House Walk to feature 10 unique Oak Park and River Forest kitchens

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By Community Editor

Courtesy Gina Lee Robbins

Parenthesis Family Center will be hosting its 28th Annual Kitchen Walk on Saturday April 27th from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Over 800 participants are expected to tour 10 newly-remodeled Oak Park and River Forest kitchens, selected for their innovative and highly functional designs by a committee of esteemed architects and design professionals.

Among this year's not-to-be-missed kitchens is in the River Forest home of Corinna and Rodrigo Lema. As Chicagoland's first Certified Passive House, it uses 72% less energy than homes built to standard code, and is filled with energy-saving and environmentally sustainable features. Another highlight is the kitchen addition in the F.A. Hill-designed home of Oak Park Village President David Pope and his wife Beth Houle.

Former Parenthesis Board member and Kitchen Walk veteran Julia Harmon Bell is chairing this year's event. "We are thrilled to be able to share the work of ten different designers this year," said Harmon Bell. "Each one of them has a unique approach to transforming spaces in this historic community to meet a modern family's needs."

Chef Denise Norton, of Flavour Cooking School in Forest Park, will be showcasing her talents in a "working kitchen," where guests can observe Norton at work and sample the results. In addition to the ten custom floral arrangements donated by Westgate Flowers and Plants, and Garland Flowers, both of Oak Park, several local merchants have decorated featured "tablescapes" at special stops along the way. For those wishing to grab a bite afterward, several local restaurants have pledged to donate a portion of the day's proceeds to Parenthesis.

Tickets can be purchased in advance via the Kitchen Walk website ( and at select local retailers for $40; or for $45 the day of the walk.

Parenthesis Family Center, a community-based, non-profit organization, has been serving families with young children since 1980. Staffed by professionals in the fields of social work and child development, Parenthesis Family Center provides a wide range of parenting education, counseling, respite, and case management services focused on building strong families in Oak Park, River Forest, Forest Park and surrounding communities. The Kitchen Walk is Parenthesis' biggest annual fundraiser, raising over $50,000 for its programming.

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