms to the idea of providing feedback on the kitchen design. Kim Shambrook of Bespoke Cuisine is an amazingly talented chef. Her wonderful sense of humor puts me at ease immediately, and her catering experience is a point of view I desperately need to hear to make the facility work. I want caterers to be able to prepare great food here that is not possible in other event venues that don’t have kitchens.

Greg Christian jumps in with both feet, bringing his entire sales staff to the space to brainstorm, and then gives me a tour of his zero-waste kitchen and facility on W. Grand Ave. I see a map that Greg maintains that maps food miles for his ingredients. It’s a free Google tool called Community Walks, and right there I get the idea to map my construction materials for our rehab.

Greg’s sales force is a great help in seeing the space through the eyes of customers planning events. Again, I need as many people as possible to tear down my ideas so we can rebuild them better. I’m learning more and more each day that I am not in charge of anything. I have a role in this project, and it’s a responsibility to maintain the momentum of the Kitchen, to keep it moving forward. But it’s not just my ideas, and I see so quickly that I need all the friends I can get if the Kitchen is to be realized.

I must also thank Jason from Lula Cafe, who was so kind to come and stand on a cold concrete floor and talk about what would be best for the kitchen. As busy as he is, Jason is a wonderful neighbor, and I’m so grateful to be on parallel courses with him. Lea, also of Lula Cafe, is wonderfully supportive and helpful about what works or doesn’t in the choices made at Lula. Jason and Lea offer a wonderful example of the kind of spirit in a space that I hope to achieve in the Logan Square Kitchen. We’re so lucky to have them in Logan Square.

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