Special Celebrity Guests and Auction Items for 3rd Annual Chefs’ Playground Next Week

29 May

In one week 19 celebrity chefs, including Tony Mantuano, Jeff Mauro, Rick Bayless, and Sarah Grueneberg, alongside 4 master mixologists, will gather at Terzo Piano for the 3rd annual Chefs’ Playground gala presented by Lifeway Kefir and created in collaboration with Bon Appétit Management Company.

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We are excited to announce that, in addition to our stunning chef lineup, we will be joined by Kathy Hart, co-host of Eric & Kathy on The Mix 101.9 fm and our friend Adrian Grenier (aka Mr. A,) fresh from the premier of the Entourage movie on Wednesday, June 3rd.

8796279031_cd0630c2f7_zAdrian, kids & #schoolyardchicken

Ms. Hart will lead the event’s live auction, with some help from Mr. Grenier, who has generously donated his time for one of our auction items. Ms. Hart, an advocate for holistic wellness, including mindfulness and the importance of nutrition, topics our students learn about at AGC. Mr. Grenier, a passionate advocate for sustainable food and lifestyles, visited AGC this winter and has joined our Net Positive energy campus campaign as an advisor.

Our live auction will feature a trip to a Southern weekend food festival, including flights and a stay in a hip new eco-hotel; a private dinner cooked in your home by a group of award winning chefs; and a trip for you and your friends to hang with celebrity food and sustainability advocates on the East Coast. Silent auction items include a year of good food from Chipotle, Izze and O.N.E Coconut water, custom clothing from Wilfred Newman and Frederick Lynn, designer furniture from Holly Hunt, and lots of great food experiences!

Currently, only 21 VIP and 41 General Admission tickets remain. Sets of 6 are sold out. Get your tickets today at www.chefsplayground.org. Tickets will run out! 100% of ticket sales and funds raised at this event go directly to supporting innovation in education at the Academy for Global Citizenship.

Chefs Grueneberg, Neubeck & Pederson, Broken Shaker Mixologists Announced for Chefs’ Playground VIP hour | Additional Tickets Released

27 May

We are thrilled to announce that Sarah Grueneberg and Megan Neubeck will grace the terrace at Terzo Piano for the VIP hour that precedes next week’s Chef’s Playground gala.

Sarah Grueneberg, a Top Chef Texas finalist, served as the executive chef of Mantuano’s award-winning Spiaggia until 2013 to open her first restaurant. Grueneberg and business partner Meg Sahs, a fellow Spiaggia alumnus and former Terzo Piano Chef de Cuisine will open their first restaurant, Monteverde, at 1020 W. Madison this summer. This is Chef Grueneberg’s second Chefs’ Playground event.

Megan Neubeck has served as Terzo Piano’s Chef de Cuisine since 2012 and was also briefly on the line at Spiaggia alongside Grueneberg and Sahs. After a brief stint as a pastry assistant at BOKA, Megan returned to the Levy family of restaurants to help open Terzo Piano in 2009. Neubeck’s skill with both sweet and savory dishes has earned her praise from Time Out, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, and more! This is Chef Neubeck’s third Chefs’ Playground event.

Nicole Pederson is the founding Executive Chef at Found Kitchen. Chef Pederson’s commitment to local and seasonal produce has hearkened comparisons to a young Alice Waters. A true global citizen, Pederson worked in acclaimed restaurants France, Vail, Colorado, and New York before returning to the Midwest to work at Lula Cafe and C-House, among others, before being recruited to open Found Kitchen in Evanston. Chef Pederson recently won the coveted Cochon 555. This is Chef Pederson’s second event with AGC.

These talented and accomplished chefs will cook exclusively for VIP ticket holders during a VIP cocktail hour between 6:00 and 7:00 pm. We are honored to have three such accomplished women cooking for our VIP guests. Chefs Neubeck and Grueneberg will be preparing vegetable-based dishes for this VIP hour.

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Chefs Grueneberg, Neubeck and Pederson will be joined during this VIP reception by three creative and celebrated mixologists from the Broken Shaker, a much anticipated new cocktail bar which opened last week inside the new Freehand Hotel. Founders Elad Zvi and Gabriel Ortega will be mixing up magic at Chefs’ Playground alongside Bar Manager Freddie Sarkis. Adam Seger will be pouring creativity inside for our main event.

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As of this afternoon, only a handful of VIP tickets remain. In celebration of these exciting announcements and in anticipation of even more exciting special guests to be announced this week, we’ve released an additional set of 25 VIP tickets and 25 General Admission tickets. We expect these to be gone within the week, so purchase yours today! Join these and many more celebrated chefs and mixologists next Thursday, June 4th at Terzo Piano in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Students Lead Screen Free Week at AGC for I.B. Exhibition Project

6 May
This year I have had the pleasure of working with a group of four 5th graders who are working on the culmination of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme through their Exhibition Project. The exhibition is a chance for students to study, research, and report out on a topic of their choosing. The students I am working with choose to take a look at the way technology (specifically screens) and social media impact humans. It has been a joy to work alongside 4 talented, motivated and well rounded students. As part of the exhibition (as with any unit of inquiry) the students needed to think of a way to act on the new knowledge they gained from their research. Enter screen free week.

Screen free week, May 4-10, 2015, is sponsored by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. According to the campaign the goal is to encourage “….children, families, communities around the world (to) swap digital entertainment for the joys of life beyond the screen.” After talking with the students I have been working with they decided to promote screen free week school wide.

