Spring in the kitchen incubator business could be renamed "farmer’s market application season." This time of year, many of the wonderful small food artisans you enjoy all summer at farmer’s markets around the city look for a place to prepare those goodies. Many turn to a kitchen like ours, or try to wedge themselves into a restaurant when it’s closed, a Park District Field House, church basement, what have you.
Our certification process with the US Green Building Council is nearing completion. When all is said and done, it will be about 2 1/2 years start to finish. We are on track to receive a LEED Gold rating, the second-highest level of sustainability in building construction projects.
Yesterday we hosted a chef’s tasting of sustainable seafood choices, courtesy of Sea 2 Table. Based in Brooklyn, Sea 2 Table links chefs with sustainable fisheries. Good times in the kitchen, as chefs tasted crab from Washington State, and black drum from Louisiana among others. Guests included Stephanie Izard, hard at work on her restaurant to open in
I love playoff football, and I’ve been rooting for the New Orleans Saints all the way. We visited New Orleans last month, and that town IS BACK is a big way. I love the team’s relationship with the town, and the story is so moving. The people living in New Orleans are there because they chose to return and rebuild. Here’s a wonderful 4 minute video from ESPN writer and Louisiana native Wright Thompson. It’s terrific!
Finally! Today we successfully submitted our final documentation for our LEED construction credits. This process began over two years ago. This photo of our wall of doors is one of the most recognizable sustainable features of our building. All rescued from landfill, they are a stunning example of ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.’
I’m priveleged to be speaking at the Chicago Chapter of ISES Day of Education on February 2nd. ISES, the International Special Event Society, the professional special events organization. I’ll be giving a talk on how to make special events more sustainable, and learning a great deal from a large group of event professionals under one roof.
I don’t think I’ve met anyone who isn’t happy about saying goodbye to 2009. It was a tough and challenging year. But no matter how tough times have been, the New Year always feels optimistic to me, full of promise.
I always have a renewed optimism this time of year. A fresh start. It doesn’t always serve me or the Kitchen, as I can turn into a nutcase racing to finish up projects before the big ball drops in Times Square.
But boy does it feel good to offload the big stuff. This week sees us finalizing our permanent financing for the Kitchen. (THANK YOU, Jim Eccher and Bob Briski of Old Second National Bank.) Our LEED certification is ready to submit, just waiting on some technical corrections from the USGBC. We’ve started our search for a pr firm too.
How great is it to have a job where you have the honor of helping people celebrate for a living? We have brides and grooms checking out our space for celebrations. Some find us because they are interested in a sustainable space, others for the hip urban feel.
We’re in a final review of our LEED certification. We have already completed submission of credits we earned during the design stage. This is the home stretch, the final review of our sustainable performance during the construction period.
We’re anxiously awaiting the opening of the Dill Pickle Food Coop right around the corner from our Kitchen on West Fullerton. When it opens this fall, it will be Chicago’s only food coop! It’s an amazing achievement, and with hundreds of members already (count us among them) it’s sure to be a smashing success.
You do not have to be a member to shop at this soon-to-be-very-cool grocery, but as a members’ owned grocery, you’ll find a thoughtfulness and care that makes for a great experience.
I’m embarrased to see it’s been about two months since the last blog post. We’ve been working hard, learning how to operate the event venue and the shared kitchen. It’s been a terrific learning curve, so much every day. I know we get better each day at what we’re doing, and the event hosts, caterers and kitchen clients are working with us in developing practices that are awesome.
Saturday and Sunday are open to the general public from 10 am – 3 pm, and Monday for the event industry from noon till 7 pm. More details to follow.
One of our LEED certification credits involves indoor air quality. We’re currently conducting an air quality flush-out, which means we suck all the air out the the building and replace it with outside air. This flush out takes place after construction, but before occupancy.
Our space is about 4000 square feet, and our engineers have calculated we need to flush 52 million cubic feet of air. So how long does that take? Six days, IF Mother Nature cooperates. We need to stay within certain temperature and humidity ranges.
Carolyn Chapple and the team at Metrodesign of Albany Park have been hard at work building our new website. Our blog will become a part of the new site, which we hope to launch this week. Metrodesign is doing a terrific job, can’t wait to unveil the new cyberlook. Thanks Carolyn!
We’ve also passed our health inspection and have our retail food license. We are now in the process of securing our occupancy placard, which is required to use the event space. Hopefully this week…