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Common Threads 10th Anniversary World Festival Helps Get Kids Cooking

Common Threads 10th Anniversary World Festival

Common Threads cofounder Art Smith

Common Threads 10th Anniversary World Festival Helps Get Kids Cooking

I can’t think of a better evening out on the town than a night filled with the best of the best in the Chicago restaurant industry coupled with supporting a truly great cause. The Common Threads 10th Anniversary World Festival was an unforgettable evening of pure foodie indulgence allowing guests to brush shoulders with Chicago top chef’s while satiating their palettes and embracing a worthy purpose. Folks gathered at the Soldier Field United Club Monday, March 4, 2013 to show their commitment for Common Threads, a Chicago-based non-profit that teaches children how to cook wholesome, healthy meals.

Common Threads 10th Anniversary World Festival

This year marked a major milestone for Common Threads as they celebrated 10 years since being founded by famed chef Art Smith and artist Jesus Salgueiro. More than 60 celebrity chefs, local celebrities and supporters gathered for an evening of giving back. To mark ten years, Common Threads took on the ambitious goal of getting 1 million American kids cooking healthy. There were several aspects that went into achieving this goal. The event, of course, as well as a live fund-a-need auction, an online silent auction, a Good Vines make your own wine station, and sales of bracelets made especially to raise funds for the organization.

Common Threads 10th Anniversary World Festival

Common Threads 10th Anniversary World Festival

As patrons entered the United Club at Soldier Field they were eagerly greeted by young proteges from the Common Threads program. I inquired a bit about the classes and was thoroughly impressed by the children’s enthusiasm. It was clear to see how much they loved learning to cook and be a part of Common Threads and it was definitely a nice touch to have the kids present for the evening. Their presence truly helped drill the significance and need of the organization.

Common Threads 10th Anniversary World Festival

Common Threads 10th Anniversary World Festival

Knowing the purpose behind the event made the evening more meaningful and it was honestly an incredible fete. From beginning to end, guests indulged in tasty delicacies from top restaurants around the city representing a variety of ethnic foods from all over the world. The food was beyond amazing and it was so great to talk to all the chefs. About halfway through the night, all attention was directed to the stage where Art Smith, students from Common Threads, and other reps stood to express the importance of the organization and lead the live fund-a-need organization which almost moved me to tears. I’ve never wanted to have an extra $5,000 laying around I could just give away. It was so cool to see so many folks show their support pledging amounts from $100 all the way up to $5,000.

Common Threads 10th Anniversary World Festival

Common Threads 10th Anniversary World Festival

The food, the crowd, the purpose were all top-notch for sure but there was even more that made this event special. DJ Sye Young was in the house spinning contagious dance beats. Not only were guests movin’ and groovin’ but I also spied some of the chefs shaking their tail feathers and even caught a glimpse of Art Smith himself getting down with the DJ. As the evening came to an end I had made up my mind that Common Threads World Festival definitely makes my list of top 10 annual events in Chicago for all the reasons mentioned above in addition to the impressive organization of the event basics from coat check to check-in to the complimentary valet service. There was never any waiting nor any confusion. Everything ran smoothly and everyone enjoyed themselves. At the end of the evening I quickly retrieved my coat from coat check, handed my valet ticket to the rep upstairs, heading down the elevator, walked out the door and there my car was waiting for me. Impressive to say the least. I can’t wait for next year. To build up your enthusiasm and anticipation for next year, check out the rest of our photos on our facebook page.

Common Threads 10th Anniversary World Festival

Common Threads 10th Anniversary World Festival

Common Threads 10th Anniversary World Festival

Common Threads 10th Anniversary World Festival

Sidenote: Some of my favorite notable standout bites included: Black Dog Gelato’s Gulab Jamun, Gilr & the Goat’s Tuna Tartare, Antique Tacos Horchata Milkshake, and Maestro’s Scallops among others. Too many delicious tastes to name them all.

Katie Cahmann