Tracey Suppo, Board Member, Chicago Cultural Alliance & CEO/Co-Founder Of Book+Main 


Taste from Home is a collection of recipes and stories can be used as a way to connect with others and facilitate conversations about race, culture, and identity over a new recipe. Make a cultural dish and sit down with family and friends and have a discussion of the culture it represents. 

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From the time I can remember, I’ve always loved to cook. My grandmother, Clara, was an amazing cook and I grew up eating her food almost every Friday night when my family would go to my grandparents’ house for Shabbat dinner. Me, my parents, and my three siblings, plus my aunts, uncles, and cousins would all come together to celebrate the sabbath, eat, and catch up. My family moved away from Chicago when I was 12, but those gatherings are some of the most wonderful memories from my childhood.

My grandparents were Holocaust survivors. They met after the war and my mother was born in the Czech Republic. They came to the States when she was only six months old. Both of my grandparents had lost almost their entire families in the camps, and I can only imagine the joy they must have felt on those nights to be surrounded by a large, growing family that they created. Notably, my grandparents’ naturalization papers and many photos from my family’s archive are on display at the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

There are so many recipes that bring back childhood memories of my grandmother’s cooking: chicken paprikash, cholent, stuffed cabbage…and on and on.

However, in 2000, I went to Israel for the first time to attend my cousin’s wedding. I immediately fell in love with the country and its people—and, of course, its food. One of the dishes that has stayed with me since is shakshuka. I love vegetables and dishes that scream FRESH and have lively, bright flavors. I also like dishes that are really healthy. This is one of those dishes. There are many variations on shakshuka, and different ethnicities and countries often have their own spin. This is the way I learned to make it and it is a dish that I make often.

    The recipe is in the link. A donation is not required to view the recipe. Any donations made will support the Chicago Cultural Alliance’s mission to promote, support, and connect museums and centers of cultural heritage for a more inclusive and equitable Chicago.