Essays and recipes from Logan-area businesses and eateries appear in a new zine raising funds for cancer nonprofit Grind for Life. The zine, “Bake and Destroy Cancer,” features top 10 lists, including one advocating for Vin Diesel fandom from Bric-a-Brac (2845 N. Milwaukee Ave.), and vegan recipes from Casa Yari (3268 W. Fullerton Ave.), Paulie Gee’s and the popup Herbivore.
Those contributions join recipes, interviews and lists from a variety of Chicago and national restaurants and writers. The zine comes from Chicago vegan blogger and baker Natalie Slater, who’s raising funds for the cancer nonprofit Grind for Life. Founded by skateboarder and cancer survivor Mike Rogers, the Florida-based Grind for Life raises money to help patients with cancer and their families travel to doctors and hospitals.
“Bake and Destroy Cancer” sold out of its first printing in December, but those interested in supporting can still sign up for a digital copy here and express interest in a second printing. The digital version, which comes with some bonus recipes and interviews, will also go to all who purchased the first printing. With enough interested buyers, Slater will gear up for a second printing. The original prints asked buyers to choose their price, from $15 to $100.
The zine, which has already raised more than $2,000 for Grind for Life, “features vegan recipes from my favorite restaurants and chefs all over the country,” Slater said. She added that the content is “very Chicago-centric, with recipes from Alice and Friends Vegan Kitchen, Penelope’s Vegan Taqueria, Snackie Chan and many others,” although it also boasts offerings from spots that Slater’s encountered via road trips. Those include Your Local Seitanist in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Golden Dinosaurs in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Abbas Jaffary, creator of the zine “Mathematics for Misfits,” typeset “Bake and Destroy Cancer.” An advocate for accessibility, Jaffary ensured that the digital version of the zine would be accessible to screen readers and other assistive technology, Slater said.
Bric-a-Brac Stars, Has Own Fundraiser
Beyond the recipes, the pages of “Bake and Destroy Cancer” also feature “irreverent top 10″ lists” and interviews, including with “vegan icon” Scott Crouse, founding member of straight-edge hardcore band Earth Crisis. Slater’s favorite piece, however, came from Avondale’s Bric-a-Brac. Nick Mayor, co-owner of Bric-a-Brac and sister coffee shop The Brewed (2843 N. Milwaukee Ave.), penned “a hilariously sincere list … titled ‘Ten Things You Should Know About Vin Diesel,’” Slater said.
“I’m not joking when I say it convinced me,” she said. “I am now a Vin Diesel stan. He seems great.”
Bric-a-Brac is currently attempting to recover from a burst pipe that destroyed the collectible and record store’s inventory, Block Club reported. The store has its own recovery fundraisers, including a T-shirt now available for preorder.
Mayor said Bric-a-Brac owners were more than happy to support Slater’s project, as she’s long been a supporter of the shop. “Natalie asked and that was enough!” Mayor said. “It’s an awesome cause and we’re in good company with the other contributors.”
A Bigger Project
Slater has been fundraising for Grind for Life for more than a decade, mostly via raffles and social media. She said she opted for a bigger project this time after the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of her mother-in-law kept her support at lower levels.
Over the years, she’s raised more than $21,500 for Grind for Life. Active as a blogger and social media poster writing about veganism since 2006, Slater first got involved with Grind for Life after they helped a friend with medical travel expenses. A baker, she hosted her first Grind for Life fundraiser — a “pay what you can” bake sale — raising $500.
On her Instagram page, Slater said she was “truly blown away” but the support for “Bake and Destroy Cancer.” She added that the zine would include a dedication to loved ones lost to cancer. “We all have a list like this, of everyone we lost to cancer,” she said in the post. “We carry them in our hearts and they inspire us to be better in all sorts of ways.”
Featured image: “Bake and Destroy Cancer” cover art. Image: Castle Jackal