It Takes a Gingerbread Village to Fight Homelessness

GBH Village  1288GBH Cat Detail  1287GBH Judging  1290GBH Details  1291Builders, chefs, and community members teamed up today to start the “Home Sweet Gingerbread Home” competitions at NorthPark Center. Lifestylist® Suzanne chaired the event which looks like it will become an annual favorite.Chef and cookbook author Karel Ann Tieszen teamed up with Shared Housing board member Mona Lincoln and TX State Fair Celebri-chef Peter Clarac (he was a winner in the Oprah cook-off) to decide which of the houses would be awarded the coveted blue ribbon. Pastry Chef Instructor at the Art Institute of Dallas Nina Hunter amazed the judges with her beautiful victorian home complete with playful penguins enjoying the pool in the backyard and was awarded first place.
Thursday the “Builders and Bakers” competition will be taking place from 12pm to 4pm also at NorthPark. Teams comprised of members from the Home Builders Association of Greater Dallas will be creating homes on-site with celebrity chefs from Stephan Pyles, Sambuca, Old Hickory Steakhouse at the Gaylord Texan, DC’s Catering and The Cupcakery. They will then be judged and awarded various prizes in different categories.
The competitions will benefit two great organizations - Shared Housing Center and HomeAid / Homebuilders Care, both which break the cycle of homelessness and abuse in the Dallas area.

Days of Taste

Days of Taste09024Days of Taste091300Days of Taste09105Days of Taste09185One of the most rewarding things that this Lifestylist® is a part of every year is Days of Taste which is sponsored by the American Institute of Food and Wine. Fourth and Fifth graders from local schools come down to the Dallas Farmers Market to learn about food and have a lot of fun! This year my group was the best I've ever had, and I think a lot of that can be because of a great teacher and the chef that taught the class - Chef Joanne Bondy from the Gaylord Texan. I always learn as much as they do, and after Chef Joanne teaches them about the senses, buying local produce from farmers and how to make a pasta salad from scratch the teams get to go down to the Farmers Market and buy the ingredients for their own salads.

My team (The Grinches since we were buying green and were at the green table) did a great job of negotiating with the farmers so that not only did they stay within their $5.00 budget, we actually had $1.00 to give back to the program! I think they were all amazed with how much food could be purchased for $4.00 that was healthy and delicious. Teaching kids about food and getting them to try new things isn't a matter of tricking them - you just need to let them have fun and try things their way. Who would have thought a pasta salad with avocado, corn, green peppers and kiwi would taste as great as it did?

Congratulations to the AIWF Dallas chapter for another amazing event.