Good News Sunday: Arlington Heights chef makes finals of "Chopped"

  • Grace Goudie, executive chef at Scratchboard Kitchen in Arlington Heights, won Tuesday's episode of the Food Network show "Chopped."

    Grace Goudie, executive chef at Scratchboard Kitchen in Arlington Heights, won Tuesday's episode of the Food Network show "Chopped." Courtesy of LX MGMT

 
 
Updated 1/20/2022 3:37 PM
Editor's note: This article has been updated because Grace Goudie did not win $10,000 for winning the Tuesday episode of "Chopped."

This is Good News Sunday, a compilation of some of the more upbeat and inspiring stories published recently by the Daily Herald:

Arlington Heights chef Grace Goudie advanced to the season finale of "Chopped" after winning Tuesday night's episode of the culinary competition.

 

Goudie is executive chef of the popular breakfast, lunch and brunch restaurant Scratchboard Kitchen at 5 W. Campbell St. She will compete for $25,000 more in the finale.

"Being a female in this world is not easy. People walk into the restaurant looking up and down asking 'where's my boss?'" said Goudie in her introduction on Tuesday's show. "I am the boss."

Goudie and the other chefs competed in a special "Casino Royale" tournament, where they could "reroll" provided ingredients for a random ingredient using dice.

The season finale of "Chopped" will air Feb. 1 on the Food Network.

"I'm looking forward to applying what I learned today," Goudie said.

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When the Beanie Baby craze swept through the 1990s, Becky Phillips was one of the Naperville moms at the epicenter. She shares her memories in the new HBO Max documentary "Beanie Mania."
  When the Beanie Baby craze swept through the 1990s, Becky Phillips was one of the Naperville moms at the epicenter. She shares her memories in the new HBO Max documentary "Beanie Mania." - Brian Hill | Staff Photographer
Remember 'Beanie Mania'? These women in a Naperville cul-de-sac made it happen

A fun-loving neighborhood in Naperville was the epicenter of the Beanie Babies craze of the 1990s, with the lovable $5 stuffed animals generating $1.4 billion in sales worldwide for toymaker Ty Warner of Oak Brook.

"It started here on our cul-de-sac," says Becky Phillips, who teamed with then-next door neighbor Becky Estenssoro to ignite the Beanie Babies mania. The two Beckys went from collectors to dealers, publishers, authors and worldwide authorities on everything having to do with Beanie Babies.

"There were five of us who had a complete collection of the Beanie Babies, just five," remembers Phillips, who notes that she, Estenssoro, Mary Beth Sobolewski, Dr. Paula Benchik-Abrinko and her sister Peggy Gallagher were influencers before there was such a thing.

"Essentially, it was a group of soccer moms -- so-called at the time -- who mainly lived in Naperville," director Yemisi Brookes tells "Entertainment Weekly" for a story about her "Beanie Mania" documentary airing now on HBO Max. "If you look at the phenomenon in detail, without these women, it's unlikely that the phenomenon would have reached the height that it did."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Two decades later, that remains a source of pride for Phillips, a former middle school language arts teacher and current real estate agent who still lives on that block where she and Estenssoro first caught the Beanie wave.

For the full story, click here.

In this March 29, 1967, file photo, heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, center left, and Dr. Martin Luther King speak to reporters. Illinois will celebrate the legacies of both men on Monday, Jan. 17.
In this March 29, 1967, file photo, heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, center left, and Dr. Martin Luther King speak to reporters. Illinois will celebrate the legacies of both men on Monday, Jan. 17. - Associated Press File Photo
Illinois to observe Muhammad Ali Day along with MLK Jan. 17

Many suburban communities will mark another Martin Luther King Jr. Day with remembrances and celebrations on Monday, Jan. 17.

But this year, Illinoisans will celebrate another champion of civic justice on that same day. Jan. 17, 2022, marks the first observance of Muhammad Ali Day in Illinois.

The Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition, which championed getting Muhammad Ali Day recognized statewide, will host a virtual and in-person dialogue from 1 to 2 p.m. Monday on Ali's and King's models of hope, courage and conviction through extreme challenges.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson will deliver opening remarks. Maryum Ali, Muhammad Ali's daughter, is a special guest. Speakers include: Aisha el-Amin, University of Illinois Chicago associate vice chancellor for equity and belonging; Donald Lassere, president of the Chicago History Museum and former president of the Muhammad Ali Museum in Louisville, Kentucky; and coalition leaders Dilara Sayeed and Maaria Mozaffar.

To register, sign up at forms.gle/YcfXsChRPjqfX5RAA. For information, email Info@ILMuslimCivicCoalition.org.

For the full story, click here.

Suburban birders spotted many rare species in 2021, including this limpkin, which required birders to rent canoes at Chain O' Lakes State Park in Lake County.
Suburban birders spotted many rare species in 2021, including this limpkin, which required birders to rent canoes at Chain O' Lakes State Park in Lake County. - Courtesy of Nat Carmichael
Year in birding: 2021 brought several rare sightings and new conservation laws

Area bird-watchers will remember 2021 for at least a dozen remarkable sightings, including two wayward hummingbirds and a lost flycatcher. The chasers among us enjoyed ample opportunities to witness "life birds" that seldom visit the region.

It was a newsworthy year in other respects, too.

• The Biden administration stood up for our feathered friends by restoring protections of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the most important bird conservation law ever enacted. The Department of the Interior, under former President Donald Trump, had severely weakened the government's power to enforce it.

• In Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the "Bird-Safe Buildings Act," requiring the use of bird-friendly construction techniques for all new construction or renovation of state-owned buildings. The law aims to protect birds from collisions during their migratory journeys.

For the full story, click here.

• Good News Sunday will run each weekend. Please visit dailyherald.com/newsletters to sign up for our Good News Sunday newsletter.

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