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Tasty treats to toast 75th ‘Oz’ birthday


To mark the 75th anniversary of the release of “The Wizard of Oz” film, the Palmer House is staging a big cake decorating contest in conjunction with the After School Matters program.

Organized by the hotel and its executive chef, Stephen Henry, ABC7’s “Hungry Hound” restaurant reporter Steve Dolinsky will lead a group of media types and chefs in judging the confections decorated by After School Matters teens.

The winning entries will be on display in the hotel’s lobby from Friday afternoon through Sunday.

Among the judges will be Takashi Yagahashi of Takashi, Martial Noguier of Bistronomic and L&M, Jennifer Melendrez of Frontera Grill, Meg Galus of NoMi, ABC7’s Janet Davies, NBC5’s Leann Trotter, “Candid Candace” social scribe Candace Jordan, Eloise Valadez of the Northwest Indiana Times, Red Carpet Concierge’s Sandy Doghmi, plus yours truly and my Sun-Times colleague Denise O’Neal.

The Palmer House had a long relationship with “The Wizard of Oz” author Frank L. Baum and his famous fantasy. Baum stayed at the hotel, and the first edition of the book was introduced during a book fair there in July, 1900. Plus “Oz” film star Judy Garland performed at the hotel’s Empire Room during a publicity tour for the film in 1938.