Second annual Kistenbroker family artist in residence program takes on culinary focus

Amanda Cassel, Assistant Editor

Things are starting to get cookin’ as the Kistenbroker Family Artists in Residence program gets new sizzle and pop with a slate of four culinary artists.

For the second year of the program, culinary artists will visit the Lab community to talk about their books and experiences in the cooking world and how it relates to social justice, inclusion and equality.

The Kistenbroker family funded the program to increase the bond between Lab students and the arts.

Ruthie Williams, home economics and sustainability teacher, said some believe that the artists in residence should only represent the fine arts. However, she argues that the culinary arts are a form of expression.

“We define art as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination,” she said, “and cooking more than meets those requirements and is something Lab kids miss out on.”

This year, guest artists will represent four main ideas: location and honoring the past, food’s relationship to culture, sustainability, and justice and food insecurity.

One guest will be Sam Kass, a Lab Schools “lifer” and 1998 graduate, who worked as a chef at multiple restaurants and was part of the cooking team at the Obama White House. He is currently on a book tour around the nation. His tour is for his book “Eat a Little Better: Great Flavor, Good Health, Better World” and will be in Chicago in November.

The second and third guests, Natalie Moore and Maya-Camille Broussard, will come as a pair and have a panel discussion and pie tasting. Natalie Moore is WBEZ’s South Side Reporter where she covers segregation and inequality, race, housing, economic development, food injustice and violence. She will discuss her book “The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation.” Maya-Camille Broussard owns and runs Justice of the Pies, a pie shop founded in honor of her late father who believed in everyone’s right to improve their lives. The two will be discussing food injustice in the middle of November.

We define art as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, and cooking more than meets those requirements and is something Lab kids miss out on”

— Ruthie Williams, Home Economics and Sustainability teacher

The fourth guest, Sean Sherman, will focus on Native American cuisine and culture. Mr. Sherman will spend several weeks around the Lab community, and will run workshops. Mr. Sherman wrote the book “The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen.” He will cover sustainable cooking as well as recognizing the power of recognizing the history of cooking in any place, but Chicago in particular.

“This is an incredible opportunity for the greater Lab community, and the workshops have been specifically placed after school, to allow as many people as want to, to attend,” Ms. Williams said. “Each of these artists holds a different key to how they think about injustice, and we get to hear how these great minds want to change the world.”