Roland Martin, Josephine Wade compete in gumbo cook off

Bring It On! – Josephine Wade, executive chef and co-founder and proprietor of Capt.’s Hard Time Dining Restaurant who emerged as “The Champ” in The Gumbo Cook-Off competition, takes on yet another contender on Feb. 22, 6 p.m., at her popular upscale Chatham area eatery. Challenging Wade for the championship title will be none other than award-winning journalist Roland Martin, nationally syndicated columnist and CNN contributor.

For $35 – as a member of the voting audience – you can help decide the ultimate winner by sampling, taste-testing and judging Martin’s and Wade’s original southern-style gumbo offerings. Capt.’s Hard Time Dining is located 436 E. 79th St. For more info and/or to purchase admission tickets, call (773) 487-2900.

Stone Soul – Sculpture of Robert Kaliyongo Chimungwa, whose greatest passion, he says, is producing human and animal sculptures made out of verdite, African jade stone and redwood, go on exhibit at Gallery Guichard, 3521 S. King Dr., beginning Feb. 19 at an opening reception from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. A collectors’ preview of the exhibition, “Soul of the Stone,” is slated for Feb. 17.

African sculpture is universally known for its diversity and its multiplicity of origins. The African people have mastered the ability to combine their culture and their environment into art forms. The art of carving is passed from generation to generation and is part of the African heritage. The exhibition is being sponsored by The Light of the Hill for Africa, South African Consulate, Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency, Grey Goose and the Illinois Institute of Technology. Call (773) 373-8000.

Breakfast Bonus – Rev. Otis Moss III, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, addresses Concerned Christian Men’s free monthly Man-Boy Breakfast on Feb. 20, 9 a.m., at Simeon Career Academy. To date, CCM has sponsored 125 such events for young men, ages 6-17, that feature outstanding African American male speaker-mentors from business, education, political, legal, athletic, multi-media and religious communities. After breakfast, men supervise spirited athletic competition in basketball, flag football, etc. Founded by George Glenn and now celebrating 14 years of service to African American youth, CCM welcomes all men, 18 and over, to the Saturday morning tradition for only a $5 donation. Call (773) 675-5992; email stgdg@yahoo.com; or visit www.concernedchristianmen.org.

High Tea – Samples of organic tea, a product of Ambassador Organics, a company owned by former Ambassador and U.S. Senator, Carol Moseley Braun, will be given to each guest who attends Friday’s Fifth Annual Sweet Beginnings Tea, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., at the Park Hyatt Hotel, 800 N. Michigan. The pre-Valentine fundraising event benefits North Lawndale Employment Network’s employment and training programs.

Brenda Palms Barber is CEO of NLEN, a non-profit organization that is the parent company of Sweet Beginnings, LLC, a for profit company created to provide transitional jobs training and work experiences for formerly incarcerated persons and other low income residents of Chicago’s West Side.

Sweet Beginnings’ employees participate in a transitional jobs training program that grows and harvests natural, chemical-free honey. Program participants receive training in beekeeping, food handling, retail sales, inventory and distribution.

In addition to the manufacture and sale of table honey, Sweet Beginnings markets a line of honey-based bath and body products under the beeline label and sells them at such diverse locations as the Mark Shale Boutique on the Magnificent Mile, in 11 local Whole Foods Markets, various specialty boutiques, local farmers’ markets and online at www.beelinestore.com.

Mayor Richard Daley is the tea’s honorary chair; NBC5’s Zoraida Sambolin, returns as emcee; and Scott Baskin, president of Mark Shale Boutiques, will give keynote remarks. Call (773) 638-7060 or visit www.sweetbeginningstea.eventbrite.com.

Valentine Venture – Janet and Bob Conner, owners of The Marmon Grand, 2230 S. Michigan, are looking to greet you Thursday and again Sunday at their ballroom on “historic motor row.” The first event is a free pre-Valentine’s Day afterwork networking extravaganza, 5:30 p.m. – 11 p.m., with a complimentary buffet and DJ Darren.

And Sunday, a 6 p.m. Valentine’s Day Moet champagne extravaganza will feature a raffle and live R&B entertainment with Carya Holmes, Vernard Burton and Lee Kirksy Jr. hosted by Teresa Sykes. Admission: $15; call (312) 225-8100.

Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender

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