Cooking, creativity and community support are coming together in Glencoe with a brand-new cookbook that features recipes from popular restaurants across the North Shore.
“The Quarantine Cookbook,” which is on sale as a fundraiser for the Glencoe Junior High Project, features recipe submissions from more than 25 local restaurants.
“The Quarantine Cookbook” can be ordered for $40, but those who want to order the cookbook need to do so quickly, as the deadline is Monday, April 12.
Normally, the Glencoe Junior High Project — a nonprofit run by parents of Glencoe fifth- through eighth-graders that is dedicated to creating in- and after-school programming for their children — hosts an annual fundraiser by selling programs for the annual spring play.
But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the play was canceled, forcing members to think of other ways to replace those funds.
Jessica Therivel, who serves as the nonprofit’s director of fundraising, and who just moved to the community last year, was one of those parents brainstorming ideas.
“What’s something we can do that’s pretty contactless, that people would maybe be interested in?” Therivel said. “And I was thinking just to myself, ‘I love to cook.’”
Thus, the idea for the cookbook was born.
Therivel, though, was concerned there wouldn’t be enough people who wanted to submit recipes so she decided to contact local restaurants.
“I was also, at the same time, realizing what a bind all the restaurants were in,” she said. “So I just thought, if they’re willing to share a recipe, we won’t charge them anything to be in the book. It’s a giant, free advertisement for them.”
After asking a few Glencoe restaurants if they were interested, as well as promoting it on social media, Therivel said momentum began to pick up.
Among the Glencoe restaurants that submitted recipes are Valor, Guildhall, Hometown Coffee & Juice, Meg’s Café and Little Red Hen.
But the interest in submitting recipes reached beyond Glencoe. Therivel said restaurants from other North Shore communities, including Northbrook, Winnetka and Highland Park, contributed recipes as well.
“It’s been really fun,” she said of the cookbook coming together.
In addition to the restaurants, a local celebrity chef has also contributed to the cookbook.
Chef Gail Gand, honored as Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year by The James Beard Foundation and host of The Food Network’s “Sweet Dreams,” contributed four dessert recipes.
Therivel added Gand is also going to be offering her talents to Glencoe Junior High students in May, when she’s planning on offering a discounted cooking class for students and teach them how to make a chocolate lava cake.
Besides the recipes, the cookbook also contains advertisements for local businesses, tribute ads that parents bought for their students, a dedication page for all the teachers and staff, a questionnaire offered to eighth-grade students, and even small blurbs contributed by the restaurants.
And Therivel said you don’t have to live in Glencoe to buy the cookbook. Anyone who orders from outside of Glencoe will be contacted by the Glencoe Junior High Project to set up arrangements on how to pick up their copy.
“Anyone can buy it,” she said.
Once ordered, the hardcover cookbooks will be ready for pickup in May.
Therivel said she would love to sell an “infinite number” of cookbooks, but the goal is to sell at least 200.
“We really want the restaurants to get a lot of eyeballs,” she said. “For everyone to get books in hands and people looking at it.”
Funds raised by the Glencoe Junior High Project, which has been around since 1973, go toward a variety of programming and activities, including civic engagement, performing arts, social and community events, as well as the Oasis, an after-school recreational space for students that offers activities, such as a pool table and games.
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Peter Kaspari is a blogger and a freelance reporter. A 10-year veteran of journalism, he has written for newspapers in both Iowa and Illinois, including spending multiple years covering crime and courts. Most recently, he served as the editor for The Lake Forest Leader. Peter is also a longtime resident of Wilmette and New Trier High School alumnus.