Column: Hummus or really bad-tasting oatmeal?

Originally published in the Kane County Chronicle on March 4, 2011

After weeks of indecision, I finally settled on what I want to cook for the upcoming 50 Men Who Cook in Batavia.


Mmmm, hummus.

I made stuffed grape leaves at Geneva’s 60 Men Who Cook in 2009 and chocolate-covered red velvet cake balls at Geneva’s event in 2010 – two items I had never made before. And yet, both years I was surprised to find out halfway through making them the night before the event that I had no idea what I was doing. (I will also be cooking at the 2011 Geneva’s 60 Men Who Cook and am looking for suggestions.)

So, of course, I pick another dish I’ve never made before. (I do, however, plan on doing a test run this time the weekend before the event. But, you know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and amateur chefs.)

Hummus is a slightly odd choice for me. I hated the stuff until a few years ago. To my taste buds, it was like eating really bad-tasting oatmeal. Now, it’s one of my favorite treats. Go figure. Maybe I developed a taste for really bad-tasting oatmeal.

In any case, despite the frustration cooking for a large amount of people inevitably will cause me, I know it’s going to a good cause.

Batavia’s 50 Men Who Cook benefits Suicide Prevention Services, and the event takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at Lincoln Inn Banquets, 1545 S. Batavia Road, Batavia. It will include live music, a cash bar, and a raffle along with my dish and the 49 dishes prepared by the other chefs – most of whom are far more talented at the culinary arts than me.

Tickets are $50 in advance or $60 at the door. Talk about pressure to cook well.

To order tickets, visit or call 630-482-9699.

It’s a great event to attend, especially if you like hummus. Or really bad-tasting oatmeal.

Joe Grace is the editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at or call him at 630-845-5368.


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