The North Shore Cooks’ Tour has been letting us into the area’s most prestigious properties since its start in 1971.
This invitation-only event, the sole fundraiser of the Auxiliary of the Woman’s Board of Rush University Medical Center, has become the North Shore’s premier house walk, raising funds to benefit the important work of the Chicago medical center.
The Board has already received an outpouring of monetary support for Cooks’ Tour 2017, noting that such support, along with generous donations from sponsors across Chicago and the North Shore, has increased dramatically over the past three to five years. The funds raised this year will be used by Rush to build a school-based mental health screening and treatment network to support children, families, and the underserved community surrounding the hospital campus.
Taking place on Wednesday, September 27, the 600-plus guests anticipated this year will tour four homes across three suburbs, with a luncheon held at the Winnetka Community House, available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Topping off the delicious luncheon fare from The Noodle, Gourmet-to-Go meals and baked goods at the Sweets and Treats kiosk will be available for purchase at t she Community House. Every board member donates three delicious bakery items, from cookies and cakes to breads and brownies—these sell quickly every year, so be sure to arrive early!
This year’s co-chairs, Nora Larkin and Heather Martin, both joined the board about four years ago, though this is hardly their first time uniting for a good cause. Heather explains, “Nora and I have been friends for almost 30 years. We met each other at the Junior League in Chicago—we have a long history of volunteering together.”
Comprised of roughly 60 women, the Auxiliary of the Woman’s Board of Rush University Medical Center was established in 1945 to expand the fundraising capabilities of the hospital’s Woman’s Board.
The board is excited to feature four amazing homes on the North Shore for Cooks’ Tour 2017, allowing guests full access to each and every stunning feature these properties have to offer.
One of the four stately properties participating in this year’s Tour is a beautiful new home, situated right on Lake Michigan—a new addition to the fundraiser and to the community itself.
Built in 2016 by Morgante-Wilson Architects and Highgate Builders, this custom-designed lakefront retreat, described as “Nantucket meets the North Shore,” brings together attention to detail in a relaxed, family-friendly space.
The planning of this lakeside masterpiece took two years, and all that remains of the original structure are its kitchen cabinet latches. This reference to “something old” pairs perfectly with the kitchen’s new state-of-the-art appliances.
The owners, who moved from another part of the North Shore, were seeking something a little more dog-friendly. Their dream: a dedicated room for their beloved West Highland White Terriers. Here their two dogs live in style, also calling their custom-made crates beneath the antique leaded glass windows in the master bedroom home.
Nearby stands the family room, with a fully retractable wall that reveals sweeping views of Lake Michigan and serves as the entrance to the patio, their favorite place to entertain. In a nod to the beautiful body of water beyond, the husband-and-wife duo collaborated in placing nautical coordinates on a wooden panel in the room, which serves as a nifty cover-up to the television behind.
Another unique feature of the home is its temperature-controlled wine cellar—its location in the dining room is simply inspired! While you dine, nothing separates you from a carefully curated collection of wines but a panel of glass.
The homeowners’ preferred blue-and-white color palette can be found throughout the home, while photographs transformed from their personal albums into watercolors grace its walls. Personal—and handmade—touches abound.
Venturing upstairs leads you to the children’s bedrooms, while a trip to the lower level takes you to the homeowner’s incredible craft room—she makes all the window treatments for the home by hand and decorative pillows that add style and character to every room. It is no surprise to learn that she has been sewing ever since she was 12 years old!
The space will look especially exquisite on September 27, as top North Shore home décor and floral designers donate their time and materials to create distinctive displays in each of the homes—expressing what a community effort this event truly is.
Heather underscores this: “We are very grateful for and humbled by the overwhelming generosity of the sponsors of this year’s event and so thankful for the countless hours spent by our board members and their commitment to the Auxiliary of the Woman’s Board of Rush University Medical Center.”