Cooking From 'The Help'

Minny Jackson, the southern, sharp-tongued character in the New York Times bestseller "The Help," was famous for serving her cooking with a side of sass.

This month, her fried chicken, collard greens, cornbread and infamous chocolate pie will be recreated in a Harper College cooking class aimed at giving community members the scoop on the fictional heroine's dishes. The course, "Cooking Like Minny: Southern Favorites," will meet from 10:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Saturday, September 15.

The class will kick off this year's edition of One Book, One Harper - a community reading initiative that will focus on "The Help" and boast a series of campus activities that draw from the plot and inspire further conversation.

Other events will include a fall film series that will include a screening of the 2011 film adaptation of the book, a film competition soliciting original takes on key scenes, workshops on writing nonfiction stories, a panel on women's issues in the modern-day workplace and productions of the musical "Parade" - which examines racism and classism - by the Harper Ensemble Theatre Company.

"We try to choose books that contain a variety of themes that can be applied across curriculums," says Amy Kammerman, a Harper instructor who is helping coordinate this year's initiative. "Our aim is to expose the entire campus to this literature and promote ways to further explore it."

"The Help," by Kathryn Stockett, has spent more than 100 weeks on the New York Times' bestseller list and spawned a 2011 hit movie.

The cooking course, offered through Harper's Continuing Education Department, will be taught on the main campus by chefs from Pina's Culinary Experience in Roselle. The class is open to all.

The cost is $85. To register or for details, call 847.925.6300 or visit For more information on One Book, One Harper events, visit

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Manager