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Coffee Klatch and Cookbooks

Coffee Klatch and Cookbooks


For more information contact:

Brian Zimmerman | 312.322.1724
Betsy Gomberg | 312.322.1756


Cookbook Signing with Chicago Chefs Ina Pinkney and Laura Frankel
Sunday, June 22, 2014 from 2 to 4 pm

(CHICAGO) With chutzpah and creativity, Chicago chefs — and longtime friends — Ina Pinkney and Laura Frankel have blazed trails as restaurant owners, entrepreneurs, and advocates for healthy and sustainable dining. In celebration of Ms. Pinkney’s new cookbook, Taste Memories, the Spertus Shop in the lobby of Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership presents Coffee Klatch and Cookbooks, an opportunity for food-loving Chicagoans to schmooze with these two passionate, opinionated cooks, both of whom are wonderful and enthusiastic storytellers.

This free event takes place on Sunday, June 22 from 2 to 4 pm. Over coffee and sweets, the chefs will be signing cookbooks, sharing stories, answering visitors’ questions, and trading tips.

Reservations are requested by email at

Spertus Institute is located at 610 S. Michigan Avenue. Discount parking is $10 with Spertus validation at the Essex Inn, two blocks to the south. The chefs’ cookbooks will be available for purchase.

Ina Pinkney, newly retired from her position as owner and chef of the eponymously named Ina’s, is a legend of the Chicago food scene. Long acclaimed as Chicago’s “Breakfast Queen,” Pinkney has been feeding Chicagoans of every ilk for more than 30 years. She has been the subject of articles and television segments and won a shelf's worth of awards. She was a leader in the movement to ban cigarettes and trans fats from restaurants, and co-founded the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition. She was a finalist for the new host of "Check, Please!" and even ran for the US Senate, launching a tongue-in-cheek write-in campaign to fill the eight weeks remaining of Barack Obama's Senate term after he was elected as President. Taste Memories is her first cookbook, which she describes as "my love letter to the people I've fed.”

Laura Frankel is Executive Chef for Spertus Kosher Catering and the author of the Chosen Bites column in the Jerusalem Post. As the former chef and owner of gourmet kosher restaurants in Chicago and New York, she has made it her mission to reimagine and revitalize the diverse and delicious traditions of Jewish cooking. She has extensive experience in both savory and pastry kitchens, and has cooked for US Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbochev, Chicago Mayors Rahm Emanuel and Richard M. Daley, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Steven Spielberg, and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In recognition of her dedication to pairing fresh and local food with kosher cooking, she was honored in 2013 at Kosherfest in New York as an innovator in kosher cuisine. Frankel is the author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.

The Spertus Shop is known for its standout selection of unique items — including jewelry, housewares, and Judaica — from American, Israeli, and International artists and designers. The shop also carries a selection of Jewish-interest books, toys, paper goods, and music. The Spertus Shop is endowed by George and Mae Bariff. Purchases support Spertus Institute programs, fostering Jewish learning and leadership. Signed copies of Ms. Pinkney’s and Ms. Frankel’s cookbooks can be arranged for those who can’t attend through the Spertus Shop online at or by phone at 888.322.1740.

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Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership offers dynamic learning opportunities, rooted in Jewish wisdom and culture and open to all. Graduate programs and workshops train future leaders and engage individuals in exploration of Jewish life. Public programs — including films, speakers, seminars, and concerts — take place at the Institute's Michigan Avenue facility, in the Chicago suburbs, and online. For more information, please visit

Spertus Institute is a partner in serving the community, supported by the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.

An excerpt from Taste Memories by Ina Pinkney

The stories of my life, which lead to these recipes, are all, in essence, happy ones. I have overcome paralytic polio, danced with Fred Astaire, fed Julia Child, skied on a glacier and gone skydiving...I also had 21 jobs in 25 years before I found my true calling and earned the title of ‘The Breakfast Queen.’

An excerpt from Jewish Cooking for All Seasons by Laura Frankel

I have the best job in the world. As a chef, I cook nearly every day, and there’s nothing I love more…At home, where I cook from my three sons, it isn’t much different. In my kitchens, I’m not just the chef or Mom; I am an artist, sculptor, and visionary every time I make a dish. It’s a great feeling!

Chefs Laura Frankel and Ina PickneyChef Laura Frankel and Chef Ina Pickney

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Ina Pickney's Taste MemoriesIna Pickney's Taste Memories

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Laura Frankels Jewish Cooking for All SeasonsLaura Frankel's Jewish Cooking for All Seasons

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