The event, which is sponsored by Whole Earth Sweetener Co. and Back to Nature, will showcase sustainable cooking demonstrations by Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh, the dynamic chef duo that won the first season of Food Network Star. They went on the open HB, a Hearty Boys Spot, a top Chicago restaurant. Charlie McKenna, who owns Lillie’s Q, another nationally-recognized Chicago restaurant, will also share tips on how to cook sustainably as he whips up southern-style favorites. Melissa Graham of the Purple Asparagus, will also create a healthy dish during her demo while promoting meals that keep the environment in mind. Attendees will see the cooks in action and also learn more about the significance of using local food suppliers and sustainable products.
The Conservancy and its partner Chicago Gateway Green also welcomes Portland, Ore.-based indie band Blind Pilot. The group, which toured via bicycle in their early days, once completed a bike tour from Bellingham, Wash. to San Diego. Their first record, "3 Rounds And A Sound" was heralded as one of the year's best debut records by National Public Radio in 2008. As part of the Conservancy’
“The idea is to give Chicagoans an outlet and opportunity to have a good time while forging a stronger relationship with nature,” said Michelle Carr, Conservancy in Illinois state director. “But this picnic has a purpose. We want people to connect the dots between where their food comes from, where their water comes from and why it is important to protect our natural resources by investing in Earth now.”
BY 2050, there will be 9 billion people living on Earth, increasing pressure and demand on famers, fisheries, and energy companies, Carr said. “That’s why we are working with landowners, businesses and other conservation-
Conservancy staff will be on hand to discuss state projects and how people can join the group in its global and local efforts. Currently, an online sweepstakes will award 10 winners with gift baskets filled with “good for you, good for nature” products provided by Whole Earth Sweetener Co. and Back to Nature among others. One grand prize winner will receive the basket along with a $100 gift certificate to the Hearty Boys restaurant in Chicago and two complimentary tickets to the Picnic for Earth event. The sweepstakes effort will end on April 19. Kids can enjoy face-painting and a workshop by Rad Hatter, a nationally-known interactive artist who uses recycled products to create unique hats.
Tickets to All Hands on Earth Picnic are $30/individual and $100/family and include a picnic lunch provided by Park Grill, a reusable tote bag and water bottle.
Registration and sweepstakes information can be found at www.Nature.org/