Ina Pinkney is honored at this year’s Celebrity Chef Ball for her long career in the Chicago restaurant industry and for her efforts over the years to raise funds and awareness for those in need. Ina has been a long-time supporter of Meals on Wheels Chicago, and we are thrilled to present her with the 2019 Meals on Wheels Chicago Chef’s Council Award.
Ina was the Chef/Owner of INA’S, an American Food restaurant and a pioneer in the West Loop Market District that closed at the end of 2013. She is a frequent and welcomed guest on radio, local news and cable TV, has done interviews on shows in the U.S., Canada and Germany and appeared in a national Quaker Oats commercial as herself – the Breakfast Queen.
Articles about her have appeared in local, national and international newspapers and magazines, as well as trade and in-flight magazines. Her recipes have been syndicated globally and featured in many cookbooks. Ina has been a guest lecturer on Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University, DePaul University and the University of Illinois, and has been the keynote speaker at food conferences and culinary school graduations.
She was named 2008 SBA Woman in Business Champion and in 2014, Ina was awarded the Golden Whisk Award from the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs Organization for excellence in the kitchen. She lead a coalition of Chicago Restaurateurs and Chefs to support Chicago’s smoking ban and co-founded the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition for restaurants in Chicago with Dan Rosenthal for which they received Chicago Magazine’s 2011 Green Award.
In 2013 she published INA’S KITCHEN: Memories and Recipes from the Breakfast Queen so that her recipes would live in everyone’s home.
Besides writing a monthly column for the Chicago Tribune called BREAKFAST WITH INA, a documentary about the closing of INA’S screened in 48 film festivals around the country.
As a survivor of polio, Ina now speaks to Rotary groups about the late effects of polio in her effort to help Rotary and the Gates Foundation achieve their goal of the worldwide eradication of polio.