Thanks to this blog, and all of you amazing people, I get to do some really fun stuff. A few weeks ago, the folks at Falafill  (delicious, fresh and modern Middle-Eastern restaurants in Chicago) asked me to participate in their Chefs for Charity program. Each month Falafill has local chefs (“chefs”, in my case) design a seasonal wrap which is then sold at all three Falafill locations. Getting to design a wrap is pretty fun, but the really amazing part: one dollar ($1!) of each wrap sold goes to the charity of the chef’s (my) choice. Whoa!
I designed what I think is a really tasty wrap (so far, a couple of friends, Bryan, and a teenager who works at the Oak Park branch, all agree). In addition to Falafill’s classic falafel (which is so delicious), the wrap includes urfa pepper and eggplant spread, arugula, feta, pickled pears(!!!) and toasted walnuts. It is available now. Go get it!
The money from the sale of the wrap is going to one of my favorite Chicago nonprofits, Open Books . Open Books is, in their own words, “an award-winning nonprofit social venture that operates an extraordinary bookstore, provides community programs, and mobilizes passionate volunteers to promote literacy in Chicago and beyond.” Basically they run awesome literacy programs that are funded (in part) through sales of used books. It is a brilliant business plan and I am convinced that anyone who visits their bookstore will fall in love with them and their mission. It is one of the best and friendliest stores in Chicago and happens to feature a particularly excellent cooking section (see first photo, which is only half of their cookbooks). It feels good to shop there knowing that your purchases benefit young readers and writers in Chicago.
I feel so lucky and proud to be able to support Open Books in this way. I am grateful to Falafill for giving me this opportunity to raise some money for an organization that really deserves it, and for letting me try my hand at falafel design. The wrap is available for the entire month of November at all three Falafill locations (including Oak Park—represent!) I hope that you will try the wrap this month and help support the good work that is being done at Open Books. It isn’t that often that you can enjoy lunch and know that you’re helping someone out.
Thanks, everyone. I promise the next post will have a recipe!
+ For the record, I love Falafill—even before they asked me to collaborate. If you’re in Chicago you should try it out. The mezza bar is really something special. And the monthly chef’s wraps have all been rad including contributions from folks like Stephanie Izard, Bill Kim, and Paul Virant.
+ Open Books can be supported in all sorts of fun ways. Check out their website  for ways to get involved and contribute to the promotion of literacy in Chicago!