Prairie Grass Cafe’s (601 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook; 843-205-4433) Chef Sarah Stegner is as passionate about supporting not-for-profit organizations as she is about cooking and running Prairie Grass Cafe, Her popular Northshore restaurant with co-chef/co-owner George Bumbaris.

She is honored to join forces with Chef Sebastian White for a Thursday, February 2 benefit dinner to support Sebastian’s  Non-for-Profit (NFP) The Evolved Network.

100 percent of the special 5-course meal’s proceeds will be donated to The Evolved Network’s 2023 Spring programming. Tickets are $145 per person plus $29 for gratuity. Tickets may be purchased at The Evolved Network website. If you can’t attend on February 2, donations may be made here.
The Special February 2 Menu
prepared by Chefs Sarah Stegner and Sebastian White

Wild Striped Bass
Shallot-lemon-herb compound butter, 4 Star mushrooms, and parsnips three ways.
By Chef Sarah Stegner

Sea Scallop
Fennel, radicchio, pea shoots, pollen, and mandarinquats
By Chef Sarah Stegner and Chef Sebastian White

Duck Leg and Butter Squash Ravioli
maple, brown butter, maitake, sage and micro greens
by Chef Sebastian White

All-Natural Prime NY Strip, Beef Tongue
salsify puree, purple cauliflower, pearl onions, and bordelaise
By Chef Sebastian White

Chef’s Choice Dessert
By Chef Sarah Stegner
All proceeds earned from this dinner will be donated to The Evolved Network to support their Spring programming being offered in 4 different schools in Chicago: St Sabina Academy (Auburn Gresham), The Montessori School of Englewood (Englewood), Pulaski International School (Bucktown), and Chicago Jesuit Academy (Austin) and with other local nonprofits (Gardeneers, My Block My Hood My City, Stein Learning Gardens, Pilot Light).

As a new nonprofit, fundraising is essential to keep their efforts moving in the right direction so they can broaden their capacity to reach and access more youth in Chicago. To accomplish this with the integrity, care, and depth they seek to provide they will need to expand their team and open a space of their own dedicated specifically to this purpose. That is why your attendance at an event like this is so crucial.

“For it is the small things that can be so meaningful because your small thing is someone else’s whole world – a language teacher, a farm owner, a non-profit leader. That is why your donation, no matter what amount, matters – by investing a small thing – a donation – with enough repeats, by enough people, makes a big difference in the lives of all the youth which The Evolved Network works with, alongside of, and for. Donating today adds your voice to a growing group of individuals who find The Evolved Network to be one of their happy in-betweens of life; a magical piece of this world doing immense good”.
Bea Fry, Board of Director, The Evolved Network

About Sebastian White

Sebastian White, the founder of the nonprofit 501c3 organization The Evolved Network, received his Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and was working toward his Doctorate of Clinical Psychology before being impacted by unexpected life circumstances that forced him to leave. As a trained psychotherapist, Sebastian was working with youth who were gang-involved, labeled at-risk, and many others who were simply struggling with the complexities of life.   Your names will never die!”

One of Sebastian’s most common phrases when talking about his food is “we cook with the blood.” The story behind that phrase comes from the book and television series, Mozart in the Jungle. The lead character stresses the importance of “playing with the blood.” 

Sebastian interprets this as, in the context of The Evolved Network, “to cook with the blood means cooking with your soul and passion, completely. It is the kind of passion that transcends reason, transcends the heart; it is the passion ingrained in our DNA, which makes each of us unique.”

Sebastian cooks with this profound love and respect, and with a connection to nature and life in it many forms. By choosing the best ingredients and transcending the norms of the culinary arts, he feels that his passion serves as therapy and healing.

“This is what brings people together,” he said.

About The Evolved Network

The Evolved Network provides experiential programming through culinary art and gardening, equipping youth in systemically oppressed communities with the transformative healing, skills and support needed to evolve into masters of their unique gifts. The Evolved Network believes that with unconditional care through a holistic and therapeutic approach, youth can experience foundational transformation by creating a farm to table dining experience.

These are opportunities for youth to comfort the soul through their service to others. Currently, The Evolved Network, NFP has partnered with schools and organizations with a consistent presence of youth to offer their personally designed programs and curricula that use food, culinary, and gardening concepts as therapeutic analogies to build character and optimism in youth in a multitude of ways. Sebastian believes in and lives as true Terence’s philosophy “I am human, and I think nothing of which is human is alien to me.” Through The Evolved Network, Sebastian seeks to highlight the true meaning of cooking: to heal, sustain, nurture, connect, challenge, educate, comfort, to sit with, fight for, encourage, bring together, care for, inspire, and love. 

The Evolved Network’s goal is to save as many of our kids in Chicago as possible from the traumatic circles of poverty and gang life—one meal at a time—through an environment that they’ve designed. That space fosters strength, unconditional care, connectedness, intimacy, creativity, and holistic healing. The Evolved Network’s work lays a foundation for youth in Chicago to rise above the effects of poverty, gang life, and forms of political, communal, and social violence that are all too present. The Evolved Network seeks to inspire through food and use its lessons to heal.

About Prairie Grass Cafe and Sarah Stegner

Sarah’s commitment to helping others is evident in the mentorship and support she provides to multiple organizations, chefs and women. She is the co-organizer of Chicago Chefs Cook, with Chef Tony Priolo (Piccolo Sogno), Jodi Fyfe (Paramount Group), Darren Gest, and Eda Davidman. With their leadership, they raised more than $850,000 for three organization, one to benefit Ukraine #cookforukraine, raising funds for #worldcentralkitchen; one for humanitarian relief for the refugees of Tigray, and one in support of Puerto Rican hurricane victims through World Central Kitchen. She is a founding member of Green City Market whose mission is to secure the future of food by deepening support for sustainable farmers, educating our community, and expanding access to locally-grown food. and a founding member of The Abundance Setting, encouraging and supporting the advancement of women and working mothers in the culinary & hospitality industry to have a thriving career while maintaining a quality life at home.

Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd.; Northbrook, IL; 847-205-4433), co-owned by chefs Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris, supports Chicago’s Green City Market and local sustainable farms, selecting the freshest ingredients to reflect the season. The restaurant offers a robust curbside carryout program and specials delivered through Fresh Midwest, weekly. Sarah is a two-time James Beard Foundation award winner and George took first place in the Bocuse D’or American Culinary Gold Cup and went on to represent the United States in the International competition. 

Sarah Reaches Out to Sebastian

Sarah reached out to Sebastian in late Spring, 2022. At the time, Sebastian was unaware of Sarah’s pedigree and extensive résumé both as a chef and a leading activist for local and urban farming, agriculture, and food systems in the greater Chicagoland area. However, Sebastian deeply appreciated her willingness, interest, and perspective regarding what he was trying to build. The look on Sebastian’s face was priceless when he realized Chef Sarah’s credentials.

Humbly and quickly, Sarah became The Evolved Network’s and Sebastian’s most fierce advocate and supporter. She took him under guidance and the rest is history. The foundation of their connection is that they both understand the power of what it means to cook.

Connect with Prairie Grass Cafe

For more information, please call (847) 205-4433 or visit and

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Connect with The Evolved Network






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Can’t attend Feb. 2? Please donate:


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