Beard Award–winning Chef Opens Cooking Tips Hotline

Has the COVID-19 quarantine forced you into the kitchen? Are you using your now abundant at-home time to try grand and ambitious cooking experiments that you have discovered too late are above your skill set? Do you just need to talk to somebody? Have no fear: Sarah Stegner is here for you!

Stegner is a James Beard Award–winning chef and co-owner of Prairie Grass Cafe in the Chicago suburb of Northbrook. She is now also playing the role of your mom/friend who can cook/Butterball Turkey Talk Line. Every day between 2 and 4 p.m. Central time, you can give her a call at 847-920-8437 and she will answer all your cooking questions.

"Our goal is to help you plan a nutritious, balanced meal with what you have at home and make it possible for you to be comfortable cooking for you and your family," Stegner said in a press release. "Examples of questions we expect are how to properly roast a chicken; how to cook dried beans; what to make with root vegetables; how to make a potato gratin; and what to do with your leftovers, etc."

It's true you could also watch YouTube videos, but this is a lovely example of the generosity of people in the food industry who are about to get hit hard. The Prairie Grass Cafe, like every other bar and restaurant in Illinois, has been ordered by Governor J.B. Pritzker to shut down its dining room for the rest of the month and serve only takeout or delivery. If you feel comfortable varying your home-cooked meals with restaurant food, please do and help out folks in the restaurant business. And, as The Salty Waitress would tell you, tip well.