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Getting a New Perspective On Breakfast

Beth Dooley, cookbook author; Michelle Gayer, Salty Tart; Chef Dan, Anna Christoforides, Gardens of Salonica; and Linda Quinn, Cafe Latte.

You haven't lived until you've cooked in a kitchen with a 5-year-old with a butcher knife, Perspective Board Member Jill Sando promised the businesswomen at the Women of Perspective breakfast Thursday, May 11. And, no, she wasn't trying to scare off the potential donors and volunteers, but rather let them know just how successful the Kids Cafe program at Perspectives in St. Louis Park has been at teaching kids how to fend for themselves in a kitchen (please note the knife is for chopping, not protection). Kids not only learn to cook, they gain an appreciation of green vegetables. Sure they want the hot dog, but they'd rather have the kale salad, one board member said. 

Sue Zelickson was the force behind bringing the kitchen program to Perspectives a number of years ago, CEO and President Jeannie Seeley-Smith said. She's also the reason the four well-known female chefs were in the kitchen preparing breakfast. "Whenever Sue calls, you say yes because she does all sorts of wonderful things for women," said Michelle Gayer, the pastry chef that's been in the running for James Beard Awards multiple times, and is the owner of Salty Tart. Because of a broken ankle, Zelickson, who also is involved in everything from Women Who Really Cook to the Charlie Awards, wasn't able to attend.

Gayer was joined in the kitchen by Beth Dooley, a cookbook author and Star Tribune columnist; Anna Christoforides, owner of Greek restaurant Gardens of Salonica; and Linda Quinn, owner of Cafe Latte in St. Paul. In exchange for their services in the kitchen, each chef was given a minute to invite guests to hire her catering services, buy pastries or give her new cookbook as a Mother's Day present, or, in the case of Quinn, visit St. Paul. "We'd appreciate your cake love for grad parties," Gayer said. 

Perspectives is the largest, therapeutic, supportive program in the Midwest. It houses and heals 75 mothers and 130 at-risk children annually. The breakfast raised $15,000, which is desperately needed to help overcome the $100,000 in grant money they won't receive this year due to cutbacks at their national funding source. 

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