Showing posts from February, 2024

Next "Deep Dive" cooking class series at Common Ground: Let's go to Russia!

In another life as a Parkland College professor, I had several Russian students in my classes. One of them invited me and my partner to Russia for a visit and we said "yes." The result was a trip of a lifetime and a cultural immersion experience like no other. I can vouch personally that the Russian people are the warmest and most welcoming of people. And their food culture and zest for life is definitely something to admire. Now might be the best time to celebrate Russian culture just to remind us that the people and its government are not one and the same. Just as not all Americans are fans of Trump, not all Russians follow Putin.  So let's do as the Russians do – make some great food, indulge in a celebration of good company, and make a feast of traditional Russian favorites. Of course, we'll start the evening with caviar and vodka shots, but we'll also indulge in another Russian favorite – French bubbly.   In this "double feature" cooking class se

2024 pop-up dinners preview

In July 2023, we launched a series of Sunday night pop-up dinners featuring gourmet meals from exotic destinations around the world. We are happy to announce that these special themed dinner parties will continue in 2024 with a brand new season of exciting new culinary adventures. We're lucky that Champaign-Urbana is home to an amazing variety of restaurants serving a broad range of international cuisines. Despite this abundance, we’re still missing a few important culinary traditions. Our goal is to fill in that gap with unique dining experiences not typically available locally. Here's what we've planned so far for this upcoming year: February 11 - Valentine's Dinner in Napa : A romantic five-course gourmet meal with wine pairings for every course March 17 - An Evening in Český Krumlov : An authentic five-course traditional Czech meal with wine and beer pairings April 14 - Mumbai Street Food Tour : A guided survey of all the best eats available in this vibrant India