Here is a look at an email they sent to our entire staff:

“We are asking classes to make a commitment to reduce their screen time this week. It can be as simple as not playing a single video game, or as hard as no screens for the whole week whatsoever. On Friday, we will be celebrate with a school wide screen free time at 2:30-3:00 for those that wish to participate. You can spend this time doing an outdoor activity, an art project, a read aloud, yoga, scavenger hunt, or other screen free activities.”
I would encourage you to join the movement. Think less about being completely “screen-free” but rather to have a conversation with your family about ways we can reduce our screen time this week. One of my student’s plan is to not watch any tv except the Bulls and Blackhawks games. Another student has chosen to not use their tablet at all this week. Another has chosen not to play “Clash of Clans.” I personally am doing no TV (except one Netflix a night.) Staff from all grade levels have jumped on board as well. School Coordinator Berenice Salas, whose daughter also attends AGC, told our student organizers “Our family does not have a tv in the living room because we play board games, dance or read together. I love this initiative your group is taking on! Violeta’s awesome teacher talked to her about screen-free week and our family committed to zero tablets all week. Keep up the incredible work… Your message is spreading and is impactful!” My fellow 4th grade teacher, Anna Krzyzanowski told the students “Fourth grade is loving the idea! We’ve come up with some goals for ourselves…and we even had someone say they would be screen free for an entire month! Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm for going screen free!”
On behalf of these four students, I encourage you to get away from the screen that you are inevitably using to read this post and go outside, do an art project, and swap digital entertainment for the joys of life beyond the screen!
– 4th Grade Teacher Trey Thompson

AGC and The Plant Help Vittum Park Celebrate Earth Day this Saturday

17 Apr

Our neighbors at Vittum Park (located at 5010 W. 50th Street) have invited AGC and the Plant to share our mission, vision and approach to fostering environmental stewardship at their Earth Day Event. Please join us this Saturday if you are in the area!

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The Mindful Brain

13 Mar
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“Chapter 3: How Deep Breaths Help Your Brain”

AGC’s 1st and 2nd graders have been enjoying a taste of Neuroscience 101! In a Wellness unit about mindfulness and the brain, students have learned important skills to care for their brains.

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2nd Grader Joshua drew a cross-section of the brain!

Students learned the role that the hippocampus, amygdala and pre-frontal cortex play in their social and emotional functioning, how neurons send messages in the brain, and how they can gain better control over emotional responses using mindful breathing and meditation.

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“[Deep breathing] gets oxygen to your brain. It calms your amygdala”

Students made non-fiction chapter books to share what they’ve learned with their peers and families. Just like an understanding of nutrition and energy helps us feed ourselves better, demystifying brain activity is helpful for people of all ages to develop better self-control and master emotional responses that might interfere with learning, play, and work. Teachers and families have noticed students using these tools and their new vocabulary when they find themselves getting frustrated, angry, or overwhelmed.

This understanding can help people of any age gain important control over their reactions, helping them to become better students, friends, colleagues and global citizens.

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AGC Seeking Passionate Educators for 2015-2016

11 Mar

At AGC, we aim to recruit, develop, and retain individuals who embody the characteristics of a global citizen and actively promote the school’s mission in all that they do. If this describes you, we encourage you to join our community of learners.
Teaching at AGC means:

  • Thriving in a dynamic, changing, and growing environment
  • Engaging in significant curriculum development work
  • Being challenged to examine your practice to increase student achievement
  • Having high academic expectations for every student in the school everyday
  • Participating in at least 22 professional development days in addition to out-of-state International Baccalaureate training
  • Being encouraged and supported to travel abroad
  • Teaching an 8-hour school day and extended year with approximately 125 minutes of prep time per day
  • Having access to an organic breakfast and lunch made from scratch
  • Trying things again and again and again until we get it right
  • Getting your hands dirty in our school garden
  • Welcoming visitors who are interested in learning about our school
  • Working hard and thinking outside of the box to do what is best for our students

To view and apply for jobs online, click here.


Chicago Tribune’s Phil Vettel Announces Chefs Rick Bayless, Lee Wolen, Tony Mantuano and More for the 3rd Annual Chefs’ Playground

9 Mar

On June 4th, Chef Tony Mantuano will host some of our nation’s finest chefs  at Terzo Piano in the Art Institute of Chicago to prepare dishes inspired by childhood favorites in the 3rd annual Chefs’ Playground gala to benefit the Academy for Global Citizenship.

 Chicago Tribune food critic Phil Vettel announced our first participating chefs this morning. Click here to read Vittel’s piece on the Tribune’s website and see below for a full list of participating chefs. More chefs will be announced as the event date nears. Click here to purchase tickets.

Johnny Anderes of The Kitchen

Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, XOCO & Frontera Gourmet Foods

Thai Dang of Embeya

John Hogan of River Roast

Bill Kim of bellyQ, Urbanbelly & Belly Shack

Chris Marchino of Spiaggia

Jeff Mauro Host of Food Network’s “Sandwich King” & “The Kitchen”

Megan Neubeck of Terzo Piano

Rick Ortiz of Antique Taco

Tony Quartaro of Formento’s

Giuseppe Tentori of GT Fish & Oyster

Lee Wolen of Boka

Matt Rice of Little Goat & Little Goat Bakery

with Host Chef Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia, Terzo Piano, Bar Toma and River Roast

We will announce more chefs as June 4th approaches.


Watch a video recap of our inaugural event in 2013 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGFDS5IWfqA

Watch a video recap of our inaugural event in 2013.


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