Teen with Hyde Park ties writes book

Herald Intern

A 16-year-old who frequents Hyde Park recently released a self-published cookbook on Amazon, titled “A Year with Gianna.”

Gianna West, a patient at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital, 5721 S. Maryland Ave., has regularly traveled 45 minutes to Hyde Park from her family’s home in Chicago Heights for the past eight years, due to her spina bifida, hydrocephalus, chiari and scoliosis.

West began work on the book more than a year ago, when she was 14 years old. The 140-page book, made up of 52 recipes and eight restaurant reviews, all written by West, includes many foods she traditionally would not be able to eat – latex allergies include allergies to certain foods, such as avocados, bananas, kiwi and tomatoes.

“For the pepper marinara, I came up with that recipe,” West said, referring to her marinara sauce made with red bell peppers, rather than tomatoes. “It was hard, but I came up with a couple ideas.”

Ten percent of profits from the book go towards Sojourn Therapeutic Riding Center in Peotone, Ill., where West rides every Saturday.