A Cafe 361 Interview with Barb Jackson

Co-authored by Hayley, member of Cafe 361

When Café 361 started, there was no expectation for how long it would continue. As we are halfway through our 4th year, we know our success is only possible with the support of our dinner guests. Barb Jackson is one of those guests who has attended Cafe dinners since the beginning.

When asked what brought her to January’s Asian themed dinner (Monday, January 16th), Barb said, “I love watching you guys [Café 361 chefs} grow up!” Her favorite part of the meal was the chicken skin, the coconut rice pudding with Asian pears and the almond cookies. This was a specially prepared meal; the Café 361 girls had the opportunity to cook alongside three local chefs from area restaurants.

Cobble Hill sous chef Elliot Brown, the Pig and Porter sous chef Jake Wegmann and chef Brett Scholl of Lincoln Wine Bar in Mount Vernon spent the afternoon teaching and diving into the action. Helping the girls, they all prepared shrimp and vegetable spring rolls, Thai chicken with rice noodles, coconut rice pudding and almond cookies.

The January Café dinner was also a salute to woman leaders. Barb Jackson said an important female leader in her life is her daughter. Barb said she wanted to be an artist and worked towards that goal even though people laughed at her. Perseverance is a quality we want all our Cafe chefs to develop.

Wrapping up the interview, the chefs of Café 361 are always curious about food traditions of their guests. Barb said a favorite tradition for her family is a Christmas morning brunch. Thank you to Barb and all our Cafe dinner guests who have supported us in the past and continue today.

*Also, be sure to check out an article by the Cedar Rapids Gazette about Cafe 361’s January dinner!

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